There are so many products we buy automatically that we have come to assume that buying them is the only way to get them. When you start to rediscover what natural foods can do you very quickly realise how easy some of your most loved healthy food ideas are to recreate yourself, at home, naturally. This natural homemade yoghurt recipe is right up there with one of the easiest and most rewarding homemade foods. The health benefits of fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and yoghurts are becoming an ever-expanding craze. It is the live cultures in these products that make them so beneficial and one of the best healthy food ideas. When it comes to yoghurts there are many artificial versions available in stores containing only flavourants, sweeteners, preservatives and milk thickened with emulsifiers. Beware: if the ingredients do not list "live cultures" you are not getting the health benefit you are wanting from a yoghurt. Thankfully this Natural Homemade Yoghurt Recipe is so quick, easy and delicious you will never have to buy store bought yoghurts again.
Homemade Yoghurt: Guaranteed Easy Healthy Food IdeaWe all lead busy lives and have probably all long since concluded that if something has lots of ingredients, lots of steps and takes lots of time to prepare, chances are we won't make it very often, no matter how delicious it is. This homemade yogurt recipe requires 2 ingredients, takes 10 minutes to prepare and has only 4 steps (heat, cool, add cultures and let stand). It really is that easy!
- 1 liter of fresh full cream milk
- 2 tablespoons of yoghurt made with live cultures (Can be store bought or from your previous batch of homemade yoghurt)
Equipment and tools:
- A cooking thermometer (recommended but not essential)
- A pot large enough to fit 1 litre of milk
- A wonder bag, slow cooker or warmer drawer
- A standard flour sieve
- Storage container
- Pour milk into the pot and heat to just below boiling point, stirring regularly to avoid burning. If you are using a cooking thermometer heat the milk to between 80℃ and 90℃. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer heat the milk until it starts to form lots of small bubbles or froth around the edges.
- Remove the milk from the heat and allow to cool to a palatable temperature. If you are using a cooking thermometer allow to cool to around 45℃ to 50℃. If you are not using a cooking thermometer allow the milk to cool to a point that you can comfortably hold your finger in the milk for 5 seconds.
- Add 2 tablespoons of live culture yoghurt and stir until mixed evenly
- Place the pot into a Wonderbag or warmer drawer and leave to stand for 5 to 8 hours (Overnight works well). If using a slow cooker or warmer drawer set the temperature to maintain at approximately 30℃.
- Remove pot from heat source and strain yoghurt through sieve directly into a storage container.
Refrigerate and enjoy fresh homemade, naturally delicious, plain yoghurt!
Some tips for even better yoghurt
- It’s all about the cultures! Using cultures from a good quality live culture yoghurt makes all the difference. To start, use a yoghurt that you know you love, and has as few ingredients as possible (preferably one that only contains milk and yoghurt cultures). Yoghurts from your local yoghurt artisan are usually the best.
- Homemade yoghurt is surprisingly naturally sweet but for the most delicious yoghurt toppings we use blended berries or raw honey (or both, if you are feeling particularly inspired). To preserve shelf life, we recommend mixing in toppings as you serve the yoghurt instead of into the entire batch. Left plain and refrigerated the yoghurt should last a week to 10 days.
- Your yoghurt will likely taste so good that the family will gobble it down within a day or 2. Don’t forget to save at least 2 tablespoons to use to make your next batch! Don’t worry about being a bit heavy handed, putting in more than 2 tablespoons will not adversely affect your new batch of yoghurt.
- Waiting for milk to almost boil only takes 5 to 7 minutes but is not the most interesting of tasks. Heat the milk and make your yoghurt while you cook dinner, so you are close at hand to stir periodically but still stimulated with other activities.
Want to make thicker, Greek-style yoghurt?
This homemade yoghurt recipe can be transformed into thick Greek-style yoghurt with the addition of a few simple steps!
- Once you have strained the yoghurt, rinse the sieve. Line the clean sieve with cheesecloth or muslin cloth and pour the yoghurt back into the sieve.
- Leave the sieve to drain over a bowl in the fridge until the yoghurt has reached the desired thickness (usually a few hours). The whey will slowly separate from the curds to leave you with beautiful, double thick yoghurt. The longer you leave the yoghurt to drain the thicker the yoghurt will become. Leave it long enough (12 hours or more) and you will end up with beautiful yoghurt cream cheese.
- Decant your Greek yogurt or cream cheese into a storage container and enjoy!
PS: The excess liquid whey can be used as a substitute for buttermilk in any other recipe.
Yoghurt: Another magical ingredient we didn’t know about!
Yoghurt isn’t just a delicious snack or breakfast option. It can be used in a host of different food applications like dips, sauces, marinades or even a substitute for egg in baking (1/4 cup yoghurt to 1 egg). But did you know, because the lactic acid in yoghurt contains alpha-hydroxy acid, it can also be used in an incredible list of beauty applications and other out-the-box ways?
Other healthy food ideas and applications for yoghurt
Beauty uses for yoghurt:
- Anti aging and skin clarifying masks. The lactic acid in yoghurts contains alpha-hydroxy acid which stimulates exfoliation and skin renewal. By using it in a turmeric and yoghurt mask you can ensure you skin will stay healthy.
- Relives sunburn. Yoghurt contains zinc which soothes sunburned skin and relieves the itchiness.
- Conditioning hair mask. Yoghurt clears dead skin cells on the scalp which assists in stimulating the hair follicles. Yoghurt also contains vitamins D and B5 as well as proteins, helping to repair damaged hair when used in conjunction with other ingredients to form a mask.
Other uses for yoghurt:
- Brass cleaner. Rub yoghurt onto the brass and leave to dry for few minutes so the lactic acid can work its magic. Rinse off the dried yoghurt and polish the item using a soft cloth for a super shine!
- Edible finger paint. Mix yoghurt with some food colouring to make finger paints that little ones can safely put in their mouths.
Excited to put this homemade yoghurt recipe to the test? Let us know how it turns out.
Watch out for our next post on why putting food on your face and bodies is incredible along with our favourite face mask using yoghurt!
If you are interested in more healthy food ideas check out our other natural recipes.