When I first came to Korea, I was pretty appalled by the yogurt selection, and price. Korea loves tiny little portions- which is fine, but when the price is double what you’d pay back home in Canada, for a quarter of the size, you get pretty bummed out. Being the thrifty person that I am, I decided to investigate making my own yogurt. Not only could I save money by making a bigger batch- but I could also control what goes into my finished product. Another problem (for me) with Korean varieties of yogurt, is that they have lots of sugar in them, which I don’t want. So, this was my second reason to opt for a homemade version.
And when I began using the wonder of Google to help with my dilemma, I found so many resources- all sharing the same sentiment: yogurt is actually really easy to make. Like really easy. There are some pretty incredible blogs out there, dedicated to the craft of homemade yogurt, so I will definitely point you over there if you want to know the in depth details (Salad in a Jar is awesome) but I thought I would also share my process, considering I’ve mentioned yogurt a few times on this blog.
So, let’s get started! I will specifically share the brands I used here in Korea, because I know they work- so if you are in a different country, I’d recommend doing a simple Google search (“homemade greek yogurt in Canada”) and going there for advice.
Homemade Fat Free Greek Yogurt
You will need:
1 L low heat milk (I used Pasteur brand skim milk)
2 tbsp starter yogurt (I used some starter I saved from my previous batch, but you can use Danone or Activia plain)
- Leave your starter yogurt on the counter so it warms to room temperature.
- Heat the milk to 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). I used a thermometer to measure the first few times, but you can also judge by sight- you should see little bubbles coming off the surface, but not so much that it’s boiling. I used to do this on the stove top, but I’ve been lazy lately and actually I’ve been microwaving it. I find this is less messy because usually the milk starts to coat the bottom of the saucepan, which doesn’t happen when I microwave it.
- Now, leave your milk to cool to about 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). This takes a while, depending on how warm your kitchen is, usually about 45-60 mins for me. Again, I used a thermometer to measure at first, but now I just judge by a lukewarm feel.
- When the milk has cooled, mix in your starter yogurt using a whisk. I always leave some yogurt in the bottom of my container from the previous batch, then I just pour the cooled milk into the container and stir in the old yogurt. Sound gross? Well it’s bacteria so get over it.
- Pour the mixture into a glass container with a lid. Can you use plastic? Probably but I’d recommend glass.
- Put your container in a warm place for about 8 hours or overnight. Somewhere where the temperature will remain a steady 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). For me, that means wrapped in an electric blanket set on low. You can find some other ideas here for incubating your yogurt)
- Your yogurt is done when it has thickened considerably and usually has a clear whey layer on the top. At this time, you can leave it as is, and chill to be consumed as regular yogurt. Or, you can follow one more step to make greek yogurt.
- To make the yogurt into greek yogurt, simply line a mesh sieve with cheesecloth and pour the yogurt onto it. Set this over a large bowl. Leave in the fridge for a few hours, until you have a thick, cream cheese like consistency. You will see a large amount of clear whey has collected into the bowl. Here are some ideas for what to do with your leftover whey, or you can discard it.
- Enjoy your thick, creamy delicious greek yogurt!!!
Mmmmm.. so thick and creamy!!!
Reasons to make your own yogurt:
- It’s bad ass.
- Saves you money.
- Gives you control over what goes into your yogurt.
- Allows you to choose the fat content- skim, 1%, 2%.. by the milk you choose.
- Is better for the environment- you don’t create more plastic containers, and instead, reuse your own.
- Allows you to practice your science experiment talents that haven’t been exercised since elementary school 😉
It looks like whipped cream or something!! But actually- it’s fat free yogurt, ready for you to mix in some vanilla, stevia, cinnamon and enjoy with whatever you like!
But I like to add all kinds of other things too! Stay tuned for a follow up post where I share this recipe pictured here 🙂
Have you tried making your own yogurt before? What are your favourite ways to eat it?