Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk with a yogurt culture. It provides protein and calcium, and it may enhance healthy gut bacteria.
Health benefits range from protecting against osteoporosis to relieving irritable bowel disease and aiding digestion, but these depend on the type of yogurt consumed.
NOTE: Added sugar and processing can make some yogurt products unhealthy.
Yogurt starts as fresh milk or cream. It is often first pasteurized, then fermented with various live bacteria cultures, and incubated at a specific temperature to encourage bacteria growth.
The culture ferments the lactose, the natural sugar found in milk. This produces lactic acid, which gives yogurt its distinctive flavor.
Fast facts about yogurt
Yogurt is made by fermenting milk wth a yogurt culture.
Health benefits can include promoting bone health and aiding digestion.
Some yogurts contain active, living bacteria known as probiotics, which can help keep the intestines healthy.
Yogurt products that go through heat treatment have no active bacteria, reducing the health benefits.
Yogurts contain calcium, vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium.
What better time than now is it to get your hands on this recipe if health and wellness is a priority to you.
Whole/Full cream or Skimmed Milk (2 cups): Skimmed milk for those on a weight loss diet and full cream for anyone who wants the added fat. Note: I used Dano and Peak brands, I recommend these.
Culture or Starter (2 tablespoons): Unsweetened & unflavoured Yoghurt with active culture. E.g Farm Fresh Yoghurt or Habib Yoghurt. Note: Buy the Unsweetened/No flavour yoghurt).
Sweetener (As desired): Buy your desired sweetener e.g pure honey, fruits or sugar.
Note: Honey is better for healthy consumption.
Water (2 cups each): Boiling hot water and ordinary water.
The Basic Process
Making your own yogurt at home is relatively easy as long as you follow these steps:
Step 1: Choosing Your Milk
First, choose your milk. This can be any kind of milk, but the more healthy your milk is the more healthy your yogurt will be. I hear raw milk is best, but I didn’t have access to raw milk at the time. Instead, I used full cream milk(in Nigeria, Dano and Peak came highly recommended). You can also use goat’s milk.
Step 2: Mixing the Milk with Ordinary Water
The milk will require mixing with 2 cups of ordinary water. Stir until all lumps have fully dissolved.
Step 3: Adding the Culture
Your culture or starter is simply a pre-made/store bought unsweetened yoghurt (some of the good brands are Farmfresh and Habib Yoghurt).
Once the milk has been mixed, you will some of pre-made yogurt to the already mixed milk. After your first batch, the culture can come from your previous unsweetened batch.
I used the unsweetened Farmfresh yoghurt with the inscription “live culture”on it.
Stir lightly, just to incorporate the culture into the milk mixture. Then, put the lids on the jars.
Step 4: Adding Hot Water To The Mixture
Boil some water.
You will find the hot water very useful to activate the incubation process of the milk.
That is add 2 cups of hot water to the mixture.
Step 5: Incubating the Yogurt
Once the culture has been added, you should cover the container and wrap it up with a thick blanket. It is ready to go into the dark storage area (cupboard, cabinet, locker, unused oven) or a big warmer (otherwise called cooler) to incubate and cover up to give a consistent temperature and allow all the good bacteria the favorable atmosphere for growth.
The yogurt needs to incubate for at least 15-24 hours (I incubated mine for about 23 hours but I learnt the longer it stays incubated, the more sour the taste. It can be incubated for up to 4 days).
A 24 hour incubation period is required in order for the majority of lactose to be consumed by the bacteria. The longer it incubates, the more tangy the finished yogurt will be.
Once the yogurt is done incubating, refrigerate it to set the yogurt and just pour off the extra whey and stir using a stick blender.
If you want to make Greek yogurt then you can always strain off the remaining whey using fine neat cloth to sieve out the extra whey.
I forgot to add that you can mix in your favorite sweetener; sugar, honey, dates or banana for a more flavored taste.
My favorite way to eat the yogurt is with honey drizzled over it for the added health benefits. It’s also really good in smoothies.
You can make your yoghurt in multiples of the measurement given in this recipe to make a larger quantity.
I will love to hear how your yoghurt came out, freely reach out to me.