52 Homesteading Skills in One Year – Project #7: Homemade yogurt
Yeah, right, Kimberlee. Your 3 year old can make yogurt? I don’t believe you.
Oh yes, he can! Because I’ve scoured the globe to find the easiest – and I mean the very, very easiest – way to make homemade yogurt. Are you ready for this?
- You pour milk in a jar and add some starter yogurt.
- You let the milk sit on your counter until it turns to yogurt.
That’s it!!! Really, that’s all it takes to make yogurt. And you can save upwards of $700 a year by making your own.
If you’ve never made yogurt before, maybe you’re not that impressed. But the traditional way of making yogurt involves heating your milk, stirring your milk, cooling your milk… Basically, you need time and patience. If not, you end up with milk, not yogurt. Just trust me on this one.
I never had enough time or patience – until now. Now I’m back in the yogurt making business thanks to a little known yogurt starter called FILMJÖLK from Canadian culture experts – Culture Mother. They sell several varieties of yogurt cultures, which can all be made at room temperature.
If you like the taste and texture of commercial yogurts, you’ll want to try VILI, a mild tasting yogurt with a smooth texture. But, much to my family’s dismay, I decided to try FILMJÖLK, a thick, custard-like yogurt with a cheesy flavour. Because who doesn’t like cheesy yogurt? What? You don’t?
Okay, I’ll be honest. I’m the only one in our family who likes it. I’ve been using it as a vegetable dip and enjoying the occasional bowlful for breakfast topped with cinnamon and oranges. But I understand not everyone likes cottage cheese-like yogurt. In that case, go for the VILI or check out another of the yogurt starter options from Culture Mother.
The point is if your family enjoys yogurt and you have literally two seconds a week to spare, you could not only save yourself upwards of $700 a year by making your own, but you’ll also be on your way to becoming a really cool homesteader like me. Oh, come on! I’m cool or rad or whatever the kids are saying these days. Hmm…maybe no one cool ever said rad. Yeah, okay. So I might be more of a homesteading geek. But never mind that. Make the yogurt. Save yourself some money and do yourself proud. But first….
How much you’ll save:
Cost of Yogurt:
Approx. $1.60 to $2.33 per cup
Cost of milk:
0.44 per cup
Cost of cereal cream:
0.82 per cup
0.78 to 1.89 per cup
Our family of four goes through approximately two litres of yogurt a week. By making our own, we can save $6.24 to $15.12 a week. Over a year, that’s $324.48 to $786.24. Think of what you could do with that money. You could save up for a cow or a goat!
What are you waiting for? Let’s start making homemade yogurt.
Milk, cream or for my non-dairy friends: non-milk alternatives such as coconut, soy, rice or almond milk*
Yogurt starter (Check out Canadian culture experts, Culture Mother, for several options.)
*Note: To activate your yogurt starter, you will need to use pure cow or goat’s milk. After that, you can use any alternative milk. If it doesn’t thicken enough to your liking, you can strain it.
Follow the directions that come with your yogurt starter to activate your culture.
Pour your milk or cream (The instructions for FILMJÖLK recommends cream over milk for a thick, Greek style yogurt. Otherwise, use milk.) into a jar and stir in 1 tbsp of yogurt starter for every cup of milk/cream.
Cover with a cloth and let sit at room temperature until your yogurt has the consistency of custard, approximately 12 to 48 hours. It may take longer if your room temperature is cooler than 20 C.
Screw on a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Now here is my video proof that a three year old can, in fact, make yogurt. Please note that in the video I say to let the yogurt sit on your counter for 12 to 24 hours. I should have said 12 to 48 hours.
I still can’t believe this works. It is one of those things that just seems too easy to be true. But for once, it really is this easy. And as long as you save a small portion of your pure, unflavoured yogurt to make the next batch, you can continue making homemade yogurt forever. Aren’t you excited?