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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DIY Yogurt




Yogurt, a household staple, turns out to be pretty easy to make yourself not to mention it costs a fraction of the processed leading brands.  My family of 5 (aka the Garburators) eat yogurt like it's going out of style.  I have been making it for a few years now and have learned a few things along the way that I would like to share.  I was triggered by a great tutorial online for mason jar yogurt via the NW Preppers Newsletter.  This group provides a fantastic newsletter with a ton of linked resources. Even if you are not local to the group you should consider becoming  a part of what they have going on, you will learn a ton. A quick shout out to Victoria if you are reading this!
I have messed up enough batches in my time to learn a few things about what not to do when making yogurt.  If you follow my three success tips you are pretty much guaranteed a delicious thick yogurt.  I have tried cutting corners, there are no shortcuts, you HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RUELS!  I have tried it with the crock pot and with mason jars, I prefer the mason jar method.
Three key to success in DIY yogurt according to yours truly are as follows:
  • Fresh and Fat is Best
  • Follow the Temperature & Timing Rules
  • Wrap it up
When choosing your base milk and yogurt starter you want high fat and very fresh ingredients.  The fat in yogurt is the good kind of fat that your body needs, get over the "low fat", "no fat" stigma it's propaganda. Depending on where you live, getting the milk from a local farm or farmers market is your first ticket to great yogurt. You want whole milk and 3% + plain yogurt with active probiotics.
There are specific heat up and cool down rules that are pretty streamline for all recipes but make sure, according to the recipe you choose, you follow those temperature rules or you will end up with a mess.  Some recipes don't require a thermometer but if you are at all squirrely like me, I recommend using a thermometer to insure accuracy.
You have to leave the yogurt overnight at a warm temperature.  Some require coolers, some ovens with the light on.  You want to make sure that you wrap those jars up in towels.  Swaddle them up like babies to keep the heat in.  No peaking, let the probiotics work their magic.  The key is to keep that yogurt nice and warm so WRAP IT UP!
If you are interested in the mason jar method, here is a great recipe for you to follow.
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/05/how-to-make-yogurt-in-a-mason-jar.html#sthash.OabQZAcJ.BX7nvvSr.dpbs

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