Make yogurt at home for 1/3 the cost of store-bought yogurt. It just takes a few minutes using the tricks it took me several batches to discover. And you'll won't be using a little plastic cup and foil lid for every serving either, cutting down on the amount of trash produced.
Yogurt is amazingly easy to make at home, once you know how, and tastes at least as good as the store-bought kind. The trick is to use the ways perfected over centuries in Turkey and India. Many modern recipes call for all sorts of unneeded extra steps and ingredients. But in fact, cleanliness, time, and gentleness are the keys to thick yogurt.
Yogurt is a perfect example of how you can gain some of the Seven Lively Savings when you Cook for Good:
- Save money. Organic homemade yogurt costs 33 cents for six ounces, compared to 99 cents for manufactured yogurt. Regular homemade yogurt costs 20 cents for six ounces, compare to 60 cents for the manufactured version. In each case, that's a savings of 66%.
- Save your mind. If you flavor the yogurt at all, you'll be using fresh fruit or spices. Serve with fresh fruit and add only as much sweetener as you want. You won't be adding the high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, preservatives, or thickeners found in manufactured yogurt.
- Save your family. Teach your kids how to make yogurt or at least have a chat with them while you heat the milk. Create memories of family time at home instead of at the grocery store.
- Save your community. You may be lucky enough to have quality yogurt makers nearby, but I'm not. Yet I can buy local milk and make yogurt, supporting my local dairy farmers.
- Save the planet. That's a big one for yogurt. You can greatly reduce buying the plastic cups and foil or plastic lids that manufactured yogurt comes in. Buy just enough for your starter yogurt. If you have an individual package of yogurt every day, you'll add between 4 and 6 pounds of plastic and foil to the landfill each year. If you are using locally produced milk, you will be cutting down on food miles too.
- Savor your food. Homemade yogurt is delicious. You can make it as thin or as thick as you want. I had some friends over the other day for dinner and the two young girls devoured the plain yogurt I'd set out as a topping for the beans. One of them begged her mother to start making yogurt at home herself. And this was just plain yogurt!
Recipe of the week: Home made yogurt, of course
Live yogurt starter and milk are the only ingredients. You don't need to add powdered milk or gelatin as some recipes call for. Bringing the milk to a boil and cooling it slowly changes the structure of the milk so it will thicken up enough on its own. Here's the recipe and instructions for making a yogurt nest and using yogurt starter.