With the growing trend for healthier lifestyle choices and organic foods, an obvious next step would be to make homemade foods. Homemade yogurt is easy to make, and has active bacteria that aids in digestion and kills viruses. Store-bought yogurt has been sitting on the shelf for varied amounts of time, but loses the active bacteria that is present in fresh yogurt. Homemade yogurt can be especially beneficial to those individuals like myself who follow a vegetarian diet with 13 grams of protein for each cup of yogurt, as well as calcium, potassium, folic acid, phosphorus and B complex. My mother has been making homemade yogurt for her household since I was a baby, and the taste and texture of her yogurt is smoother, and more rich than any store bought variety. Fresh yogurt can be flavored with frozen berries, or granola and dried fruits, and even added to smoothies for richness and taste. The unsweetened yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in any recipe. Surprisingly yogurt is very easy to make, either with an electric yogurt maker or without one, this recipe comes straight from my mother’s mouth:
4 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons active yogurt culture
Heat milk until it foams (about 160 degrees F)
Turn off heat and allow to cool (between 105-95 degrees F)
Mix cooled milk with yogurt
Pour milk/yogurt mixture into yogurt maker, let sit for 7 hours.
If you are making it without a yogurt maker you can place the mixture in a sterilized glass or ceramic bowl, cover with a lid and place in a warm place. For example, you can put it in the oven with just the light on. The light provides just enough warmth that is needed to activate the yogurt. If you do not have an oven light, you can put it on top of a toaster oven on the lowest setting for about 6 hours.
To sweeten yogurt for taste you can add maple syrup.
With this simple do-it-yourself recipe, homemade yogurt can be in your home and belly working it’s bacterial magic for a healthy diet additive.