Amid all the hullabaloo over which homemade yogurt recipe is the best, the flavoured, the fruity, the Greek and the liquefied, it is easy to forget that at its core, yogurt is a plain white dairy product.
Sure enough a quick internet search for“recipes plain yogurt” will result in pages and pages of homemade yogurt recipes, many of which are just plain wrong!
So, within the pages of this site, I have attempted to provide you with as many homemade yogurt recipes as I can, but they are all incomplete unless you know how to make plain yogurt.
To make things easier for you, the recipe for plain yogurt has been laid out in a step by step format. You shouldn’t have much trouble following the instructions provided here. In fact, all the recipes on this site will follow the same format, so trying them out shouldn’t be a problem.
You will need:
- 4 cup (or bigger) Measuring cup either glass or plastic will do
- Saucepan that is big enough to hold a quart of milk (946ml)
- 2 tbsp yogurt starter – Plain Yogurt that contains active bacteria (will state on label if it contains live culture or use yogurt culture packet
- ½ cup dry milk powder
- 1 quart milk – Low fat milk makes low fat yogurt (you decide)
- Mixing Bowl
- Storage container (for finished product)
Step 1: Heat the Milk – Approx 7-8 mins
The first thing you need to do is heat the milk up. Pour the quart of milk into the saucepan and put it on the stove on high heat. You have to get the temperature up to at least 180ºF (use a thermometer) so it will take you around 7-8 minutes to get there.
When the milk starts heating up, add the dry milk powder to it. Use a wooden spoon to stir the dry milk powder in. Make sure it mixes perfectly with the milk. Note: you don’t have to boil the milk. Turn the stove off as soon as you see the bubbles forming at the top.
Step 2: Leave Milk to Cool – Approx 30-45 mins
After the milk has reached the desired temperature (180ºF), move it from the hot stove. Place it in a cooler spot as you have to cool it. Keep it there for at least 30 minutes. You can use a cooler for this purpose. However, I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the fridge.
Step 3: Add the Yogurt Starter – Approx 2 mins
Take few tablespoons of the milk and pour it into the mixing bowl. Add the yogurt starter (or culture packet contents) to the milk and start whisking. The ingredients have to blend thoroughly with each other so whisk vigorously.
Once the yogurt starter and milk are combined, pour the mixture into the container. Put the lid on the container if it has one and wrap it in a towel.
Step 4: Incubate the Yogurt – Approx 6-8 hours
Place it in a warm secluded corner where it won’t be touched. It has to be kept there for over 8 hours so choose a spot wisely.
Putting the yogurt aside to let it stand for a few hours is known as the incubation period. This is when the live cultures get the chance to work their magic. They start taking effect right away and lend all their nutritional goodness to the plain yogurt. (You can find other methods of incubating your yogurt here)
Don’t open the lid of the container, even if only to steal a peek at the yogurt, before 8 hours. The longer you keep it, the firmer the yogurt will be. Moreover, the flavour is tangier if you let the yogurt stand for 12 hours.
When you feel the yogurt is ready to eat, remove the towel from around the container and put it in the fridge. This helps halt the culturing process. The cultures have had more than enough time to do their thing. If they still haven’t produced the desired result, it is quite likely the yogurt starter you used didn’t have active cultures.
After a couple of hours, remove the container from the fridge and enjoy your homemade plain yogurt!
Make sure you visit the Recipes Section for more tasty homemade yogurt recipes.
Buying yogurt isn’t the most arduous task in the world. You only need to walk down to the nearest market and you will find a shop which sells you natural and fresh yogurt. Yet, I would still recommend that you put in the effort and make your own.
The clichéd argument is that making your own dairy products ensures better quality and helps you monitor the ingredients. There is a reason I am suggesting making yogurt at home but at the same time will advise against churning your own butter: making yogurt is easy.
Making Yogurt Is Easy
Think what you may about the process of making yogurt but one thing you cannot ignore is that it is quite easy to follow the recipe and complete the steps one by one. The effort required is minimal and the time it takes for you to get the yogurt ready is virtually unbelievable.
