Why make homemade yogurt? Because it saves so so so much plastic! There are no preservatives and it’s cheap too. We have been trying to use (a little) less plastic these days and saving plastic on grocery items can be hard. Yogurt is a no brainer though, especially individually packaged yogurt containers, are a huge waste of plastic. Instead, you can easily make your own at home.
You will need a starter culture, you can get a starter culture online or at health food stores or we used plain yogurt as the culture instead. You will also need milk, and that’s it. You can use any kind of milk, alternative or cow’s milk. All you need to do is heat up the milk until it is boiling and then let cool until it’s about the temperature of a baby’s bottle. Then, set some of the milk aside into a bowl and stir in the yogurt or culture. Then, add this to the rest of the milk. Once you have made your yogurt mixture, you need to cook it on low heat for a few hours. You can use a yogurt maker, the oven, or a crock pot to cook the yogurt. I usually use 5 cups of milk and a half a cup of plain yogurt for my yogurt mixture.
In the oven
To make yogurt in the oven, first preheat the oven to 115 degrees. Once the oven is heated up, then turn it off. Put your yogurt mixture into a cast iron dutch oven and cover with dish towels, let sit for 4 to 6 hours inside the warm oven. The longer you leave the yogurt cooking, the thicker it will become.
In the Crock Pot
You can actually use a crock pot for the entire process. First add the milk and turn crock pot on low and cook milk for 2 1/2 hours. Then turn the crock pot off and let the milk cool for about 3 hours or until it’s about the temperature of a baby’s bottle. Then take some of the milk out and put it into a bowl and stir in the culture or yogurt then incorporate it into the rest of the milk still in the crock pot. Then, put the lid back on the crock pot and cover with towels to keep the heat inside. Let it sit for about 8 hours or more depending on how you like your yogurt.
In a yogurt maker
Follow the instructions for your yogurt maker. Usually, you make the yogurt mixture on the stovetop and then pour it into glass containers and let them sit inside the yogurt maker for about 8 hours.
Once your yogurt is done, you can keep in in the fridge for up to a week, add whatever flavors or berries you want and cut the plastic!