I started discovering the beautiful world of homemade and DIY in the summer of 2018, and one of the very first things that I learned to make is this easy homemade yogurt recipe.
It is super easy and fast to do. We haven’t bought yogurt from the store ever since, except for the yogurt starter (2x or 3x a year) which I will explain later on.
The main reason why I ventured into homemade yogurt in 2018 is to slowly cut back on our plastic waste since we consume a lot of yogurts.
It’s definitely one of the must-haves in our refrigerator.
A Little Bit of Information About Yogurt
These bacteria ferment the lactose present in milk into lactic acid, which gives yogurt its thick texture and sour taste.
Yogurt is also a very good source of probiotics commonly known as good bacteria.
Though we often think about sickness when we hear the word bacteria, our body has actually 2 kids of bacteria: the good and the bad.
When the bad bacteria overpower the good ones, that’s when we get sick. And in order to feel better and be cured, we have to get rid of the bad ones.
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What We Need
There are only a few things needed in making homemade yogurt. Let me explain them one by one:
Milk – Any type of milk can be used in making homemade yogurt, but whole milk (leche entera) is the best because it gives the yogurt a creamier and thicker texture.
Skimmed milk will give a thinner consistency. I personally use whole milk, the Carrefour Bio Leche UHT Entera.
Yogurt culture/starter – This is very important in making homemade yogurt because this will be the source of good bacteria that will ferment the milk into yogurt. It can be purchased in powder form, but a normal yogurt from the store can also be used, as long as it has “live cultures”.
Make sure to check the labels because some yogurts are pasteurized to kill the bacteria, so, they can be transported far and stored for long period without the problem of spoiling.
Probiotic yogurts are the ones with live cultures. They are also pasteurized, but active bacteria are added in measured units before packaging.
This type of yogurt can’t be stored for a very long period and is usually displayed in the refrigerated area of the store. This is the yogurt starter that is needed to make homemade yogurt.
I personally use the Carrefour Bio Yogur Natural (de vaca). Always use the unflavored one.
Stainless Steel Cooking Pot – or any cooking pot, preferably one with a pouring spout for easy pouring.
Kitchen thermometer (optional) – to check the temperature of the milk before mixing the yogurt starter. But don’t worry, we can still make homemade yogurt without it.
Whisker – This can also be a fork or a ladle that you can use in stirring the yogurt culture and milk.
Empty jars with lids – This is where you store your milk and yogurt starter mixture for fermentation. I just reuse empty jars that I kept and cleaned from store-bought items like chickpeas, beans, and also the empty jars of our honey.
Easy Homemade Yogurt Recipe (3 Ways to Make)
There are 3 ways of making the easy homemade yogurt recipe that I know of, 2 of which I have already tried. Let me explain it to you one by one.
1. The Oven Method
This is the method that I first used in the summer of 2018 until I owned an instant pot (I’ll tell you about it in another post) in January 2020.
Instructions: Heat the milk between 40-46°C, higher than that will destroy the live bacteria. I usually stay at 40-42°C to be safe.
If you heated the milk above 46°C, just wait for it to cool a bit. This is where the kitchen temperature comes in handy.
But if you don’t have one, just use your finger to check the temperature. If the milk is already warm to the touch without burning your finger, then it’s good to go.
Mix the yogurt culture into the milk. I use 2 tablespoons of starter yogurt for every liter of milk (but you can use up to half a cup). Search performance for this query
Whisk it well to ensure that the yogurt starter is thoroughly mixed with the milk.
Pour the mixture into the jars and cover with the lids loosely, and put them in the oven right away.
You have to do it quickly to make sure that the milk is still warm to ensure a successful fermentation.
The bacteria need a warm environment to ferment properly. Switch on the lights of the oven (this will make the oven warm) and leave the yogurt overnight.
Check in the morning, If the yogurt is still runny, leave it in the oven for a couple of hours before taking it out. But overnight is usually enough.
Remove the jars from the oven, close the lids tightly and leave them on the counter for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before finally putting them into the refrigerator.
2. The Instant Pot Method
This is the easiest method for me and this is how I do our homemade yogurt since I got my instant pot in January. No more heating the milk and it can be done in 5 minutes max.
Instructions: Pour the milk into the pot and add the yogurt starter. Same ratio as mentioned above.
Mix well and then pour into the jars.
Loosely cover the jars with the lids and put them inside the instant pot. Put the lid on, set the valve into the sealing position, and press the yogurt button. It will automatically be set to 10 hours.
If you do it in the evening, it will be finished in the morning. Once you see “yogt” displayed on the screen, it means that the yogurt is done.
Open the lid and remove the jars, cover with the lids tightly and leave them on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour before putting them into the refrigerator.
3. The Portable Cooler/Ice Box Method
I haven’t tried this personally, but I read a lot of articles about people who use this method with great success.
Instructions: Follow the same instructions as the oven method, but instead of putting them in the oven, you put the jars inside the portable cooler or icebox and wrap them with a towel to help maintain the warm environment. Leave them overnight and check them in the morning and follow the rest of the instructions as the oven method.
This homemade yogurt is definitely kid and husband approved! We eat yogurt almost every day and most of the time twice a day (after lunch and dinner).
The husband has already said many times that my homemade yogurt is way better than the store-bought because he finds the latter more acidic! Woah, what a boost to make some more yogurt!
When #1 was still a baby, It was just the husband and I eating yogurt, so I just make 1 liter at a time and it usually lasts for a week.
But now that #1 is already a toddler, the consumption has doubled.
I now make 2 liters per batch and it usually lasts for 4 days max. So, I usually make homemade yogurt 2x a week. And I expect the consumption to increase even more once #2 starts eating, as well.
Homemade yogurt for the win!
Tips and Notes
- If the yogurt consistency is thinner after checking on them, don’t worry, it will become thicker once it gets cold in the refrigerator.
- You can now use your homemade yogurt for your next batches. We have a “yogurt rule” in the house that the husband knows well: to always leave 2-4 tablespoons of yogurt for the next batch. After all, the idea of making homemade yogurt is to stop buying from the store, but if you keep on buying the starter every time, then it defeats the purpose.
- In the 3 to 4 months mark, the yogurt consistency is going to get thinner and it because the bacteria are getting weaker. And they can no longer ferment effectively. When this happens, it’s time to buy a new yogurt starter and that means only buying 3 to 4 yogurt a year instead of every week.
- You can flavor the yogurt with any fruits that you want by blending them together or just slicing the fruits into very small pieces. Strawberry flavored yogurt is our eldest’s favorite.
- If you want to try making homemade yogurt, but in any case, all methods mentioned above are not available to you, you can consider buying a yogurt maker, especially if you think you’ll be for it in the long haul.
Try It In Your Home.
I encourage you to give this easy homemade yogurt recipe a try in your home. It will surely help in cutting back plastic waste, especially if your family is a yogurt monster like ours. 🙂
Once you tried it, please let me know how it went.