Think, Read, Cook

Because no single way of eating works for everybody.

Eat Food, Not Products: Yogurt


One of my pet peeves with the Food Processing Industry is the way they’ll take a food that’s natural and nutritious, and turn it into a Product that’s artificial and Bad For You. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. In fact, if you’re reading this blog, you probably agree with me about that.  🙂

And so… a recipe, with a bit of a rant.

If you’ve got yogurt in your fridge, take a look at the label on the package. Chances are it’s one of the labels in this link. It may be the one that’s just made with milk and cream and cultures (well, and pectin, or carrageenan). Or it may be the one that includes modified cornstarch, tricalcium phosphate, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, added colouring, and “natural flavours”. Which, as far as I can tell, is a clear case of taking something traditionally nutritious, and turning it into… something else. Something that’s made in a lab and filled with freakiness and tastes as bad as it sounds. Something you shouldn’t put into your mouth!

Which ever kind of yogurt it is, it’s not at its freshest. And it’s expensive.

Here, then, is how to beat this yogurt racket: make your own. It’s really easy: many methods say to heat the milk, but if you use pasteurized milk you don’t need to. You don’t need a yogurt-maker either, or special containers. Just a couple of ingredients, and five minutes of effort, and the next day you’ll have all-natural yogurt, with nothing in it that you don’t want there.

And it’s cheap.


Homemade Yogurt – Easiest Ever



1/4 cup plain active-culture yogurt (with as few additives as possible)

4 cups milk (or mixture of milk and cream, if you want thicker yogurt)



1.  Thoroughly mix yogurt with milk or milk-cream mixture in a very clean covered container, preferably glass. (Add some milk to the yogurt first to make a liaison, then stirred that mixture thoroughly into the rest of the milk.)

2.  If you’re using cold milk right out of the fridge, heat your oven to 170°F. If using room-temperature milk, heat your oven to 100-110°F. When oven is up to temperature, turn off.

3.  Put covered container into the oven and leave it there for 8 or 9 hours.

4.  Remove container of yogurt and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Now you’ve got 4 cups of yogurt – enjoy! It’s especially good with a little manuka honey drizzled over the top, or with some fresh fruit and nuts. Or with anything else you like to have with yogurt. Tastes fresh, and it should keep for at least 5 days in the fridge… unless you’ve eaten it all by then.

Note: 1/4 cup of this yogurt can be used as the basis for your next batch of yogurt. After a few iterations it does make the yogurt more sour, so you’ll want to get one of those small containers of plain natural yogurt from the store every few batches to begin a new cycle of bacterial culture.



13 comments on “Eat Food, Not Products: Yogurt

  1. ihave2kitchens
    April 1, 2013

    My father used to heat raw local buffalo milk and turn into a rich creamy yoghurt, clotted cream and some milk for our use.
    However, as you mentioned pasteurised milk does not need re-heating and would make yoghurt making so much easier.
    Thanks for sharing, I certainly will give this short version a try now!

    • thinkreadcook
      April 1, 2013

      Wow… buffalo milk! That’s cool. I’ve never had the chance to try it. How is it different from cow’s milk?

      • ihave2kitchens
        April 1, 2013

        Buffalo milk has a much higher fat content than cow milk, so resulting in a much creamier, thicker and equally delicious yoghurt, cream or even milk. It was also very satiating so a glass of milk (which we had scooped a lot of the fat for clotted cream) went a long way. It made cow’s milk taste so bland in comparison! Try buffalo mozzarella if you can find it. It’s so delicious.

      • thinkreadcook
        April 1, 2013

        I will! It sounds like it would make truly awe-inspiring yogurt, indeed!

  2. What's Cooking Mum
    April 1, 2013

    I agree, I have always made my own yogurt too. I like to know what is in my food..

    • thinkreadcook
      April 1, 2013

      Definitely! I really like the looks of your spicy garlic new potato recipe, by the way… going to make it soon! 🙂

  3. Catherine Crockett
    April 2, 2013

    I’ve been eating the Liberty Mediterranean yogurt, and it’s excellent, but it probably costs about double what it would to make it myself. I shall have to try this.

    • thinkreadcook
      April 2, 2013

      I haven’t yet tried Greek style yogurt; more cream, maybe? If you add gelatin to it you can make it as thick as you like, but I think that’s cheating! 🙂

  4. Claudia
    April 9, 2013

    You can get the yogurt to taste more “greeky” if you drain it a little – just place it in a a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel over a bowl. The water will drain out the bottom and the creamy goodness stays on top.

  5. Pingback: From the Food Cosmos #8 | Papaya Pieces

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