Homemade Whole Milk Yogurt

I know you’re probably tired of reading about how finicky my child is when it comes to eating, but it seriously blows my mind.

Last week, in a total surprise, she was willing to eat tortellini with alfredo sauce for dinner. She rejected the salmon, broccoli, and smashed potatoes I made just for her, and she wanted the meal I made for myself and Mr. T.

Why is it surprising? Because she’d eaten salmon, broccoli, and potatoes for lunch. In fact, she DEVOURED IT. Might she have wanted something different? Maybe. But it’s more likely that she was living up to her rep as an unpredictable eater.

The only things I can be sure my kid will consume are PB&Js and yogurt, both of which I feel guilty about feeding her. The amount of sugar in the jelly (I’ve seriously slacked on making the baby food jelly) and flavored Greek yogurts is no bueno.

So I headed back into the kitchen to cook up a solution we can both live with. I walked out with homemade whole milk yogurt.

Why whole milk? Baby Bird’s pediatrician suggested that I start giving it her. My child won’t drink milk that’s not from my boobs, but I want to make sure she’s getting the proteins and fats she needs. (I know she could get those nutritional elements from foods, but again, she’s hit-and-miss with the eating thing.)

This yogurt is easy to make and customize. And once you’ve made some, you can put a cup aside to use as the starter for the next batch.

I love that I can control what additives Baby Bird’s getting. I can easily switch up the flavors, and I’m saving money by making my own yogurt. (A gallon of whole milk will make 8 cups of yogurt, and they’ll keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.)

It’s simple, customizable, inexpensive, and my kid will eat it. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Homemade Full-fat Yogurt

Homemade Full-fat Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 1 cup of commercial yogurt containing active cultures
  • 3 quart or larger Dutch oven
  • Large saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Instant-read or candy thermometer
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk

Instructions

  1. Pour the milk into the saucepan and set over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Warm the milk to 200 degrees, stirring frequently to make sure the bottom doesn't scorch and the milk doesn't boil over.
  3. Let the milk cool to 110 to 115 degrees, stirring occasionally to keep a skin from forming.
  4. Put the yogurt into the bowl, then slowly add a cup of the warmed milk to it. Whisk until the yogurt dissolves in the milk.
  5. Whisk the yogurt into the saucepan of milk.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the Dutch oven, put on the lid, then move the container into a turned-off oven. You can wrap the Dutch oven in a towel to keep the milk warm, or you can turn on the oven light, which will keep the oven at a steady temperature.
  7. Let the yogurt sit for at least 4 hours. The longer yogurt sits, the thicker and more tart it will become.
  8. Once the yogurt has set to your taste, take it out of the oven. You can drain off or mix back in any watery whey on the surface. You can also strain it through a cheesecloth for thicker consistency.
  9. Transfer the yogurt to an airtight storage container and refrigerate.

Notes

Homemade yogurt will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

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Homemade Whole Milk Yogurt from a Dutch Oven
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