I’ve seen it done by Rebecca Rhodes and Mrs. Rain from Rain Country Homestead: Delicious, homemade yogurt. Not that stuff you get at the store. Oh no. This! This would require my hands to get a bit messy. I mean, it was my first time making it, so of course, there was spillage and a lot of cursing. But, I ended up with half a gallon and one additional quart of plain, organic, whole-milk yogurt.
Alright! So we went to our local grocery store and on a whim, I explained to Alex about making homemade yogurt. I had watched a video from Justin Rhode’s Youtube vlog about a month ago and had been toying with the idea ever since. Alex took to the idea immediately and motivated me by adding two gallons of milk to my shopping cart. I’m actually not a big fan of yogurt, but I felt that it might be beneficial to add it into my diet, even if it meant forcing myself to eat it.
No one really likes to admit this, but when you’re used to eating garbage from a drive-thru, healthy food tastes worse than that hour old Spicy McChicken you ordered. It may be because my taste buds are just enamored with all that artificial fat, sugar, and salt, but man does that preference mess up my healthy eating habits. I’m choking down salads over here, wishing they were donuts. Disgusting.
So, in order to move away from trash eating, I figured making my own yogurt would be a good start. If I ever bought yogurt in the past, it was usually a store brand, vanilla greek yogurt. Not organic, never taking into account how much sugar was put into it, or even caring that a live culture existed. To make homemade yogurt, I at least had to care that an ACTIVE culture was partying up in that jar, not some lazy, uncultured swine of a yogurt. But, I actually ended up worrying myself into a corner of additional misery and desperation.
I turned to an experienced hand. According to Mrs. Rain from Rain Country Homestead, making yogurt actually isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The ingredients were simple: one cup of a yogurt base or yogurt with an active culture; and some whole milk. Wanting to take it even a step further, I chose an organic, plain yogurt as my starter and organic whole-milk. Some homestead vloggers, I have noticed, have a preference for raw milk. Some even make yogurt out of sheep and goats milk!
This is the Youtube video I followed along to make my yogurt: How to Make Yogurt.
It took me a whole day and night to make the yogurt. Don’t let that frighten you. 24 hours of that time were dedicating to just letting the yogurt mixture sit in the dark and mull over its own thoughts. That may be why it comes out so tart.
I’m kidding. Yogurt tastes tart in general.
Out of seven cups of whole milk, I yielded half a gallon of yogurt and over a quart of whey. I didn’t manage to measure the whey out completely, since the excess that I couldn’t fit in my jar was mixed with some dog kibble and fed to our black lab, Capuline. Homesteader’s such as Bri from Art and Bri recommend keeping the whey and finding other uses for it:
- Soak legumes and grains. Rices too!
- Use as a replacement for water or milk in smoothies
- Add to pet food for extra nourishment
- Substitute for buttermilk in biscuits and pancakes
- Diluted whey can be added to your gardens.
- NOTE: Acid whey is produced as a watery solution left over after straining yogurt. It is also the byproduct of cheese, such as queso fresco, which is produced by heating up a solution of milk and an acid (usually lemon or vinegar) and straining the curds. Acid whey should be diluted very, very well before being added to the garden. Even the most acid loving plants can get burned if you water them with straight whey.
- If nothing else, throw it in your compost bin, NOT down the drain
My quart of whey is sitting in the fridge and will be used to make Capu some yummy doggy cereal. I’m not going to feed it to him on a regular basis, however, so I will also be freezing some of the whey in ice trays to use later. I made so much yogurt that I may end up making yogurt ice pops too. Yum!
As always, be kind, be tender to yourself.