Yep, you read that right. You can make healthy homemade yogurt in a cooler while you sleep! I make mine regularly and I’ll share with you how I do it!
First, let’s talk about the cost. I buy a gallon of organic whole milk at Trader Joe’s for $5.99. I used to buy a quart of organic whole fat yogurt at Fred Meyers for about $4 a quart. If I wanted to have 1 gallon of yogurt per week for my family, that would be $16 a week to buy the finished yogurt vs. $5.99 to make it myself.
- 1 gallon organic homemade yogurt each week for a year $287.52
- 1 gallon organic store bought yogurt each week for a year $768.00
So, if I wanted to make a gallon of homemade, organic, plain yogurt every week of the year vs. buying it ready made, that would be a savings of $480.48. Wow.
And beside the financial savings, it’s fun to learn how to make such a healthy, family staple as well as teaching the kids a useful skill too. As a side benefit, my husband is always beaming with pride to share how ‘my wife makes the best yogurt”.
Firstly, don’t be intimidated. Everything new was once hard.
Think about when you first learned to ride a bike, swim or even brush your teeth! Everything at one time seemed hard to us, until it wasn’t. Anything new always seems hard, but in time it will become just something else you just do, like making coffee.
Making homemade yogurt has become part of my weekly or bi-weekly routine.
My yogurt begins with buying a container of Nancy’s Plain Yogurt (whole fat). This is my starter culture. I freeze the yogurt into ice cubes and store in a Ziploc bag in my freezer for when I need to make yogurt.
I put approx. 2 Tbsp. of the starter yogurt per quart jar. If you are using ice cubes, make sure and set them out to thaw at room temperature as you begin to make yogurt.
Sometimes I make smaller pint-sized jars that fit nicely in a lunch box. When it comes time to make a lunch for my husband I toss in a few frozen blueberries and a squirt of stevia and he’s got a lovely, travel size container of homemade healthy yogurt-to-go!
I like to buy the whole, organic milk at Trader Joe’s. It’s not ‘ultra-pasteurized’ as most milks are these days. And since it’s organic, there are no rBGH hormones in it. You can use any milk you’d like I think, I don’t recommend skim or low fat milk because of it’s health effects, and the whole milk makes a deliciously creamy yogurt. Yum!
I heat the milk on the stove top to 180 degrees. This is to kill any bacteria that would compete with the yogurt bacteria.
Place pan in cold water bath in the sink to cool milk down to approx. 115 degrees. I then ladle the milk into the waiting jars (which already have their yogurt cultures in them). During this step you need to be watching the thermometer diligently so as to catch it at the right temperature.
Stir to incorporate the yogurt into the milk.
I also have made a gallon of yogurt in an old gallon bucket of we get our coconut oil in.
Now I run my water as hot as it will go and put a layer of hot water into this small cooler. I want the water to be about 120 degrees and cover the jars about half-way.
Close the cooler lid and let it set for approximately 12 hours. If you make the homemade yogurt in a cooler while you are in the kitchen making dinner it will cook while you sleep and be ready for you to enjoy for breakfast! Although, I like to pop them into the refrigerator for a few hours first to let them set up.
And that’s how I make healthy homemade yogurt in a cooler while I sleep and now you can too!