Why and How to Make Yogurt at home: And tips on making thick and healthy yogurt
Making yogurt at home sounds like a daunting process to some which makes them turn to store-bought yogurt. But by the end of this article, you will learn why and how to make yogurt at home. This article will teach you the most convenient way of making thick and delicious yogurt. This means you no longer need to buy unhealthy store-bought yogurt ever again. Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more…
Why Make Yogurt at Home?
You may be asking, why should I bother to make yogurt at home when there are plenty of varieties I can purchase. Did you know that store-bought yogurt, especially the flavored ones, contain unhealthy additives such as gelatin and corn syrup? Add to that the fact, that the long shelf-life is made possible by heating the yogurt. This process destroys much of the good bacteria in the yogurt, further negating its health benefits. Now that you know why it’s best to make yogurt at home, you’re ready to learn how!
Tips on making thick and healthy yogurt
- Choose the right pot: The pot plays a key role in setting yogurt. Metal and ceramic pots are reactive and may leach toxins when you boil milk, so it is better to avoid them. An unglazed pure clay pot is your best bet because it is free from toxins and has breathable (semi-porous) walls. These walls let excess water evaporate, leaving yogurt thick and creamy. The longer you keep your yogurt in the pot, the thicker it gets.
- Heat the milk to right temperature: Swish the water around your clay pot, let sit for 5 minutes, drain, and then add milk. This prevents sticking and scorching of milk. Now heat the milk just before the boiling point (till small bubbles form on the surface). This takes about 25-35 minutes.
- Add the right culture at the right time: Let the milk cool down till you can hold your pinkie finger in milk for 5 secs (in 30 mins or so). Now the milk is ready for culture*.
*If you are making yogurt for the first time and are buying culture from the store, usually the culture is weaker. In this case, add 1/2 cup culture to 1/2-gallon milk. But once you start making at home and your culture is from the prior batch of clay pot yogurt, then 2 tbsp for every half gallon is adequate to make thick yogurt.
Set in the oven with the lid on and oven light on for the next 6-8 hours. Then, you can set it on a cotton towel on the counter to adjust to room temperature for 30-40 minutes, you can move it into the refrigerator. DO NOT STIR the yogurt as it breaks up the good bacteria colonies, and becomes weaker. When you are ready to eat it, scoop out what you need, and leave the rest as is.
- How to make your yogurt thicker: The yogurt gains the right thickness after you take it out of the oven and then refrigerate for 1 hour or so. Heating milk for longer also gives your yogurt a thicker consistency.
- No need to use additives or sweeteners: Your homemade yogurt turns out creamy, thick and tastes delicious naturally. There is no need to add sweeteners or artificial flavors. If you would like some sweetness, you may serve the yogurt with berries, a homemade jam or fruit syrup, or honey. Homemade granola and nuts make delicious toppings too.
Miriams Earthen Cookware (MEC) is a US based company that makes pure clay pots without additives, chemicals, or glazes. Their pots are certified non-toxic and come in different sizes. Head over to their online store and order yours today! They ship worldwide.