Why make your own yoghurt?
Top grade yoghurt from the supermarket costs as much as $6.00 or more for half a litre (half a quart) of the good quality stuff - and that's buying it in large containers.
If you buy small, individal portions of the fruit flavoured, low calorie versions, you'll pay much more than that.
And a lot of the yoghurts for sale in the shops have added thickeners, gelatine, colours, stabilisers, and other nasties in them. Some "fruit" yoghurts don't even have real fruit!
They're not yoghurt - they're junk food!
The yoghurt I'm going to demonstrate today is real whole yoghurt, with nothing added except some strawberry jam for sweetness (ingredients: strawberries, fruit pectin, sugar), and whole, locally-grown raspberries.
"Make your own" yoghurt products
You can buy "EasiYo" and similar brand packet products that contain milk powder and yoghurt culture all ready to go if you choose, but these are quite expensive. They retail at about $3.50 per packet in my local supermarket.
The fruit flavoured packets of EasyYo and similar products contain no real fruit, to my knowledge.
Although these packet mixes are a big saving over ready-to-eat yoghurt sold in the cold section of the supermarket, it is much, much cheaper to make yoghurt from scratch. And it is easy!
Home made yoghurt - raspberry flavoured!
My own home made yoghurt costs about $1 per litre for the plain variety, and slightly more for the fruit flavoured yoghurt, depending on what fruit is added, how much sweetener is added, and how much these additions cost.
Measurements don't really matter. In this case, I've made a litre (about a quart) of yoghurt, but a heaped tablespoon of yoghurt would easily work to create double that amount of yoghurt if you had a bigger container.
You will need:
- A heaped tablespoon of yoghurt, already made up. I used a tablespoon of yoghurt from my last batch of home made yoghurt, so it didn't cost me anything.
One heaped tablespoon of plain yoghurt, for starter culture.
You can use any type of yoghurt, but remember that the culture you use is what you will end up with.
Fruit yoghurt is fine to use, but the fruit won't duplicate by itself - you'll have to add that!
- A litre (one quart) of milk, either low fat or full fat. I prefer full fat. You can use powdered milk instead, if you wish - just make it up according to the directions on the packet.
- A yoghurt maker. I bought mine at the supermarket a while back for about $20, but you can buy them secondhand much cheaper if you have a look around.
My yoghurt maker.
If you don't have a yoghurt maker, you'll need two watertight containers that will fit one inside the other.
A jam jar inside a thermos would work well to make a small homemade yoghurt maker.
Ideally, the outer container should be insulated (a thermos or similar), or you will need some towels to wrap the outer container in if it isn't insulated.
- Boiled water.
- Fruit and sugar or jam. (optional) to add to the yoghurt once it is made, if you choose to make fruit yoghurt. Just add sweetener according to taste.
- Add the heaped tablespoon of yoghurt to the milk, and shake or stir through so that the yoghurt and milk are mixed together.
- Screw the lid of the container with the milk and yoghurt on tight, or seal.
- Fill your yoghurt maker, or the outer container, halfway with boiled water. This creates a "bath" of warm water for the container with the milk and yoghurt culture to sit in and develop.
The tablespoon of yoghurt, mixed with the milk in the inner container, sitting in a "bath" of boiling water in my yoghurt maker.
- Sit the container with the milk and yoghurt inside the half-water-filled outer container. Put the lid on the outer container.
If the outer container is not insulated, wrap it well in towels to insulate it.
- Leave the yoghurt undisturbed for 12 hours. I usually make my yoghurt in the evening, so it is ready for breakfast.
12 hours later...
- Open the outer container, and take out the inner container. Open it. Your yoghurt should be fully formed and solid-looking. There may be a little bit of liquid on top - this is normal.
- If you want to add fruit and sugar, do so now, according to taste.
I'm adding strawberry jam for sweetener and locally-grown raspberries (from the next town - five miles away) to this batch of yoghurt.
I used locally-grown raspberries in my yoghurt, but add whatever fruit you like that is cheap.
- Mix the fruit and sweetener with the yoghurt in a large jar or bowl, so that they are well combined. I like my fruit in big chunks, but some prefer it better mixed. It's up to you.
My recipe has made well over a litre (a quart) of fresh, yummy raspberry yoghurt. It will last for days...unless my husband eats it all within minutes!
It won't last long!
Home made raspberry yoghurt, ready for breakfast. Yummy!
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Home made yoghurt will keep for several days in a sealed container.
Enjoy! But remember to save a heaped tablespoon, for your next batch!
Other ways with yoghurt
- Frozen yoghurt: Add equal parts home made yoghurt, whipped cream, and fruit, add a little sugar, and pop it in the freezer or in your ice-cream maker for the best frozen yoghurt treat around!
- Icy poles: Freeze the above yoghurt, whipped cream and fruit mix into icy pole moulds on sticks for yummy frozen treats for the kids. And the husbands!
- As is, with home made jam: Add home made jam to fresh, natural yoghurt. Stir it in. Yum!
- Salad dressings, on falafel, and on meat: Yoghurt is wonderful as a base for salad dressings, and is wonderful on falafel. If you eat meat, it is great with lamb.
- On muesli: Put a dollop of yoghurt on your muesli in the morning. Yummy!
- Greek Yoghurt Dip: 2 cups of plain yoghurt; 1 cucumber seeded, then grated; 1 teaspoon of sea salt; 1 crushed garlic clove; 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; fresh dill chopped to taste. Mix it all together, and you're done!
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