How to become a (Greek) yogurtista!

When my friend told me I could borrow her yogurt maker I was immediately having regrets over saying anything at all. Yogurt from the store is just fine and saves me a lot of hassle, right? Maybe not.

Making yogurt was surprisingly very…simple. However, it does require a kitchen thermometer which I had previously never owned.

Since honey-flavored yogurt is my favorite, I added some raw, local honey to the bottom of each glass jar.

I heated my milk to 180º F and cooled it to 112º F before adding live and active cultures. You can find said cultures at Whole Foods near the milk and Kefir. One packet (about $0.60) makes 7-6 ounce yogurt servings, and the only other expense is the milk (other than the one-time yogurt maker purchase which retails for $30-40).

You fill the glass jars with the milk + cultures and let the machine go to work for 8-12 hours. The longer you set the machine, the firmer your yogurt will turn out.

There you have it…homemade yogurt!

But to make thick, delicious Greek yogurt you simply strain the yogurt for overnight in the fridge using a wire colander and coffee pot filter.

Note: Greek yogurt will be ~1/2 the volume after being strained. Therefore, to make a 6 ounce Greek yogurt, you needed to strain 12 ounces (2 jars) worth of yogurt per serving.

Voila!

Homemade Greek yogurt! Just as creamy, thick, and delicious as all the leading brands!

I used 2% milk but you can also use fat-free, 1%, or whole milk to create your at-home yogurt.

Review: There are some small kitchen machines and appliances that are wonderful, and there are other that are…not. If you are an organic yogurt or Greek yogurt lover, this is a machine I would invest in. The initial cost would be paid for in a month with my one-a-day Chobani habit. The live and active cultures are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Besides, you could also use store-bought yogurt with live and active cultures as a starter. And once you’ve made your own yogurt at home, you can also use your product as bacteria for a future product. How…green 🙂 Recycling at its finest!

Chobani: I love you, but you are expensive! That goes for you, too, Fage, and Vokos, and Oikos…and even Dannon and Yoplait, too.

I want a yogurt maker! Too bad my birthday was last week!! Though, I do have a bit of birthday cash I could delve into… 😉

Question: Would you ever consider becoming an at-home yogurtista? Does the cost of Greek yogurt keep you from indulging?

P.S. If you had a life over the weekend (unlike me), you might have missed some stuff: I got a DSLR for my birthday, made some amazing whole wheat  blueberry banana muffins, and then some to-die-for zucchini-sausage pizza, and THEN some garlic & kale soup!

Peace, love, and yogurt,

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47 Comments

  1. July 6, 2010 / 5:19 am

    Ummm greek yogurt with honey! It sounds really indulging! I might consider becoming a greek yogurtista… I love enjoying them instead of ice-cream during dieting!

  2. July 6, 2010 / 5:37 am

    Thats awesome! I’d love to make my own. Honey is actually my favorite thing to eat in greek yogurt!

  3. July 6, 2010 / 6:00 am

    I love most dairy, but no yogurt.

  4. July 6, 2010 / 6:43 am

    I have a yogurt maker, but I have never used it!! Ok, I need to, clearly. I had this idea in my mind that it takes too long (like what you said) but I’m wrong?? You’ll have to come over and give me a tutorial one day. I guess it needs to break out from below my cabinets and get to work!

  5. July 6, 2010 / 6:49 am

    I’d love to make my own greek yogurt… but I’m lazy… so I just buy it. I need to take tips from you 😉

  6. July 6, 2010 / 6:54 am

    I would love to make my own Greek yogurt, but A. I don’t think I have the patience and B. I know I don’t have the counter space for a yogurt maker. It definitely is simpler than I thought, though.

  7. brannyboilsover
    July 6, 2010 / 7:00 am

    What a great post! Having a yogurt maker makes the process simpler, but it is totally not necessary. You can make yogurt at home without an extra appliance.

  8. July 6, 2010 / 7:06 am

    Okay, that is TOO cool! You have officially provided me with a fun project when I get back to Pennsylvania!

  9. July 6, 2010 / 7:07 am

    wow! this is so impressive and I love how easy you make it look!

  10. July 6, 2010 / 8:05 am

    I am a yogurt-fiend, and I willingly spend the money for Greek. But I didn’t realize making my own would be this easy – so it just might be worth giving it a shot! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. July 6, 2010 / 8:05 am

    COOL!!!!!! I still have a preggo adversion to greek yogurt, but I’m confident it will go away with time and I’d love to try making my own greek yogurt to save some $$! I’m so impressed!! 🙂

  12. July 6, 2010 / 8:06 am

    Wow–you’re yogurt making adventure is totally impressive. I will definitely have to try this sometime when life slows down–thanks!

  13. July 6, 2010 / 8:24 am

    I had no idea yogurt was so easy to make! I am sorta lazy though, and my one-a-day Chobani habit will not end! Sounds like you had a fabulous and relaxing weekend 🙂

  14. July 6, 2010 / 8:52 am

    I think that’s something I would do at home. My mom used to make yoghurt all the time when we were kids– I thought it was just a Lebanese thing back then and I didn’t realize it was the same as yoghurt you buy at the store.

    But dairy gives me breakouts 🙁

  15. July 6, 2010 / 8:55 am

    My community nutrition prof had us write down her recipe for yogurt-making all the time! She just used a crock pot. I haven’t tried it myself, but she swore by it.

