Frugal and Healthy - Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt - there are a million ways to make it (including a very easy looking crockpot method - just google it) but I tried to simplify as much as possible while also keeping my energy consumption down.

If you're like me you use yogurt for everything: baking, a sour cream subsitute, breakfast, snacks, smoothies, the list is endless. It can get expensive, lately the cheapest yogurt I've found is almost $4 for a tub at the grocery store. But with a 2L of milk (costing about $3.50) you can make at least two tubs of yogurt.

Also, I don't know about you, but when the kids were younger I found it really hard to find a low sugar, full fat yogurt as recommended. When you make your own YOU control what goes in it.

All you need is 6-8 cups of milk (most reccommend whole milk for newbies, but I used 2%) and 1/2 cup plain live culture yogurt (I used astro biobest - I've heard Danone doesn't work well). *UPDATE* In subsequent batches I really haven't bothered measuring. It's not a fine art, just warm your milk, add yogurt, let sit.

Put the milk in a pot and bring to gentle boil over medim heat, stirring to keep it from scalding (or you could do the whole double boiler method, also if you like your yogurt "sticky" don't actually boil it, just bring to high heat).

Cover and remove from heat.

Let cool about 1 hour or until you touch it with your finger without brning yourself (100F if you actually have a candy thermometer).

Remove about 1 cup and stir in about 1/2 cup yogurt (the more yogurt you use the tangier your final product is).

Pour back into pot, cover, wrap in thick towel or blanket and put inside your stove - not turned on - for about 6-8 hours. The longer you let it incubate, the thicker it gets. Check it at about 6 hours, if thick enough pour off the whey (you can use this for baking) and voila: yogurt!

You can add flavouring, blended fruit, and sugar if you want - just don't stir too vigoriously or it will become runny. I mashed in some banana and a teensy bit of brown sugar for the kids. Emerson especially loved it!

I think I like this . . . I fed myself while you were gone, Mom.

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