Homemade Yogurt

The bone broth is STILL in the crockpot, but it’s looking and smelling good and I’m about to shut it down, strain it, and wait for it to congeal a little (due to the high gelatin / collagen content) before pouring portions into baggies and freezing them up. Yeah, productive days off!*

Next up is yogurt. Eeep!

Much like the broth, I have never made my own yogurt. I do have vague, dusty, Instagram filtered memories of an electric yogurt maker my parents had during a hippie-frugal phase in the late 19070’s or early 1980’s, but I have no recollection of actually seeing said yogurt-maker in use. I found this recipe a few weeks ago and decided to give it a go.

The economics of home yogurt (if I’m successful, that is) make it a no-brainer.

For example, Greek Gods plain 24 oz. tubs are on sale this week at Fairway for $2.99. That’s a decent price but it’s not even organic. Trader Joe’s house brand organic Greek yogurt goes for $2.49 for a 16 oz. tub. That makes $.13 and $.16 per ounce, respectively.

I’m using a half gallon of milk – 64 fluid oz. – for this experiment. A half gallon of milk is 64 ounces by volume but 67 ounces by weight (I’m rounding up). I’m also using fancy, yuppie milk. An ordinary half gallon is usually $1.99 or less around here, but I’m using fancy-schmancy Fairway organic grass fed milk (for the same reasons that I want grass fed beef, I want grass fed dairy because the animals in question produce a much more favorable ratio of Omega 3 fats to Omega 6 fats – and yes, we always buy whole milk, not that sad, unwhole skim stuff), which is $3.75. That means I’m potentially getting 66 ounces of yogurt at $.05 per ounce for fancy, or $.03 per ounce if I go the conventional milk route.

I haven’t been eating a whole lot of dairy for some time, but I used to have a raging Greek yogurt breakfast habit. That got pricey and I started avoiding dairy for other reasons, largely because in Chinese medicine dairy is viewed as contributing to dampness, or a condition that expresses itself in the body with headaches, overweight, and chronic sinus congestion / stuffiness, and digestive issues, among other things. Since I have all of the above, I typically stay away from delicious milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, but have a little goat milk in my morning coffee (speaking of outrageous prices, goat milk is $4 a quart. DAMN!) However, yogurt is a cultured, fermented, live food, which means I’ve been missing out on some probiotic goodness. This is dairy I can live with, for only 5 cents an ounce!

*So, days off… This term, my class schedule is only three days a week, Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Because of Memorial Day classes were cancelled this past Monday, which means I’m wrapping up nearly a week off. What?! I need to get my head back in the game, because I’m going to be greeted back with biochemistry and anatomy quizzes on Friday and a points location practical on Monday. Happily, my brain will be fed with bone broth and organic yogurt, so I’m pretty sure I’ve got this.