Healthy Homemade Yogurt Recipe: How to make yogurt at home

yogurt recipe made from raw milk

Yogurt recipe is a simple and healthy dairy recipe that can be made at home without the use of a yogurt maker or any machine. All you need to start making your own yogurt is raw milk and yogurt. This means you make yogurt with yogurt; but if you want to make your homemade yogurt starter without the use of another yogurt, then see the steps outline below. You can also make yogurt into greek yogurt by simply straining the already made yogurt in a sack. If it is frozen yogurt you want,  you can as well make yogurt into frozen yogurt by freezing it and adding desserts. With just a tablespoon of another yogurt, you can make 1 liter of your own homemade yogurt from raw milk.

The raw milk used in making yogurt can be: cow’s milk, buffalo milk, goat milk,  or milk from sheep. The animal you are milking will determine the taste of the milk. Some animal milk has higher fat content than others and some taste better than others. If you need creamy yogurt, go for high-fat milk.

Again, you can make yogurt with either raw fresh milk or powdered milk; both can be used for your yogurt recipe.

The final taste of your homemade yogurt is determined by the starting milk. If you don’t need much fat in your yogurt, then make use of skim milk. All that matters in making your own yogurt at home is milk – whatever form of milk you have at home, it can be used for making yogurt.

Ingredients for making Yogurt at Home 

Raw Milk

Milk can be gotten from goats, sheep, cows, or buffalo. In fact, any type of milk can be used in your yogurt recipe. Even milk powder can be used. Ensure your milk has no antibiotics because the bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics and cannot form yogurt. Animals on antibiotics may excrete it in the milk and using such milk will not yield any result. Therefore,  your milk should be antibiotic-free.

Starter culture

This is simply another yogurt that contains the bacteria needed to convert the milk to yogurt. You can make your own starter culture at home if you don’t have another yogurt. See the procedure below.

Probiotics

These are additional bacteria that can be added in the yogurt making process to enhance the health of the gut. The bacteria include Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus,  and Lactobacillus casei. Probiotics are sold as tablets. Some people do add probiotics to their yogurt because of the health benefits. Adding probiotics to your yogurt helps to regrow the good bacteria in your gut and stimulate the immune system. It is especially good for those with lactose intolerance where taking milk causes stomach discomfort.

Taking probiotics yogurt prevents abdominal discomfort associated with taking milk. If you don’t have the probiotic tablets, you can still go ahead to make the yogurt just as I did in the video.

Fruits, Snacks, Honey, Granola, Raisins, and other toppings

You can add fruits such as dates, apple, cucumber, etc, and snacks such as granola, or oatmeal to your yoghurt. Others add honey while some still use fruit smoothie in their yogurt. It all depends on what you want. Once formed, you can add any healthy toppings to your yogurt to improve the taste and flavor. Some fruits such as strawberries, mango, apple, etc are often added too.

Yogurt recipe Starter Culture

Yogurt culture simply refers to a group of bacteria that grow in milk and converts milk into yogurt. The yogurt cultures are added after the milk is heated to kill any microorganisms in it and also destroy any bacteria that is not the yogurt culture bacteria.

When heated, the milk is cooled to a temperature of about 42 degrees celsius before adding the yogurt culture.

The main culture in yogurt includes Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. These cultures of bacteria ferment the lactose (milk sugar) and convert it to lactic acid. The associated lactic acid then decreases pH (making the milk more acidic) and causing it to clot and form yogurt.

During the fermentation process of lactose, some substances with different flavors are produced,  depending on the type of culture – giving the distinct flavor of yogurt. The food and drug agencies of most countries including the USA and UK approves Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus as the only 2 cultures needed in yogurt.

There are other bacterial cultures that can grow in milk to make yogurts, such as Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus,  and Lactobacillus casei. These yogurt cultures serve as probiotics and are beneficial to the human body especially the gut because they help to improve the digestion of lactose, gastrointestinal function, and also stimulate the immune system.

Procedure for Making Homemade Yogurt recipe

  • Pour fresh milk or skim milk or any type of milk you want to use into the pot
  • Place the pot on heat and start  heating gradually
  • Ensure you stand close by because the milk often boils so fast that it can pour if you don’t keep stirring
  • Heat the milk until it gets to 80 degrees celsius. This is to ensure any harmful microorganism is destroyed
  • Allow the milk to cool down to a temperature of 42 degrees celsius. This is the optimal temperature for the bacterial culture to grow. A thermometer is used to measure the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, dip your finger into the boiled milk; if it feels warm, the temperature is okay.
  • Add your starter culture (another yogurt). The correct quantity of starter culture is 1 tablespoon of starter culture (another yogurt) to 1 liter of boiled milk.
  • Stir the mixture and incubate the mixture so that the temperature of 42 degrees is maintained for at least 30 minutes. You can achieve this by placing it in an oven. See other things you can use to control the temperature at home below under controlled environments.
  • Allow the mixture without moving it for at least 8 hours to 12 hours. During this period, the bacteria in the yogurt you added will begin to multiply and convert the milk to yogurt.
  • After 12 hours, check your yogurt; it is now ready for consumption. You can place the leftover in the freezer or fridge.

