Author Topic: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!  (Read 3184 times)

kcuevas

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I recently started making my own yogurt in my crockpot, and I can't believe I didn't try it sooner!!  It's super easy and so, so delicious.  I went from spending anywhere from $14-$28/week for yogurt with added sugar and recycling/throwing away 14 plastic cups per week to spending $4-6 for no sugar added, organic yogurt with no plastic containers!!!! 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2019, 04:22:05 AM »
I've seen quite a few people post they do that I have not yet. We always seem to have good sales of like 29 cents a piece but I still would like to give it a shot. Have you figured out a cost ? also if you have a recipe you followed would be nice

cassafrass

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 06:14:17 AM »
Way to go!

I'd also love to see a recipe. I've heard of people doing it with the fancy "yogurt" setting on their Instant Pot, but mine doesn't have one. So if I can do it with my crockpot, I might give it a shot.

Parizade

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 07:02:51 AM »

I'd also love to see a recipe.

me too!

jeninco

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 10:03:36 AM »
I started this because I was doing a trash audit (at the time plastic yogurt cups weren't recyclable -- they still aren't, many places) and yogurt containers were a big contributor to our trash. (Even though we were purchasing larger containers.)

Our "recipe":
1/2 gallon milk (we get it delivered, so it's not super-cheap, but it is grass/silage fed and local, which I care about)
1 small container plain brown cow yogurt (you won't use it all, and it doesn't need to be this brand -- this gives me a thickness that I like, but be sure to choose something with "live cultures")

Also,
two wide-mouth quart glass jars,
one travel-sized cooler (the size that holds two six-packs of cans is what we have),
one heating pad (ours is filled with rice, and gets heated in the microwave),
a couple of dishtowels.
Glass measuring cup, or something that'll hold about 1 cup with room to stir.

Warm the milk until it's just starting to froth/expand. Then turn it off. Let cool to around 110 degrees F.
Meanwhile, take two clean wide-mouth quart jars (ours used to hold .. sauerkraut? maybe?). Rinse them out with boiling water, including the lids. Put upside down on a clean dishtowel to dry out a bit.
When the milk has cooled to 110,  spoon a little less then half the yogurt into a glass measuring cup (or anything else: I like this because it has a spout and is easy to clean). Add several spoonfuls of the warmed/cooled milk, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Dump it back into the pot, and stir.
Begin heating the hot pad in the microwave, if that's the kind you're using.

Pour the milk mixture carefully into the clean jars (I do the pouring in the sink, because that way stray spills are no big deal). Wipe off the jar lips, if you need to, put on the lids, and put them in the cooler. Wrap with towels and add the hot pack. (The idea is to keep things warm for a bunch of hours). Close the cooler. Go to bed, or away for 7-10 hours.

When you get up/return, take out a bottle and have a look by tipping it slightly. The top layer should be solid-ish. Put in the fridge -- it'll continue to set up while it cools.

If you want it "fruit", add a spoonful of jam (or honey, or frozen fruit) when you eat it. We have ours with granola (which I also make, and is only slightly sweetened) and fresh fruit or applesauce (in the winter). Or we use it in savory dishes.

FireLane

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 01:57:46 PM »
I've been doing this too. It saves a lot of money and has less sugar than store-bought yogurt, plus you can make flavors they don't sell in stores.

My "recipe": I pour a half-gallon of whole milk into a pot and put it on the stove, stirring so it doesn't burn on the bottom. I keep track of the temperature with a candy thermometer, and when it's between 190 and 200 degrees (steaming but not boiling), turn off the heat and let it cool to 115 degrees. Stir occasionally as it cools so it doesn't develop a skin.

When the milk is at the right temperature, stir in a carton of regular plain yogurt, or a cup of yogurt from your last good batch. Then put a lid on the pot, wrap it in dish towels and put it in a turned-off oven overnight, which keeps it insulated so it stays at that temperature as long as possible. In the morning, you have yogurt.

Once it's done, you can mix in the flavors. I've done brown sugar and cinnamon, cocoa, espresso powder, and almost any kind of pureed fruit.

misshathaway

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2019, 03:55:02 AM »
Stir occasionally as it cools so it doesn't develop a skin.

IMO the skin is the best part. It tastes very rich. Even if you don't like it, if you don't disturb the milk, after it cools it comes off in one piece. It is unpleasant to find pieces of it in the finished yogurt.

Very easy in the InstaPot with a gallon of milk. I am one person and it keeps in the fridge until I finish it. It ends up not being a whole gallon of yogurt though b/c I strain it for 4 hours.

SquashingDebt

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2019, 11:06:28 AM »
Before I got my InstantPot, I used basically the same method as FireLane, except I do a gallon at a time.  I let it culture in a big pot (the thermal mass of doing a whole gallon helps it to retain enough heat, I've found), then put it in two half-gallon Ball jars for fridge storage.  It last me at least 3 weeks without spoiling, so I don't have to make it that often.

