Everyone should be making yogurt. It's a better bang for your buck in both the health and financial sense. It's also incredibly easy and requires only the usual household items. Don't be a sucker and think you need a yogurt maker. You don't! You will however need the following items:
- Sauce pot
- Cooking thermometer
- Mason jar (I use the 1/2 gallon size but you could use a series of smaller ones)
- An insulated cooler ( I use the standard Igloo brand lunch cooler)
- Half-gallon of organic full-fat milk
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt (organic and full-fat)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Add the milk to the pot and slowly heat to 185 degrees F stiring frequently to keep from scalding. You do not want the milk to boil!
- While it is heating prep your sink basin or a large bowl (large enough to hold your milk pot) with an ice water bath.
- When the pot of milk reaches 185 degrees F, immediatly remove it from the heat and place it in the ice bath.
- The tempurature will begin to lower. When it reaches 110 degrees F, stir in the 2 tbsp of yogurt and the tbsp of sugar and blend it well.
- Next, pour the milk miture into your mason jar(s) and seal tightly.
- Place the jar(s) in the cooler and complete submerge with hot tap water. If the jar(s) lifts or begins to float, try placing something on top of it like a small plate to hold it under. Ideally you want the milk mixture to be completely submerged.
- Close the cooler and leave for 7 or 8 hours.
- After the 7 or 8 hours have passed, remove the jar and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours until cool.
- Then, eat it! Some folks might want to drain off the some of the separated whey from the top but it's not necessary. You can stir it into the yogurt for more protein!
Our household consumes a lot of yogurt! My mom eats it almost daily as it's one of the easiest things for her to swallow due to dysphagia issues. It's loaded with protein, calcium, vitamins A and B, phosphorus and potassium which are beneficial nutrients for many seniors so long as they are not trying to avoid dairy. It's also worth mentioning that yogurt is a fermented food which means it's a host of healthy gut bacteria which can help restore damages caused by antibiotics. If nothing else it's a food crafting session for anyone with time and curiosity on their hands. If all we have are a series of days to make the most of, why not infuse them with a little bit of creative health. Plain yogurt is a foundation for all kinds of deliciousness. Once you have the yogurt, you can always add other goodies to your heart's contentment!