A little bit ago Sydney shared with me how to make my own yogurt. This is such a wonderful idea because it is much cheaper than buying it at the store and it is really quite simple. I am always looking for ways to use my dry milk powder too, so that's a bonus. I hope you will try this out.
Homemade Yogurt (4 cups)
3 3/4 cup warm water
1 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
4 Tbsp. store bought plain yogurt (make sure it has live active cultures)
*Sydney's note: Make sure it has a far-off expiration date. You can also use starter from your homemade yogurt for the next batch but it loses its potency after a couple of batches.
In a large saucepan, combine the water and milk powder. Heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches 180 F degrees. This is to kill off any competing bacteria so the yogurt will grow better. Remove from the stove and allow it to cool to 115 F degrees. If the milk is any hotter than this it will kill off the yogurt culture, much cooler and it will grow too slowly. Stir in the yogurt culture and allow it to dissolve completely.
Carefully pour the mixture into a very clean, canning jar (or another quart size container) and place in warm spot for 6-8 hours to incubate. What I did (recommended from Sydney) was place really hot water in a small ice chest and then I put a plastic container in the bottom to lift the jar up out of the water, then I closed the ice chest and put it in a warm place of the house. You could also place it in your oven with just the oven light on. The longer you leave the yogurt the sourer it will be. If you want it to be thicker, you can add additional milk powder in the initial stages.
You now have yogurt! You can refrigerate it and use it as you wish. You can now make the yogurt to your own liking by adding all sorts of fruits, nuts, honey, or maple syrup. You can also use it in many recipes and substitute it for sour cream, but it's much healthier.
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