Yogurt Recipe toppings and additives 

You can add sugar to your yogurt to sweeten it. If you are going to add sugar, it can be added when boiling the milk; because once the yogurt is formed, it becomes difficult for the sugar to completely dissolve in the jelly yogurt.

Honey can be added. other toppings include oatmeal, granola, fruits, and many more.

How to make yogurt without yogurt

You can make yogurt without yogurt – that is, without a starter culture, or you can make your own starter culture at home. The yogurt bacteria are believed to be on the back of lemon, red chili pepper, and tamarind. These can be used as a starter culture.

The procedure involves adding unpeeled lemon to about 100 ml of fresh milk and incubating at 42 degrees for 30 minutes.

Allow the mixture to stay for 8 to 12 hours. Your yogurt starter is ready. You can then proceed to fetch a tablespoon and add to 1 liter of milk and make your yogurt with it by following the steps outlined above.

Ensure you wash the back of the red chili pepper, tamarind or lemon before doing this.

Frequently asked questions about Yogurt recipe

Are yogurt and curd the same

Yogurt and Curd are not the same. Yogurt is produced by the action of some special bacteria that act on milk at a special temperature to convert the milk into yogurt. These bacteria are healthy and beneficial to our gut. Whereas Curd is the product formed by modifying the protein found in milk. This has no healthy bacteria and is simply formed by adding lemon, vinegar, or any lactic acid-containing substance.

Are yogurts good for you

Yogurt that contains live culture is beneficial to your health as it helps to maintain or restore the normal flora (which are healthy bacteria that are important in maintaining a healthy gut).

What can you put in your yogurt

You can put fruits in your yogurt or add some healthy snacks instead of having to buy yogurt raisins. Some yogurt toppings include honey, oatmeal, granola, etc. You can even make yogurt and fruit smoothies.

Preservation of Yogurt

Yogurt can expire just like any other foodstuff. When stored in an airtight container, the Yogurt expiration date can take 3 months. If it is homemade yogurt, it can be preserved by putting it in a container with a lid and keeping in the freezer or refrigerator.

Even when you buy and use part of the yogurt, you can keep the leftovers refrigerated to preserve it. Leaving the yogurt opened at room temperature can make it go bad. Bacteria in the atmosphere can act on it and make it sour; with more time it begins to form molds. Hence always close your yoghurt and place in a freezer or refrigerator as yogurt can be frozen.

Health benefits of yogurt recipes

Yogurt is beneficial to the body especially the gut. It provides energy as well as maintains the health of the gut by restoring the normal flora (these are good bacteria that protect the intestines). Sometimes, the good bacteria often get destroyed by drugs such as antibiotics or some diseases that affect the gut. When this occurs, it makes us even more prone to more harmful organisms. Yogurt, therefore, helps to maintain the good bacteria in the gut or even restore them when they are destroyed. Adding probiotics tablets while making yogurt enhances its beneficial effect on the gut.

However, regular eating of yogurt made from full cream milk can make you gain weight and this is not good for your health. If you love yogurt but you’re afraid of gaining weight, then you can make your own yogurt using skim milk; the procedure is the same. If you don’t have skim milk, you can easily make one at home using fresh milk.

Benefits of Yogurts for those with Lactose intolerance

Some people are unable to totally digest the sugar found in milk known as lactose. This condition is known as lactose intolerance and the partially digested milk sugar causes abdominal discomfort such as bloating and make you pass gas frequently. Some people may have diarrhea as a result of this intolerance to milk sugar.

This condition occurs whenever milk is directly consumed or any milk-containing Product. The good news is, these groups of people can consume yogurt especially the one with probiotics as the bacteria in yogurt had already broken down the sugar, and therefore it can not cause problems in those with lactose intolerance.

Diabetics can eat plain yogurt that has not been sweetened with sugar. The taste can be improved with fruit toppings instead of sugar.

Types of milk for making Yogurt

  • Powdered milk
  • Fresh raw milk from Buffalo, Goats, Sheep or Cow
  • Almond milk

Temperature controlled environments for making yogurt

  • Oven
  • Rice cooker
  • Instant pot ultra
  • Slow cooker

The above can be used to maintain the temperature of your boiled milk during the process of yogurt making. The temperature needs to be maintained so that the bacteria in the culture and grow and multiply optimally. What causes the failure of milk to turn to yogurt is the suboptimal growth of yogurt culture.