06 September 2011

Homemade Greek Yogurt

I apologize yet again for the huge break in postings.  You see, a few days after my last post, I broke one of the bones in my foot playing with Callie.  It has been very difficult for me to spend a lot of time cooking since cooking requires standing, and standing is difficult without the use of one foot.  And I haven't been able to do a lot of working out, except the playing card workout described in the last post, since every workout I know is basically impossible with a cast on your foot.  This means no blog posts for you guys.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I read online about how to make homemade greek yogurt.  I am a HUGE fan of greek yogurt, I eat it all the time.  It is fat free or very low in fat, has twice the protein of regular yogurt, and typically has a lot less sugar and other additives.  But it gets really expensive, the kind I eat is close to $4 for a 16oz container.  So if there is a way to make it at home cheaper, I'm all in!  And it was an easy process that required minimal cooking.  It takes a while, but thats mostly just letting the cultures in the yogurt do their job.  And it was delicious!  My first batch got some water mixed in from when I strained it, so it didn't get as thick as the store bought kind, but I'm ok with that.

I made a half gallon batch, because I'm just feeding myself.  The yogurt will last 7-10 days in the refrigerator.  And you can save 1/4 cup of your homemade yogurt as the starter for your next batch.  From 1/2 gallon milk, you should get about 30oz prepared yogurt.  A half gallon of organic, hormone-free milk cost me around $2, so I'm making this for about a quarter of the cost of buying it at the store.  And I am able to control the quality of the ingredients I use, always a bonus!

So here's what you'll need:
- 1/2 gallon pasteurized milk (I used skim.  DO NOT use ultra pasteurized, it won't work)
- 1/4 cup prepared greek yogurt, at room temperature (I prefer Fage, but use any brand you like.  DO NOT use a greek yogurt with any kind of thickener, make sure the only ingredients are milk and live cultures)
- large, heavy-bottomed stock pot
- colander, lined with cheesecloth or damp papertowels
- bowl, large enough for the colander to sit in the bottom

Step1:  Place milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan  Heat over medium heat until the milk just starts to boil.  Use a thermometer to ensure the milk reaches 180 degrees F.

Step 2:  Remove milk from heat and cool to 110 degrees F.  Once the milk cools, stir 1/3 c milk into the yogurt, then pour the mixture back into the milk.  Stir.

Step 3:  Cover the milk and wrap the entire pot in a towel.  Let sit for 8-10 hrs.  DO NOT open the pot to check on it, just let it go.  I let mine sit overnight so I didn't look at it.

Step 4:  Voila, yogurt!  Line your colander with cheesecloth or damp paper towels.  Place the colander in your bowl, and pour the yogurt in the colander.  Let sit 4 or 5 hrs until it reaches the thickness you like.

Step 5:  Now you have yummy homemade greek yogurt!  Yummy!

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