@soccerluvof4 - In terms of cost, if you're not straining it to make greek yogurt, the cost of your milk is the cost of the same volume of yogurt - so I get a gallon of yogurt for $3 or whatever a gallon of milk costs.

One note:  I have to use conventional milk for this because I can't get organic milk that's not ultra-pasteurized.  Ultra-pasteurized milk doesn't work as well to make yogurt.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2019, 04:03:52 AM »
Before I got my InstantPot, I used basically the same method as FireLane, except I do a gallon at a time.  I let it culture in a big pot (the thermal mass of doing a whole gallon helps it to retain enough heat, I've found), then put it in two half-gallon Ball jars for fridge storage.  It last me at least 3 weeks without spoiling, so I don't have to make it that often.

@soccerluvof4 - In terms of cost, if you're not straining it to make greek yogurt, the cost of your milk is the cost of the same volume of yogurt - so I get a gallon of yogurt for $3 or whatever a gallon of milk costs.

One note:  I have to use conventional milk for this because I can't get organic milk that's not ultra-pasteurized.  Ultra-pasteurized milk doesn't work as well to make yogurt.



That is alot cheaper thanks!

katethekitcat

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2019, 04:40:34 AM »
Another option: use your rice cooker! This is what we do. SO easy.


How we do it:

1. Pour milk into the rice cooker and set it to the "cook" cycle, with the lid off
2. Let the milk come to a rolling froth. (I find the longer you leave it at this stage, the thicker your yogurt will be.)
3. Turn the heat down to the "warm" cycle and let the milk cool for an hour or so
4. Add a few spoons of yogurt starter. Best to use non-flavored whole fat Greek yogurt for this.
5. Keeping it on the "warm" cycle, put the lid on. Wait overnight.

Yogurt!

Rubic

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2019, 03:19:54 PM »
Back when I was eating yogurt, I had great results with the Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker, currently priced at $25 on Amazon, but I picked up mine on sale at a slight discount.  With 7 jars, I'd prepare yogurt weekly, taking the individual portions to work on Mon-Fri. The yogurt maker worked great for a few years and then I gave it away when I changed my diet.

Arbitrage

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2019, 08:23:40 PM »
Yep, been making mine for the past year in the Instant Pot.  I eat more of it now, generally now with granola or even parfait-style with fruit.  I'm eating about a half-gallon per week, but instead of costing me $20/2 weeks, it costs me less than $3 (plus granola/fruit).  It tastes better, and I know exactly what goes in mine - milk and cultures from the previous batch of yogurt.  I do add a touch of honey and some vanilla extract as well.

Plugra

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 06:58:22 PM »
I feel it's "too much work" to boil the milk in a saucepan or use the crockpot and then clean up afterwards, and I don't want to waste the energy for powering a crockpot. So I have my 'minimal work' method for yogurt making, as follows:

  • Pour some milk into a 2-cup or 4-cup pyrex measuring cup. 
  • Microwave until it just starts to boil.  (Don't let it foam over the sides - or else there is cleanup.)
  • Remove the measuring cup and pour a small amount of the hot milk into a little dish.  Cover both containers and cool til warm, not hot. 
  • Stir a tablespoon or two of yogurt culture into the little dish. Mix very well into the cooled milk.  Then pour that mixture into the measuring cup and stir.
  • Cover the measuring cup and wrap with dishtowel to keep it warm.  Let sit overnight

Now I live in a warm climate so my kitchen is fairly warm year round.  But this method never fails and it couldn't be easier.

lutorm

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2019, 02:14:18 AM »
We tried this for a while and it made OK greek yougurt, but the savings did not seem worth the work. You needed a lot of milk so it seemed maybe 2/3 the cost?

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2019, 05:23:50 PM »
Making yogurt sounds difficult, but you got me wanting to try it now!  We have an instant pot with a yogurt setting, I guess we may as well give it a shot.

adrianmorrell

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2019, 07:00:30 PM »
I've made it for wifey in the past, usually in order to use up milk that's soon to go bad. It's really not difficult at all. The things I'll add to the recipes that have been mentioned already are that I use a double boiler to heat the milk in order to not scorch it. I don't actually have a real double boiler, but instead I have a pot that will fit inside a larger pot, but tht handles of the smaller one keep it supported off the bottom of the larger. Pour the milk in the smaller pot, and pour water in the space in between them. Much, much, much faster than the crock pot, no risk of scorching, and doesn't result in needing to clean another pot since the larger one only had water in it.