If it wasn’t easy to make, I would have been the first guy to tell you that.
All you have to do is get the ingredients and supplies in order. I will detail the entire process step by step to make it easier for you to follow.
Making Your Own Yogurt Costs Less
There is a stark difference between the cost of making yogurt at home and buying it from a store. Yogurt brands have grown in popularity over the years. This has led to an increase in the price of all types of yogurt, including plain yogurt.
As a result, buying ready made plain yogurt has become a tad bit expensive for the average person. The ingredients required to make plain yogurt are minimal and most of them are available in your home. You can save a few pounds per liter of yogurt you make at home.
If you are an avid yogurt eater, making it at home could result in you saving hundreds of pounds every year.
It’s Safer To Make Yogurt Yourself
You can contend that the plain yogurt being sold in the stores is safe to eat, being natural and fat-free. However, you cannot be absolutely certain about the ingredients if you actually see the product being made. There have been too many controversies regarding ingredients of food products and it is better to stay on the safe side than go for the riskier option.
When making plain yogurt at home, you are in complete control of the process. You can select the ingredients yourself, double checking them to ensure they are fit to use in the recipe. This way, you don’t risk using any ingredients which may cause allergies or other side effects.
Homemade Yogurt Is Tastier
Believe it or not, you can make better-tasting homemade plain yogurt than the version being produced commercially. There are numerous techniques you can use, not only to influence the taste of the yogurt you make but also its thickness and density. This way, you can have the taste and texture exactly match your preferences.
Most people eat yogurt regularly because of the health benefit it provides. However, being healthy doesn’t mean it cannot be tasty. In fact, it will give you a whole new incentive to eat yogurt on a daily basis. If you are looking to improve your health and well being, do so while enjoying the tangy taste of plain yogurt.
Homemade Yogurt Is Storeable
Homemade plain yogurt can be stored for up to two weeks without you having to worry about it getting spoiled. The only thing you have to consider for storing plain yogurt is using containers that have tight lids that seal shut properly. Then, simply put the containers in the fridge, retrieving them only when you want to eat the yogurt.
This gives you the luxury to make two weeks’ worth of plain yogurt at once and then continue eating it as the days go by. Refill your containers by using the recipe to make more yogurt, around the 12th day or so.
Plain Yogurt Is Versatile
The best thing about plain yogurt is that it is versatile. You have the luxury of customizing the flavour according to your preference. This makes it easier for you to eat it, especially if you don’t like the taste of regular yogurt much.
Also, plain yogurt is the base for many more recipes, including parfaits, smoothies, Greek yogurt, shakes, juices, etc. You can consume yogurt in any which way you want and benefit from the nutrition it delivers.
If you are not up for eating plain yogurt, you can follow any of the recipes provided on this site and turn raw, plain yogurt into a tasty beverage or delicacy. This also makes it easier for you to convince your family to eat yogurt. They too will benefit from the nutrition it provides.
The ingredients and supplies required to make plain yogurt at home are easily available and in all likelihood, you will find them in your house. Plus, the recipe itself is quite straightforward. You don’t have to be some sort of cooking expert to follow the recipe. Just go over the steps, one by one, and you will be able to make your own yogurt!
Health Benefits Of Plain Yogurt
The health benefits of yogurt are numerous. One could write an entire book on the different ways yogurt is nutritious and enriching for the body. Small wonder ‘eat yogurt’ has become a catchphrase for health enthusiasts. If someone is looking to maintain their health and well being and stay fit, yogurt is one of the best food items for them to eat.
Plain Yogurt Prevents Gastrointestinal Disorders
The presence of active cultures in plain yogurt makes it incredibly beneficial for your gut. With regular consumption, the microflora of the gut changes up. Plus the active cultures help food pass through the bowel quicker and they enhance the immune system.
