I recently added NPR to my Facebook feed and am really liking the gems they post, but arguably my favorite one so far was the post “Yes, It’s Worth It To Make Your Own Yogurt” by Nicole Spiridakis. Before you flip out and say, “My parents used to make yogurt in the 70’s” or “You’ve gone totally crunchy Craig” let me explain please. It is TOTALLY worth it to make your own yogurt. There. Clear enough?! I think my argument was succinct and to the point, no? Ok, I will expound upon my, and Nicole’s thesis more.
After, and if, you get past the “my life is über fab and I’m moving to Casablanca” part she makes some good points about knowing with one hundred percent certainty what is in the yogurt. I like that. And the ease of it. It is really easy. I will add my own reasons here too. I’m a little, uhm….on the lactose intolerant side. Ok, a lot. I love yogurt but too much dairy, even with all the good bacteria, is not such a good thing. And I often forget to take the pills that go with dairy that are supposed to help. And those soy yogurts?? BLECH! So to think that I can use whatever milk I like is just amazing! And I know exactly what’s in it? Even cooler. 100% my own doing.
I just made my first batch and it was really that easy. Heat the milk up to 180 degrees, cool it down to 115 deg, stir in 1/4 cup of yogurt (store bought to get started). (Note: make sure you have a calibrated thermometer so nothing gets burned! My candy thermometer has a habit of slipping now and then and not being in the right position to read correctly.) Pour in sterilized mason quart jar and put in warm place for 10 to 12 hours. My warm place turned to be in the microwave oven over the stove with the light on. (see the original article for more specific details)
I’m really happy with the results! And glad I had it on hand to help me through an ugly case of suspected food poisoning. Ok – it would seem obvious to most people that at 3 PM the salmon lasagna at the Ikea cafeteria was NOT the best choice. I’m not sure why it wasn’t to me. But ANYWAY… I might even try a batch of raw milk, per the suggestion of a friend to see how that sits with the ol GI tract. But until then, Lactaid milk it is. Yogurt on my pro-biotic friends!