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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Friday, August 8, 2014

That mysterious Greek yogurt

I have been making my own yogurt for 15 years, at least.  That often surprises people.  Yogurt really is easy to make!  (Oh - or maybe they're surprised that I  am making it.  I am NOT a confident cook.)  I've noticed a lot of people are confused about what Greek yogurt is.  Greek yogurt is simply regular yogurt with the whey strained out of it.  The result is a thicker yogurt that is more packed with protein.

Yogurt is a super healthy food, as long as you're not buying the store stuff that is packed with sugar.  I used to feed Lilly my homemade yogurt, right through her g-tube.  It's also much cheaper, to make yourself.

It's so easy to make.  You don't need fancy equipment.  I have made it in my crock pot before.  Other people use hot water in a cooler.  There are easy to find directions online for a variety of methods.  I thought I would just share a series of photos of how I make it to show how easy it is to do.

I own a yogurt maker.  I like the size and the consistent results I get.  And since I use it at least once a week, it has been a great investment for me.  My first yogurt maker lasted 14 years.  Last year I finally had to buy a new one.  I have this Euro Cuisine 2 quart yogurt maker.

I start by pouring 8 cups of milk into a pot.  (I use 4 cups of organic whole cow milk, and 4 cups of our own goat's milk.  I just don't like the full goat milk taste, yet, which is why I use cow milk too.)

Warm milk to 180 degrees.  (The thermometer was included with my yogurt maker.)

Then I remove the pot from the burner and cool the temperature back down to 140 degrees.  Once it's there, I add in one cup of already made yogurt, as a "starter."  Sometimes I like to use vanilla yogurt as my starter to give it a flavor.  But usually, I just add some sweetener when I am getting ready to eat it.  (flavored stevia, or honey, or maple syrup, or flavored protein powder, etc.)

Then I pour it all into my yogurt maker and plug it in.  The yogurt maker keeps it warm.  I usually leave it in there for about 8-10 hours.  Then I take out the inner container and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, if I want to turn my yogurt into Greek yogurt, I strain it.  I have this  Euro Cuisine Greek yogurt strainer for this purpose.   You can use cheese cloth or even a (clean) old t-shirt to do the straining.  But for me, since I do this so much, I like using the strainer.  Just scope out the yogurt into the strainer.

Then let it sit until it's the consistency you want.  If I'm going to strain for longer than an hour, I stick it in the refrigerator.  But I have found, straining a long time, leaves the yogurt too dry for my taste.  So I usually let mine strain for about an hour.  The whey is the yellowish liquid dripping into the bottom bowl.

When I'm done, I just scrape the yogurt out into glass jars, and then put them in the refrigerator.

I save some of the whey (it's in the blue jar pictured above) because I use it in things I make sometimes.  There are many things you can do with left over whey.  Here is a list of 16.  My favorite way is to feed it to our chickens!

Tabby's flock is happily drinking
There.  Wasn't that easy?  :)


  1. I have a yogurt maker that makes single serve jars (same company though, I think.) We just started making it last month, and it really is easy! Provided you don't leave it and let it boil over, or forget that it's cooling and go off to the store, of course. :) I've done both already...actually the same day which means it took me 3 quarts milk to make one quart yogurt. The taste is the same as the stonyfield plain I got before, and it's much cheaper. I was already sweetening and flavoring it myself before, so no difference there for me.

  2. LOL - I've made mistakes like that too before. I remember my mom making yogurt in the single serve jars like that when I was little. Thanks for leaving a comment!