You can make easy yogurt at home: Made fresh, it's nothing more than milk with a few tablespoons of storebought yogurt stirred in, which, after several hours of sitting around, turns all of the milk to yogurt. And it's full of probiotic bacteria (aka live cultures), thought to encourage healthy digestion.
Because fresh homemade yogurt--unlike commercially produced yogurt--has no gelatin, it has a soft, loose texture; if you want it to be firmer, you can boil the milk for 10 to 15 minutes before cooling it, to evaporate some of the water. (The yogurt will have a slightly "cooked" taste, though.) Or you can drain it in a cheesecloth-lined colander, set over a bowl in the fridge, until it's as thick as you like. If you'd like it to be tangier, just let it develop for a few more hours in its warm environment before chilling.
1 qt. milk (full-fat, low-fat, or nonfat)
2 tablespoons very fresh plain regular or Greek-style live-culture yogurt (full-fat, low-fat, or nonfat)
How to Make It
Pour milk into a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. When milk foams up, pour into a bowl and put bowl in a sink of cold water. Cool milk to 110°.
Whisk 1/4 cup 110° milk with yogurt in a bowl, then whisk into milk. Pour into 2 large glass jars, cover, wrap jars in towels, and put in a cooler. Add a few more jars filled with hot water to cooler to keep milk warm, and cover cooler. Let milk sit 8 to 12 hours to set (it will look and taste like yogurt when it's done). The longer it sits, the tangier it gets; chilling stops the process. Yogurt keeps, chilled, up to 1 week.
Nutritional analysis is per 3/4-cup serving (whole milk).
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Much better with the following tips: to make a thicker yogurt, place a coffee filter in a strainer, set over bowl to catch the liquid. Working in batches, fill the filter with the finished yogurt, let sit until almost half the liquid has drained out. Transfer to a bowl or other container while the you strain the rest of the yogurt. Once completely strained, use a hand mixer to whip the yogurt for a smooth texture. Viola! Plus, now you have the liquid whey to use in other recipes (instead of milk or water in any bread-type recipe).
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