I love to eat yogurt. I like it plain, with just a smidgen of raw honey mixed in. Yum. HOWEVER. I am not a fan of buying individual yogurt cups – wasteful plastic! I solved this problem by making my own yogurt at home.
There are plenty of resources available on the interwebs for DIY yogurt-making using quart jars and coolers and thermometers and towels. Me? I’m a plug and play girl at heart, set it and forget it. I invested in a yogurt maker.
There are a lot of yogurt makers on the market, and the one I chose meets my specific needs. There are only three adults living in my household, and I’m really the only one who eats the yogurt, so I don’t need to make more than a quart a week. I also like individual servings, because it helps with portion control. When I used to buy yogurt by the quart, I had a problem with eating too much at a time… (It’s sooo good and sooo easy to scoop out more than you need!) I have this Deni yogurt maker. It’s one of the more inexpensive models out there, and do shop around online to find the best price.
The Deni yogurt maker comes with six glass cups (no plastic cups, yay!) with rubbery plastic lids. The lids are good – they “stick” to the glass well without being rigid and thus likely to break. I’ve seen complaints on various sites about the jar shape being hard to clean, hard to eat out of, etc. Whatever. I don’t have this problem, I think the jars are fine. They go right in the dishwasher, and I store the empty jars in the yogurt maker until it’s time for the next batch. Easy peasy.
The recipe that comes with the machine is very simple. 1 qt of milk is heated to just under a boil, let cool, add 1/2 cup of active culture yogurt, stir well to combine, then pour in the jars and plug in the machine. The timer starts at 6 hours and goes to 12. I use the full 12 hours, because I like a tart yogurt. I used Nancy’s Yogurt as my starter because it has the most variety of live cultures of pretty much anything on the shelf at the store. I reserve a jar from the previous batch to start the next batch – which is a bit overkill, but it’s easy. When I’m down to one jar, it’s time to make more!
If you need to make more than 1 quart at a time, or cook with yogurt a lot and the jars are inconvenient – I read a nifty idea of using glass quart jars, wrapping in a towel and setting atop your heat-producing electronic equipment like a computer. That seems clever and a fun way to harness wasted heat…
I like making yogurt. It’s inexpensive, it’s tasty, and no more wasteful plastic. I want to get some non-homogenized milk and make cream top yogurt for a treat, soon…