Make your own Organic Yogurt

Yogurt prices are bananas.

Store brand yogurt? 2.49
Oh you want brand name yogurt? 3.99
Make that organic. $5.49
Greek? $6.49
Organic Greek? Just fork over your wallet and your left kidney.

I have yogurt everyday at work for breakfast, and the idea of ingesting all those additives – like hormones and antibiotics – on a daily basis is cringe-worthy. So whenever possible I buy organic. But it dawned on me: I’m spending twice as much on the organic stufIMG_0057f!  Those costs add up.

Yogurt is super easy to make and organic milk (you know, the stuff yogurt is made from) is about half the cost of it’s yogurted counter-part (by volume).  To make organic yogurt for half the cost is super easy. All you need is a half-gallon of organic milk, and 1 scoop of plain yogurt with live cultures to inoculate your milk. I also used a splash of kefir to inoculate because I’m a probiotic maniac.

It’s a little more complicated than just mixing it together and sticking it in the fridge, though it’s really hard to mess it up. Here’s how you make your own organic yogurt:

  1. Prep your yogurt jars. Fill a big pot and 4 big glass jars with hot water (about 135 degrees). put the water filled jars (no tops) int the water to stay warm
  2. Heat your milk (up to 1 gallon) to 180 degrees (F). Don’t let it get hotter than that! You don’t want it to boil it.  This pasteurizes it and kills off any extra bacteria that might screw with your fermentation.
  3. Crash cool the yogurt to 80-100 degrees. I covered the pot and stuck it in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
  4. Inoculate your pasteurized milk with a 2 heaping spoonfuls of store-bought plain yogurt with active live cultures (read the ingredients, it should list which cultures are in your yogurt). This is when you can also add a splash of Kefir if you’re feeling dangerous.
  5. Mix it up real good!
  6. Pour the water out of the jars, and pour the inoculated milk into your jars. Cover tightly, and place the filled jars in the warm water bath so that the water is just below the tops.
  7. Cover the pot with your jars in it and let sit UNDISTURBED for 24-36 hours to ferment.
  8. Replace the water halfway through with new warm water. I wrapped the pot in a towel and it kept it warm for a while.
  9. After fermentation, put your yogurt jars in the fridge and use the yogurt within 2-3 weeks. It’ll be chunkier than store bought yogurt because it’s not processed like the store bought stuff, but you can give it a good stir to smooth it out. Bonus: You can re-use your new yogurt culture to spawn more yogurt batches.

Voila! You just saved $3! …or if you go through yogurt at the clip I do, you saved about $500 per year AND saved all that  time you would have spent comparing yogurt prices in the grocery store.

This recipe has been adapted from this recipe.

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