By Erik J. Martin
YOGURT IS A super food that packs a healthy punch.
It’s a good source of protein and calcium as well as
active cultures (they produce lactic acid, which helps
to thicken and sour yogurt) and probiotics, which
boost your immune system and maintain the bacterial
balance needed for a healthy digestive system. In fact,
yogurt consumption is associated with a more well-balanced diet and metabolic profile, according to a
2013 study published in Nutrition Research. It’s no
wonder U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary
guidelines recommend three 8-ounce servings of
yogurt, milk or cheese daily for those age 9 or older.
Plus, it’s versatile. In addition to being the perfect breakfast food or between-meal snack, yogurt
can be frozen; spread on bread, crackers or cookies;
used as a dip; or added to various recipes.
If you have the time and the inclination, making
your own yogurt can be a satisfying, cost-effective
and healthful complement to or substitute for buying it from the store. You get to control the ingredients, and the fresher the yogurt, the greater the
amount of live active cultures.
“Making yogurt is more economical than buying
a commercially made product, it doesn’t take that
much time or effort and I can control exactly what
goes into the product,” says Darshi Shah, a Katy,
Texas-based board-certified nutritional therapist.
Rachelle Chase, an Ottumwa, Iowa, resident,
makes her own yogurt because “I like knowing the
ingredients that go into it, the ability to create
unique flavors and the feeling of satisfaction and
accomplishment that goes with making it myself.”
Making yogurt at home is a relatively simple
process that takes a few minutes of prep and a few
hours of storage time. The main ingredients—cow,
goat, sheep, almond, soy or coconut milk and live-
culture yogurt starter (one package makes several
batches)—can be purchased at a store or online for
less than $10, or you can use a spoonful of yogurt
from your last batch as a starter. You can use cook-
ware and appliances you already have or, for added
convenience, buy a yogurt maker. The latter is rec-
ommended if you live in a climate with extreme
temperatures or high altitude.
“The only disadvantage to making your own
yogurt is the time you have to wait before your yogurt
is done fermenting, which can range from eight to 48
hours,” says Costco member William Choi, sales and
marketing director for Tribest Corporation, manufac-
turer of the Yolife Yogurt Maker. “However, if you
make a large batch, you can keep smaller jars sealed
inside your fridge to eat later.”
Homemade yogurt is safe to eat, provided you
follow a trusted recipe carefully; but if you detect an
unpleasant smell or color, which could indicate
spoilage, discard it and try again.
“It is imperative that the yogurt cool to the
proper temperature at the end of the fermentation
cycle, and always be sure to keep [finished] yogurt
chilled,” recommends Mary Rogers, a Costco member and marketing communications director for
Cuisinart, makers of a yogurt machine with an automatic cooling feature.
Do-it-yourself yogurt can be a particularly
rewarding and nutritionally enriching food that
expands your palate and your cooking skills—so
long as you approach the yogurt-making process
with patience and careful attention to detail. C
Erik J. Martin is a Chicago-based freelance writer and
frequent contributor to The Costco Connection.
The perks and pleasures
of homemade yogurt
Costco members will find
yogurt makers on Costco.com,
and a variety of fresh ingredients at Costco warehouses to
make their own yogurt. Costco
also carries a selection of
Greek-style and other yogurts
at most locations.
FOLLOW THIS EASY recipe to
make yogurt, provided by the
manufacturers of the Yolife
Yogurt Maker. This recipe
requires a yogurt maker.
Heat 8 ounces of milk or
soy milk over low heat while
stirring. Remove from heat
before the milk starts to boil
(at about 176F to 185F).
Let the milk cool until it is
lukewarm (about 105F).
Activate the milk by thoroughly mixing in 2 to 3 teaspoons of yogurt starter until all
the powder is evenly dissolved.
Mix the 8 ounces of activated
milk with 25 ounces of fresh milk
or soy milk and stir thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the
small glass jars for individual
servings, or pour the mixture
into the large glass container
for a family-size serving.
Do not cover the glass
yogurt containers with lids.
Place the glass yogurt
container(s) inside the yogurt
maker and attach the appropriate cover to the yogurt maker.
Plug in the yogurt maker and
set the time indicator to the time
you started making your yogurt.
The yogurt is ready to eat
when a firm curd is formed. It
takes around 8 to 12 hours if
small jars are used or 12 to 15
hours if a large container is used.
When ready to eat, add
fresh fruit, syrups, jams or other
flavorings for a delicious and
nutritious treat. C
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