For those of you who tolerate dairy well, this homemade yogurt is sure to be a nice treat. I stopped buying yogurt because I never found brands that used grass-fed milk, and I missed it as an easy & quick breakfast option. This recipe is very simple, but does take some patience.
First you will need to source very high-quality dairy. I was fortunate to find *raw* grass-fed milk to use, which is the best stuff around.
Second, you need to a starter culture of bacteria to turn the milk into yogurt. I used a big spoonful of Fage (available at most grocery stores, but any live active culture yogurt should work), or you can order cultures online (I\’ve had this brand recommended to me: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/starter-cultures/yogurt-starter.html).
Third, you will need a mild heat source. I have a gas oven that has been perfect for this. The pilot light keeps the oven just warm enough to make yogurt without having to turn it on. I\’d recommend this technique if you have a gas oven. If you don\’t, then there are 2 options:
1 – Buy a commercial yogurt maker. This controls the temp for you.
2 – Use a cooler filled with warm water. Heat water to 100 deg F (use a candy thermometer), fill cooler, and then add your container of yogurt. Change water every couple hours, or any time it gets under 90 deg F.
Once you\’re ready to make yogurt: pour the milk into a large, oven-proof pot. Heat is gently over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the milk just begins to lightly steam. Be very careful with this step or you will no longer have *raw* milk with its added benefits. You want the milk to be just warm to the touch, but not hot.
Turn off the heat and immediately add your starter culture. Stir to thoroughly combine. This may take awhile with thick yogurt. If you are using a gas oven as your mild heat source, place your yogurt in the oven and leave it for 24 hours. Make sure to keep the oven OFF the entire time! If you are using either of the other mild heat sources, then pour your mixture into glass jars with lids. Then place the jars into your yogurt maker or cooler setup. Leave for approx. 24 hours.
Check your yogurt. It will be thinner than super market yogurt because this doesn\’t have the added thickeners (which you really don\’t want, anyways), but it should be ready to eat!
Store in glass containers in the fridge for up to 1 week. I store mine in individual portion containers so I can just grab one and go on my way to work. Serve with your regular paleo toppings! Save your last bit of yogurt to use as the starter culture in your next batch.