The value of yogurt
I know I’ve talked about yogurt before and probably will again because it’s the one food I’ve been eating the longest and the most of. I believe it to be one of the perfect foods, full of calcium, high in protein, rich in probiotic and digestive enzymes and low in calories (plain of course). The best thing is it’s versatility, you can do anything with it, sweet or savory. We go through about 3 L a week in my house and that’s not including the store-bought flavored kinds for the girls lunches. That can get pretty expensive which is why I’ve been making my own for about 8 years now. I always knew it was cheaper to make my own but for blog purposes I decided to put my money where my mouth is!
I’ve worked out that a little less than I L of store-bought yogurt here is $4.80 (which is pretty much the same in Canada) which at 3 of those a week would be almost $15.00.
For home-made 3 – 1 litre boxes of skim milk is $1.08 each so $3.24. A 1 kilo bag of skim milk powder costs about $6 and contains approximately 9 cups so $.60 a cup. Drum roll please…….
3 L of homemade plain yogurt costs approximately $3.84 compared to store-bought at $15.00 gives me a savings of $11.16!! Which means that in 8 years I would have saved $4642.56!! I think that more than makes up for my little shoe problem don’t you Steve? Here’s the problem, My yogurt maker is on a slow boat……..yeah yeah I know everyone is sick of hearing me complain so instead I came up with my own handy-dandy yogurt maker. Try this because it really works….even I was surprised! 🙂
First how I came up with the idea. My first yogurt maker was electric and consisted of 8 little 250 ml cups. It was ridiculous. They were hard to fill, messy and not near enough for me. My next one was also electric and purchased in Melbourne, it was much easier to deal with, just a 2 litre bucket that fit into a slightly larger container which plugged in and kept the yogurt at a constant low heat until set. Then we returned to Canada so I needed to buy yet another one because of the different voltages. I purchased a 2 Litre container that simply went into a 4 Litre insulater, no plugs!. This just really meant that when filled with a little hot water, the container held in the heat long enough for the yogurt to set. So simple I though it wouldn’t work, but it did. I paid $60 for it…..wow.
The following unit cost $4 in total. Behold.
First find a 1 or 2 liter bucket with a tight-fitting lid. As you can see I just used an empty t store-bought yogurt container. Next a larger container to fit this one into again making sure that the lid is nice and tight.
I paid $3.99 for this larger bucket at the dollar store.
Step #1 Pour either 1 or 2 litres of milk (I use skim) into 1st container
Step #2 Microwave until small bubbles begin to form around the outside (I’ve used 3 different microwaves for this and it took between 15 -18 min for all of them). 185F but I never check because the little bubbles tell me all I need to know. I would say to start looking at it at around 14 min until you figure out your microwave. Do not let the milk boil!
Step #3 Let the milk stand at room temperature until it feels just luke warm…I would err on the cooler side because too much heat will kill the live bacteria in the yogurt. If you want to use a thermometer then it should be 110-122 degrees.
Step #4 Add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt from either your previous batch or from a new container. Now add 1 cup of skim milk powder. Stir until dissolved, place your lid on securely and put the bucket into the insulator bucket. If you’re only making 1 litre then 1/4 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup powder. tip if you want really firm yogurt now is when you could add a packet of gelatin.
Step #5 Fill the larger bucket with boiling water to about 1/3 up the sides of the smaller bucket, secure the insulator lid and step away from the yogurt.
Step #6 After 3 or 4 hours dump the cooked water and replace with more boiled water. Cover and in about 4 hrs remove your yogurt and place in the fridge for a few hours. I usually do this in the evening after dinner so that I can do the refill with boiling water one more time before bed then when I wake up in the morning I just leave the yogurt to chill for the day.
Step #7 Remove yogurt from fridge, open lid, get a spoon and eat yogurt! Then tell yourself that you will never buy store-bought again!