Things are starting to get crazy here on the farm, spring is short in Vermont and we have a lot to do.
Our overdue cow, Olivia, gave birth to the most beautiful heifer calf, who we named Octavia.
With a fresh cow (the term used for cows who have just come back into milk) the flood of milk comes very quickly, and I am always rushed to drink and process as much milk as possible, especially since we will not be getting piglets for a few more weeks.
One of my favorite dairy products is homemade yogurt.
You do not need a cow to make homemade yogurt. A quart of organic yogurt can range from $3.00-$8.00 and even if you are buying raw milk at $10.00 a gallon, that still breaks down to $2.50 per quart of homemade yogurt. Ideally, a milk that is not ultra-pasteurized is best to use, but you can have success with any milk! (to source raw milk in your area, visit www.realmilk.com)
Homemade yogurt is easy to make and the taste is slightly tangier than store-bought yogurt.
If you are feeling like an adventurous foodie or a thrifty mama, try homemade yogurt!!
Ingredients and Supplies Needed
- 1 gallon raw or not ultra-pasteururized whole milk (can use 2%, 1%, or skim, but the product will be runnier)
- 1/4 c storebought yogurt, (I use and get the best results with Butterworks Farm Whole Milk Yogurt) or yogurt culture (yogurt culture can be ordered online from New England Cheesemaking Supply, or Cultures for Health)
- Yogurt maker or Large Ice Chest Cooler like this one that I use, or something that can incubate the yogurt by keeping a constant temperature for 12 hours, some people use their oven with the light turned on, or a hot water bath)
- Large heavy bottomed stainless steel pot
- Large spoon
- Measuring cup
- 4 Quart Sized Mason Jars with Lids
1} Go milk your cow (if you do not have a cow and will be using store-bought milk, skip to step 2) 😉
2} Pour the gallon of milk in the pot, set pot over medium heat and slowly bring the milk up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally
4} Let the milk cool to 110-120 degrees. At this point add whatever yogurt culture you are using, stirring to incorporate
5} Pour milk with yogurt culture into mason jars and tighten lids.
6} Place in whatever incubation device you are using and incubate at 110-120 degrees from 8-12 hours (the longer incubation, the tangier the yogurt will be, I incubate for 12 hours)
7} After 12 hours place mason jars in fridge to cool.
Recipe: Homemade Ranch (Yogurt) Dressing
Store bought salad dressings were one of the first products I kicked out the door on my journey to clean eating. They are often times loaded with soy or other rancid vegetable oils, sugar, processed dairy products and preservatives. This is not the reason I eat salads, so I went on a quest to create a homemade ranch dressing that mimicked the ranch dressing I grew up eating and loving on everything!
-1 c homemade yogurt (if you want a thicker dressing, strain the yogurt for up to 12 hours in cheesecloth)
-1 tsp each fresh or dried parsley and chives
-1 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
-optional: 1 clove minced garlic
mix everything together, let sit in the refrigerator for flavors to develop, at least 1 hour.