What this does is make your digestive system better. Your body is able to ward off gastrointestinal disorders such as H. Pylori infection, diarrhoea, constipation and lactose intolerance. Can you believe the fact that eating yogurt can actually ensure you are able to eat other dairy products by preventing lactose intolerance?
Moreover, the risk of colon cancer is lower when the food is passing through your system much quicker than before. The nutrients responsible for these health benefits are the probiotics which you can get only from plain yogurt that has active cultures in it.
Yogurt Prevents and Treats Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bone mass and density of a person gradually decrease. As a result, the bone structure gets weaker and there is a strong chance of fractures as well as other risks.
Yogurt contains two nutrients that are essential for bones, calcium and vitamin D, among others. Getting the daily recommended intake for both these vitamins makes your bones stronger and prevents osteoporosis.
People who are already suffering from the condition can alleviate it to a certain extent by adding yogurt to their diet. As their body gets the nutritional boost, the symptoms ease up and the disease becomes easier for them to manage.
Yogurt Reduces The Risk Of Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common health issue faced by people today. There are a number of factors that can cause hypertension, including stress and an unhealthy diet. You can reduce the risk of hypertension by eating yogurt on a daily basis.
According to a study carried out on 5,000 participants, eating low-fat yogurt three times a day can reduce the risk of hypertension by 50%. Even people who are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure can prevent the condition from occurring.
Hypertension is a dangerous health problem which can lead to heart attack, stroke and other coronary issues. Reducing the risk for hypertension can have a profound impact on your overall health.
Yogurt Helps You Eat Less
If you are trying to lose weight, one of the most effective techniques is to reduce your food intake. However, that isn’t possible if you don’t feel full after a meal. This is a common hurdle faced by many people when they are on the road to weight loss. They keep on eating simply because they don’t feel full after the meal due to the smaller portions.
Plain yogurt contains a lot of protein. Protein can make you feel full even without actually having to eat that much. You can substitute your meals with yogurt and the different yogurt based recipes I will tell you about later on in the future posts.
You can reduce both your food and calorie intake, yet not experience the feeling of hunger or starvation. This is why you should make eating yogurt a habit as it can boost your weight loss efforts considerably.
Yogurt is Easier to Digest
Yogurt not only helps improve the functioning of your digestive system, it itself is easy to digest. What this means is that the nutrients present in yogurt are absorbed by your body quicker because it passes through swiftly. With other foods, the metabolism slows down nutrient absorption.
This is quite unlike milk, which can be difficult to digest, especially for people suffering from lactose intolerance. Plain yogurt with active cultures is a safe dairy product for people with mild lactose intolerance, purely because it is easy to digest.
You can replace milk with yogurt, but only if it contains cultures. Bacteria breaks down lactose which helps yogurt go through the digestive tract easily.
Yogurt Reduces Blood Cholesterol
Along with preventing hypertension, eating yogurt keeps your cardiovascular system healthy by regulating the blood cholesterol level. Your body needs cholesterol, but not the bad kind. Adding yogurt to your daily diet can help control bad cholesterol.
Once again, the live cultures in yogurt work their magic. Moreover, eating plain yogurt can help bind bile acids.
Both these result in your blood cholesterol level decreasing considerably. If you are having trouble keeping it in check, it is time you start making plain yogurt at home and eating it regularly.
Plain Yogurt Keeps Your Skin Healthy
Plain yogurt works wonders for your skin. It ensures your skin remains healthy so that you look younger and more vibrant. Eating yogurt will also help your skin cells fight the signs of aging. This is far easier and more economical than using beauty products.
Apart from eating plain yogurt as it is, you can make a mask by combining it with olive oil and honey. Put the mixture on your face for half an hour and then rinse it off. Your skin becomes more radiant and will glow as a result of this treatment.
Yogurt will boost your body’s immune system, enabling it to fight common diseases and illnesses like the common cold, flu, etc. As you can see from the health benefits of plain yogurt, eating 2 to 3 servings a day is a good remedy to stay healthy.