Easy Homemade Natural Yoghurt:
I have started making homemade natural yoghurt instead of buying it in plastic tubs from the supermarket.
As well as tasting great, yoghurt is a good source of probiotics, protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins like B-12, B-2. Apparently, yoghurt can also promote a healthy gut and digestive system as well as boosting your immune system. It’s worth mentioning straight up that I am in no way a nutritional or yoghurt making expert – this is my personal experience only.
Over the last year we’ve become increasingly frustrated with the amount of un-recyclable, single use plastic on sale in the local supermarkets (Specifically containers and bottles for milk and yoghurt products). We started buying local milk in boxes when it became available at the local store but this again contained plastic.
I went on a mission to find milk & yoghurt in glass containers. After a little research and searching I found a local organic bulk store that sells glass bottled milk with a deposit scheme. I do have to go out of my way a little but it’s all part of our plastic free journey. We also spend a lot of time in neighbouring France where we’ve found local yoghurt and glass bottled milk in a supermarket chain – Grand Frais.
As our zero waste journey gained momentum my Aunt suggested making my own yoghurt. At first, with no knowledge of the process, I assumed this would mean buying specialist equipment but I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Homemade yoghurt is actually very easy and only takes a few hours to make. A friend we stayed with during our summer trip to the UK kindly gave me her recipe. All you need to make homemade yoghurt is basically milk and a small amount of yoghurt, that’s it.
How to make homemade yoghurt:
- Natural unsweetened active yoghurt
- 500ml Fresh pasteurised milk
Make sure you don’t need your oven for the next 4-8hours and switch on light or use the defrost setting only. It does help to heat the oven first for a few minutes at 50 degrees centigrade.
Heat the milk in a pan until it’s hot but not quite boiling (82ºc / 180ºf). Be careful not to let it boil over. If it does it can still be used but it may not have the same nutritional content.
Take the pan off the heat and let it cool down until it’s lukewarm (46ºc / 115ºf). Then remove the skin that’s formed on top and transfer the milk to a container (I use a 1ltr metal thermos).
In a bowl add one tablespoon of your store bought natural unsweetened yoghurt and mix it with two tablespoons of the lukewarm milk.
When it’s thoroughly mixed pour it into the milk and gently stir it once or twice. Then put the lid onto your container and place it in the oven for around 4 hours until it sets (sometimes up to 8 depending on the ambient temperature).
Once it is firm keep it in the fridge for a few hours until it has cooled and set further. Some condensation may form and pool on top but this can be drained if the yoghurt is firm enough or removed with a spoon.
The quicker it takes to set the sweeter it tastes but remember to keep a few tablespoons at the end for your next batch – this ‘culture’ can also be frozen.
Your yoghurt will keep refrigerated for a week or two. If you want to make more yoghurt just double the recipe.
The photos show me making 1ltr of yoghurt but I’d suggest trying with 500ml for your first attempt.