Homemade Yogurt – Anyone else make it? I have a few questions..
Truthfully, I’m not a fan of yogurt. Custard, yes! Crème fraiche, be still my heart. But yogurt never really turned me on. A couple years ago I decided I needed the probiotics, so I went on a store-bought yogurt kick. Lasted 2 weeks. Must’ve tried every brand and ‘style’ I could find: unflavored; fruit in the bottom; flavored; flavored with fruit mixed in; thick custard style. The 3rd week’s yogurts languished in the fridge, and eventually needed to be tossed due to a green fuzzy substance growing on top. Then I saw the tv ads for Greek yogurt. It just looked so good! I tried 2 brands and gave up, as I felt it was flavorless and chalky on the tongue. So, no, I’m not a yogurt fan.
And then, Covid. Hard to find foods and ingredients but milk has been easy to find. My appetite has not been good, especially in the mornings. So, I thought, let’s try this again, but since I have an Instant Pot, maybe homemade might be more to my liking. Doubtful, but I dove right in. Instead of buying yogurt as a starter (our store sells it only in packs, which was too wasteful), I purchased dry yogurt starter on Amazon: Yogourmet Casei Bifidus Acidophilus Probiotic Yogurt Starter.
Easy enough. Milk, yogurt with active culture or yogurt starter, a thermometer… and time. First batch was actually nice, a bit tart, but I made smoothies by adding banana, tiny ice cubes, and blending. 2nd batch I used the previously made yogurt as my starter. Heaven! Tart, but the right amount of tart. I didn’t remove the whey. This made it a bit loose, more so than you’d get at the store, but I had no issues with that. I found I loved yogurt! I don’t add sugar or vanilla.
Still, I thought, let’s take it a step further and try Greek, so after reviewing all the methods to remove the whey, I tried this one: Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Strainer Pouch, Ultra-Fine 100 Micron Nylon
Left it in the fridge to strain overnight, and on first glimpse thought ‘oh no, chalky’. But no, it wasn’t chalky, and that lovely mildly tart flavor was intensified. Perfect to eat as is. I found myself eating spoonful’s throughout the day, just because.
I use the non-strained yogurt for smoothies, to which I add bananas, frozen fruit, and a few tiny ice cubes (I’ve mini cube trays), blended in a very old blender until thick. Banana, mango, peach, strawberry was on tap this morning:
Have you ever made your own yogurt, do you like it, and how do you make yours? Do you strain the whey? Do you add anything to it? I occasionally add a bit of vanilla to mine, DH seems to find that more palatable, and he always wants a smoothie every morning (I remember a few years ago the man swearing on his very life he’d never ever eat yogurt!).
I’ve been freezing tablespoons of yogurt from each batch to use as my starter/culture. I’ve read that you can only use it up to 8 times. Does anyone know why or if this is true? I’ve not noticed a change in texture or flavor at all since the 2nd batch. Have you used your previous batch as a culture beyond 8 times? How long does yours keep? I’ve been making it about once every week to week and a half (using 2 quarts of milk).