After cooling and stirring in the yogurt inoculant, put a lid on the pot, wrap in a towel, and put in the oven (leave it turned off) overnight. Next morning, start it straining through cheesecloth and leave it in the fridge for the day. That night, put it in whatever size jar containers you please.

Total time, appx 24 hours. Total active time? Probably 30 minutes.

Adrian



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Malcat

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2019, 06:19:57 AM »
I tried this a few times, but found it to be a huge pain in the ass and the savings was minimal. I also disliked the texture of the yogurt :(

I envy those of you who don't find it tedious.

Mellow Mallow

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2019, 02:41:18 PM »
I've tried it - thanks to this thread - and I quite like it. I eat a lot of yoghurt and I always felt bad about all the plastic containers I was churning through. Plus, I was eating expensive yoghurt. So I'm saving a little cash too.

Ynari

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2019, 08:35:28 AM »
This is the only thing my sous vide wand my dad got me for xmas one year gets used. xD  My process:

  • Heat ~2 quartsmilk to 180* or so for half an hour to thicken (I don't stir, and occasionally use the thermometer to remove the skin)
  • Cool to 110
  • Inoculate with a spoonful of yogurt, put into mason jars
  • Incubate in sous vide at 110* for 4-8 hours (or whatever)
  • Move mason jars to fridge to cool, and enjoy foot bath with the warm water
  • Strain through sieve/cheese cloth to make it "Greek"
  • Add lemon and honey to the whey to make Calpico-esque lemonade. I'm sure it'd be good with other fruit, too!


I don't eat a lot of yogurt straight (when I do, it's only a little to coat frozen blueberries - makes a frozen dairy coating) but I use it in recipes fairly frequently - smoothies, salad dressings, as a sour cream substitute.

TBH it's not about the savings, I just like doing it. Almost like a really low-needs pet that provides me with a foot bath...

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2019, 02:48:10 PM »
DW makes yogurt.  She uses it for cooking and we eat granola with it.  I use it to make pancakes.  Good for sauces and dressings. It's amazing really.  We just got an ice cream maker and I imagine frozen yogurt is on the horizon.

Bring a gallon to some hot stage. I imagine the temperatures other people have talked about.  When I am in charge of the hot phase a skin usually develops.  DW eats it, I stir it in.

Add the left over yogurt.  I guess this is the "inoculate" stage.  Get the live bugs in there.  I forget what it is called but I think of it as the "good" bacteria.  It and it's cousins are in all the good stuff. 

We put half gallon mason jars in the oven over night and prop it open with tongs to control the heat provided by the pilot lights.  Then it might be yogurt in the morning, sometimes DW says it isn't ready yet so she leaves it out of the fridge for a little bit longer.

It is usually good.

MrSal

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2019, 10:23:37 AM »
$$ wise not sure if it's worth it. I buy 2 lbs of plain yoghurt for 1,49 dollars.

Arbitrage

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2019, 10:39:43 AM »
$$ wise not sure if it's worth it. I buy 2 lbs of plain yoghurt for 1,49 dollars.

That's pretty good.  Only 2.2 times the price I'm paying for homemade.  For me, I haven't found a plain yogurt I like the taste of anywhere near as much, not to mention the lower environmental footprint, which might not matter to some (1 gallon jug vs. a bunch of extra plastic containers).

Papa bear

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2019, 12:34:59 PM »
Just read through the thread again, I want to try this with my instantpot and didnít find anything specifically for it.

Any directions out there for this? I HATE reading through the garbage online recipes with 400 ads and all that fluff crap before you get through to some damn directions.


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Arbitrage

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2019, 03:34:13 PM »
Just read through the thread again, I want to try this with my instantpot and didnít find anything specifically for it.

Any directions out there for this? I HATE reading through the garbage online recipes with 400 ads and all that fluff crap before you get through to some damn directions.


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I basically do this:
https://amindfullmom.com/instant-pot-yogurt/

I do a gallon at a time, rather than a half-gallon.  Still works, though heating and cooling times take longer, and I think the half-gallon might tend to come out a little firmer (be prepared for your homemade yogurt to be a little runnier, as you're not adding pectin like store-bought yogurt).  I also will generally let it cool off a little (10-20 min) after the boil cycle, and hit boil a second time.  Not positive how much that helps. 

Usually you need at least 1 tbsp of starter for each quart of milk.  Once you've made a batch, just take a few tablespoons from your new batch and set aside to be your starter for your next batch.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Making my own yogurt - saving my wallet, my waist, and the planet!!!
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2019, 04:19:37 PM »
This thread inspired me to do it and I thought it was great. Easy, quick, and self sustaining once you get that initial batch.
Thanks for starting this.


  • Add lemon and honey to the whey to make Calpico-esque lemonade. I'm sure it'd be good with other fruit, too!

Genius, I'll have to give this a try.