It's been a year now since I started making Greek Yogurt. In the beginning I made it with non-fat milk, several months passed and it wasn't working any longer. I made it exactly the same way, but always ended up with just sour milk. So I got discouraged and quit. Then last fall I read an article about how your digital thermometers have to be recalibrated on a regular basis, and the light dawned. My temperature was off, that's why it wasn't working!
So I pitched the digital thermometer, went back to using a regular meat/utility thermometer and I was back in business. And then I decided to try eating low-carb for the umpteenth time and read that I could eat whole milk yogurt. I started making it, and oh my, it's absolutely decadent, wickedly delicious, there is no comparison between non-fat yogurt and whole milk yogurt. It has 20+ grams of protein per cup and approximately 220 calories, but I never eat a cup, a half of a cup is sufficient. I eat it with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. I mix a tablespoon of peanut butter in it, sometimes I use maple extract, sometimes lemon, but I always use a lot of Splenda. It isn't that sour to begin with, not like Fage or Chobani Greek Yogurt you buy in the store, but it's so good sweetened, it's almost like ice cream.
I make it and give it away, and always get great feedback. I make it every couple of days, a half gallon of milk makes a quart of yogurt. I bit the bullet and invested in equipment, a YoGourmet Yogurt Incubator and that pricey Mafter Boullion Strainer, and it was worth every penny. I've already paid back my investment many times over, since I get a gallon of milk for $1.79 at Aldi's, and a gallon makes two quarts of yogurt. I know I'm repeating some of this information, but I've had so many people ask about this and some things are worth repeating.
I've read extensively about yogurt making, you don't have to buy any equipment. Some people incubate theirs on a heating pad, I used to put mine in the oven with the light on, another way of incubating is to wrap it in a towel and put it in an insulated cooler along with a bowl of hot water. There is a ton of information about yogurt making if you just Google it.
When I tell people what I do to make it, the standard response is "that's too much trouble." But once you do it a few times it's a no brainer and doesn't take that much effort. I know exactly how long it takes to get to temperature in my microwave, I know that it takes 20-30 minutes for the temperature to fall to 100-110 degrees in an ice water bath, then I just put it in the YoGourmet, and in 6-8 hours I have yogurt.
I always refrigerate mine for a few hours or overnight before I strain it, it just works better to refrigerate it first. Then whisk, jar it and enjoy.
Okay, that's my last yogurt post for now, but I did want to update you one more time. I'm going to give you some links to my original entry, but do yourself a favor and watch Paula's video. I consider myself a serious yogurt maker these days, but Paula is the guru. And yes, I know I've already put her video on here, but it's worth watching again.
I've tried several different recipes, including adding dry milk. Yuck! Paula's recipe is best by far, trust me on this one.
Now go buy a gallon of whole milk, and make some yogurt, it's good for your bones and it's good for your gut and it tastes like no yogurt you've ever eaten. And don't try and calculate calories from the milk jug, it doesn't work that way, because you drain off the whey which has carbs and calories in it. And yes, I pour the whey on my houseplants and they love it. And I'll quit posting about this for awhile, pinky swear I will. Well, until I make frozen yogurt, but that's a whole other ballgame. ;o)
~ Happy Yogurting - Jan
Click thru the following links for more information...
And one more viewing of Paula's Video, it's worth watching again...