  16. July 6, 2010 / 9:06 am

    So cool! I wanna make my own yogurt now 😀 I was thinking about getting either a yogurt maker or an ice cream maker…decisions decisions 😛

    Enjoy your Tuesday, and I hope you’re still celebrating your Birthday 😉 Birthday celebrations should last aalllll month!

  17. Stacey
    July 6, 2010 / 9:19 am

    I’ve been making yogurt at home for almost a year now–made some plain this weekend, in fact! I like to make sweetened vanilla yogurt by adding a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract and 8 scoops of prefered sweetener (splenda is mine). Will have to try the honey next time! I also add 1/3-1/2 cup of nonfat powdered milk–I’ve found it helps it to set up. Nonfat milk never works for me, though–it won’t thicken. So, I use 1%.

  18. July 6, 2010 / 9:38 am

    I never realized making your own was so easy. That being said, I’ll stick to my chobani haha!

  19. July 6, 2010 / 9:41 am

    Kudos to you for making your own yogurt. I don’t really see this as something I would do on any sort of regular basis. I’ll just wait for the 5 for $5 sales at Food Lion to get my greek yogurt fix.

  20. Megan
    July 6, 2010 / 10:21 am

    You can also make it in a crock pot if you don’t want to invest in a yogurt maker. Google crockpot365 for directions!

  21. July 6, 2010 / 10:37 am

    This looks so good!!! I am so impressed that you made your owm yogurt!

  22. July 6, 2010 / 11:21 am

    Man oh man! That stuff is THICK!!!

  23. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth)
    July 6, 2010 / 12:46 pm

    im really impressed that you were able to make your own greek yogurt & that it turned out so well- to be honest, i dont know if i’d be willing to put in that effort 🙂 maybe when i’m older & working with a strict budget haha. For now, i’ll go with store bought 😛

  24. July 6, 2010 / 12:49 pm

    Don’t you find the cost of the milk to outweigh the savings from making it yourself? I looked into making my own yogurt, but when i crunched the numbers it just seemed better to get Chobs for 99 cents apiece

  25. July 6, 2010 / 1:14 pm

    Oh this sounds so good! Honey in my yogurt is my fav. too. I don’t eat yogurt enough to invest in this, but if I did eat it more frequently I definitely would. I like the idea of knowing what’s going into making the food I’m consuming.

  26. July 6, 2010 / 1:39 pm

    I love that you made homemade yogurt! It never even came to my mind to attempt this. It looks delicious and probably tastes amazing!

  27. July 6, 2010 / 3:13 pm

    I LOVE GREEK YOGURT! Unfortunately I just realized how bad it makes me feel when I eat it 🙁 BOO! My boyfriend loves it though so i’ll try to this recipe for him! Thanks!

    Dana xo

  28. July 6, 2010 / 4:39 pm

    I love making my own yogurt but I haven’t in forever! I need to get back on that train. And try making my own greek yogurt too!

  29. July 6, 2010 / 4:57 pm

    i would totally become an at home yogurtista if I had all the equipment. I spend SO much money on chobani/okios…it drives me nuts.

  30. July 6, 2010 / 5:42 pm

    I’ve been wanting to buy a yogurt maker but I thought it would be super difficult. Now I might just have to get one!! 🙂

  31. July 6, 2010 / 5:52 pm

    We use to have a yogurt maker when I was growing up! It was great! Now…. I just don’t really have the time for it. I buy it in big tubs tho to save money and packaging!

  32. July 6, 2010 / 7:20 pm

    This looks incredible! I would love to make my own yogurt…I never knew it was so easy. I want a yogurt maker too! 🙂

  33. July 6, 2010 / 10:23 pm

    love this post! I used to eat yogurt all the time, but haven’t really wanted any lately. If I ever get back into my once a day greek yogurt habit, I’ll totally invest in on of these! I can’t afford the $2.50 per serving chobani, either

  34. July 7, 2010 / 7:23 am

    Ever since reading French Women Don’t Get Fat I have been wanting to make my own yogurt! I don’t eat it often now because it IS expensive, so I wonder if I would eat more if I am making my own? I love that you love this, though!

  35. July 7, 2010 / 11:34 am

    Ahh!! I want to try this!
    I’m a crazy nut about making my own things! Cheese is also on my list!

  36. July 7, 2010 / 11:41 am

    Oh my gosh….you are my hero!! I would LOVE to be able to do this. (If I had the space in my fridge….) I’m definitely a frugal grocery shopper, but greek yogurt is the one thing I will always splurge on. I do always look for sales, and trusty Costco at least always has the 12 for $11ish! But I think in my next house, a yogurt maker will be a must.

  37. July 8, 2010 / 12:56 pm

    Although you make it seem easy I’ll continue to buy my yogurt at the store. It’s made easier for me by the fact I’ve never tried Greek.
    Been also lucky the last 3 months getting my yogurt for $2 or less for 650-750ml containers.

  38. July 9, 2010 / 12:57 pm

    I love making my own yogurt and it looks like your friend’s yogurt maker is a really similar set-up to mine (although a different brand). I enjoy having the yogurt in the glass jars that I can just grab in the morning and take with me to work. Of course if you’re going to make a lot of greek yogurt you might prefer the yogurt makers/incubators that do a large batch that you can easily strain all at once.
    But yes – fresh, homemade yogurt for the win for sure 🙂

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