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Making your own yogurt

About four years ago I started making yogurt for the family, because of a couple of reasons. First, there is so much sugar in most yogurts! Take a look at the labels if you don't believe me. Second, the cost. At the rate I was consuming, yogurt was becoming a $100 a month investment. Don't believe me? Start adding it up! So...I bought this great little yogurt contraption and haven't stopped since. Here's what you do:

Measure 5 cups of milk (I use organic 2%, but you could use quite a range of products in this recipe)

Poor into a pan with a liquid candy thermometer. The key here is to heat the milk slowly to 160 degrees. If you heat it too fast or go over that temperature, the yogurt is gritty and watery. It will take about 15 minutes or so.

After it heats to 160, let it cool down on the counter until the temperature goes back down to 110. About another 15 minutes.

When it hits 110, add a 7 oz container of plain yogurt that you like. I love Fage 2% yogurt. It seems to always setup with this yogurt. Do not use flavored yogurt at this point, it has to be plain.

Mix together, poor into the little cups, put the lid from the maker on (don't put the individual lids on until it's done) and let it do it's magic for about 8-10 hours. Do not rush this, if you do the yogurt won't firm up or it will be way too watery.

After that time, put the lids on and refrigerate until you're ready to eat.

The nice thing about this yogurt:

*After you make a batch, you can use one of the containers for the starter for the next batch (but you can only do that once).

*You can add fruit spread or honey to sweeten a little after the process to whatever degree you like it sweetened.

*My kids love this yogurt and enjoy putting in granola, fruit, whatever they dream up. It's a fantastic snack idea for kids.

*You have these nifty little glass cups that you use over and're not adding to the plastic landfills.

*The cost-only investment you have is a 6 oz container of yogurt to buy and five cups of good milk. Maybe that's about $4-5 , depending where you live and what you buy. A lot of yogurts can cost upwards to $3 apiece for one serving, I get seven servings from this recipe. So if you do the math:

Purchased Pre-Made Yogurt: $3.00 for a special yogurt X 7 = $21.00

My yogurt: costs about $4.50 for 7 portions total

Savings =$14.00 per batch (WOW) and I make about 4 batches per month. Double wow!

So...if you want to eat healthy on a budget, try this great recipe out!

P.S. I purchased the yogurt maker on and I've easily recouped the cost many times over.

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