I love yogurt, especially the thick and creamy greek style! I had no idea how easy it is to make; so long as you have the right conditions, that is. The key is to keep the mix at a very steady 110°F for the entire time it cultures. Though standard yogurt directions will tell you that your yogurt will be ready in 5-10 hours the fact is, the longer you let the yogurt sit in the yogurt maker, the more active the cultures become. Though it will be tart, it will be very healthy for your gut! (Stay tuned for future posts about the benefits of fermented foods!)
Until I got a yogurt maker, I tried and failed at this recipe several times, each time finding liquid milk rather than thick yogurt after the 24 hr incubation. How many times did it fail? Let me count the ways… Crock pot on warm: too hot. Stove top periodic warming: too involved. Preheated oven with light on: too cold. Tiny, cheap $10 yogurt maker: broke. I was ready to give up and forgo yogurt (because I am not prepared to pay $3-$5 for a tiny container of lactose-free yogurt from the market). That’s when my friend lent me her yogurt maker and the very first try was a success!!!
After 24hrs, I split the batch in two. The first batch I put directly into the fridge. To the second, I incorporated a 1/4 tsp gelatin which I had dissolved and heated in 1/4 cup extra lactose-free milk, before putting it in the fridge. Both turned out fabulously, with the gelatin batch more thick like Greek yogurt and the other like regular yogurt.
This thick, unsweetened lactose-free yogurt pairs wonderfully with grainless granola
- 4 cups lactose-free whole milk
- 1/2 cup commercial yogurt with live cultures OR vegan yogurt starter
- 1 pod vanilla
- 1 tsp pasture-raised beef gelatin optional
Cut vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds
Combine the seeds and the pods with the milk
Slowly heat the milk to 170°F, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn at the bottom of the pot
Remove from heat and cool to 110°F
Whisk in commercial yogurt or starter
Poor into yogurt maker and let it sit for 24 hours
Cool in fridge to thicken
If you would like thicker yogurt, thoroughly blend gelatin into warm yogurt before cooling in fridge