Yoghurt is our weekly must make product. We usually use 2L of Cleopatra’s raw cow’s milk (including the cream on top), heat it to 85° C then let it cool to 43° C. Since raw milk is illegal to sell for consumption in Australia, Cleopatra’s raw milk is sold as Bath Milk, for cosmetic purposes only… but if you aren’t “brave” enough to use raw milk or can’t get a hold of it, just buy some organic pasteurised unhomogenised milk (see the UPDATE at the end of this post for more information).
We then add 2 grains of the yoghurt culture… we got ours from cheeselinks.com and chose the type below but you can find other types elsewhere too… (you can also use a few tablespoons of a good quality store bought yoghurt instead, see the UPDATE at the end of this post).
… and incubate it overnight at around 43° C (we just put it in a preheated oven that’s been turned off with the light kept on).
How easy is that??
We eat it with our homemade muesli, with curry, make a cucumber and yoghurt salad, make a lemon-yoghurt-oil salad dressing, drizzle it over orange couscous with dates and pistachios, have it for dessert over fresh fruit and now we are trying to make frozen yoghurt…
Yoghurt with Fruit
Cucumber Yoghurt or Raita or Tzatziki…
Strawberry Yoghurt with Nectarines
Roast Sweet Potato (from our garden) and Pumpkin Salad with Lemon Yoghurt Dressing
Yoghurt with our home made muesli
And it’s not just that this yoghurt is delicious. It provides us with the probiotics needed to grow lots of friendly bacteria to overcome pathogens and disease. We use a yoghurt culture that survives the digestive process and continues to proliferate down to the intestinal tract and lower bowel. According to Elisabeth Fekonia (who taught us how to make yoghurt – and if you get the chance, you should not miss out on one of her workshops!), we are born with a good supply of this bacteria but tend to lose them with our modern lifestyles, antibiotics, stress and bad diets but by regularly consuming this sort of yoghurt we can maintain healthy bowel flora. And by experience, JSR’s lifelong poor digestion has dramatically improved. Also, commercial yoghurts have all sorts of extras like fillers and powdered milk added to them to make them thicker.
The jars of yoghurt and stewed (seasonal, organic and local) fruit in the photograph below have description tags because we made them as part of our Christmas gifts. It was a great success :). To see more of the produce we made, click here.
If you are interested in other ways you can transform milk, see our previous posts on making brie and butter and keep an eye out for coming posts describing how you can easily make kefir, ghee, sour cream and cottage cheese at home too.
If you can’t get your hands on raw milk, you can still make yoghurt with pasteurised milk… just skip the step of heating up to 85° C and heat straight to 43° C.
If you don’t want to buy the yoghurt culture grains, you can simply use a couple of tablespoons of a store bought good quality live cultured yoghurt. Once you have made your first batch of yoghurt, simply keep a few tablespoons aside for inoculating your next batch. Apparently this will only work a handful of times though.
A suggestion I’ve seen for lengthening the use of your store bought good quality live cultured yoghurt:
- Divide the store bought yoghurt into portions of 2-3 tablespoons and freeze them.
- Use one portion of your store bought frozen yoghurt to make your new homemade yoghurt.
- Keep 2-3 tablespoons of your new homemade yoghurt and continue this process for the next 5 or so batches.
- Now use your next frozen portion… and repeat above.