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January 2007

How To Make Yogurt In Your Home

Yogurt is one of the simplest and healthiest foods on earth. The active bacterial cultures that are in the yogurt are powerful antioxidant, and have great effect on the immune system.

Even though yogurt is so easy to make, when you buy it in the store it usually costs more than twice the price of fresh milk. The best yogurts even cost more than that. A good yogurt should contain only two ingredients: milk and active bacterial culture. However it is difficult to find one like that. Nowadays, most yogurts are made of modified milk ingredients or dry milk powder with whey protein concentrate, pectin, gelatin and many other ingredients that shouldn't be there.

Homemade yogurt

Homemade yogurt

The good news is that it is very easy to make your own yogurt at home for a fraction of the cost compared to a store-bought yogurt. It is best to use fresh unpasteurized milk, but if you can't get it, store-bought pasteurized milk will do. As you probably now, here in North America it is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk. It is ridiculous how far those health officials would go in order to "protect" us. Like humanity didn't drink unpasteurized milk for thousands of years. When I am in my home country I often buy fresh milk and enjoy it.

Here is my homemade yogurt recipe:

In a large pot, bring the milk to a boil and once it starts boiling and rising immediately turn off the heat. Pour the milk in large glass jars and let it stand uncovered until it cools down to 110 degrees F (about 45 degrees C). In the meantime, put 1 tablespoon for each milk jar of some other good quality yogurt in a cup. Mix the yogurt with some of the milk and keep it for starter. When the milk in the jars is at the exact temperature, divide the starter equally in each jar and mix well. Put the lids on the jars and place them in a warm spot at room temperature. Cover them neatly with a few thick towels and let them stay overnight, or at least 4-5 hours. This gives time to the bacterial culture to grow. When the yogurt thickens, you have to refrigerate it for several hours before consuming. You should keep a little bit of yogurt each time to start a new batch. That is all it takes. The most important thing is to mix the starter at the correct temperature. If the temperature of the milk is too high when you mix the starter, it will disable it, and if it is too cold it will not produce the required results.

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Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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