Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Yogurt Starter

Posted by terrepruitt on July 6, 2013

Six weeks ago I met a friend after teaching Nia and she mentioned making yogurt.  I love yogurt.  I get frustrated because all that I can find in the store is either non-fat or full fat.  I want either 1% or 2%, but I can’t find it.  Plus I am not a fan of most of the flavors of yogurt.  I don’t care for berries and that is a HUGE portion of the flavors out there; strawberry, cherry, raspberry, etc.  Not my thing.  What I sometimes do is I buy plain non-fat yogurt and I mix it a full fat flavored kind, but lately I have not been able to find a flavor that I like.  I love the Greek yogurt, but again I run into the same flavor and fat issue as non-Greek yogurt.  So anyway, when she said she makes yogurt, I know my eyes got big because I think that is difficult.  I also thought it required a yogurt MAKER.  But nope, she uses a two pots and a cooler.  So she invited me over to make it with her.  It was super easy.  I can honestly say the most difficult part is filling the jars without spilling — so I gave up on that.  So the part that is actually most difficult is washing the equipment.  Yeah, really, the “hardest” part of making yogurt is washing everything you are going to need to make the yogurt.  Doesn’t that tell you how easy making yogurt is?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo the very first time I made yogurt I did it with my friend.  Actually she did it and I just assisted.  But, again, it really is so easy there is not much to do.  The second time I made yogurt I did it on my own.  One thing you need to make yogurt is a thermometer.  See with yogurt you are heating the milk up to kill off the bad bacteria, then cooling it down to a nice cozy temperature to allow the good bacteria to grow.  So it helps to have a thermometer.  It actually seems wise to have one.  Although when I made my second batch, the one I did all by myself, I didn’t have a thermometer.  Well, I did, it just didn’t work.  It is not calibrated.  It started off at 180° (I got is down to 160° prior to using it).  It registered that the milk did heat up but I am not certain exactly how hot it actually got.  The instructions I have state that slowly heating the milk shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.  So I heated the milk for almost 20 minutes.  Then I began to smell it.  I remembered when I made it with my friend I smelled it too.  So I figured I was doing ok.  At 20 minutes I took it of the burner and put it in the ice bath and even though my thermometer was not registering the CORRECT temperature, I watched it go down the 60 or 70° needed.

Two things I had wanted to do different with my second batch was heat it higher than the first batch and let it ferment longer.  Well, I don’t think I heated it higher because I didn’t have a good thermometer, but I did let it sit longer.  And that is the second most difficult part of making yogurt.  Letting it set without bothering it.  Without checking it.  Just leaving it alone.

As far as I can tell it came out fine.  It didn’t seem as tart as the first batch, but it seemed a tad bit thicker.  A half gallon of milk made 11 canning jars.  I have one and a half left and today I made my third batch.  Second on my own.  This time I had a thermometer.  I heated the milk to the temperature I wanted and I will let the yogurt ferment for 12 hours.

I started to write up the instructions, but I thought I had better make sure this batch comes out before I claim the recipe with the changes I have made a success.  After making the first batch I started looking up things and there is so much information out there I kind of was able to pick and choose.  After my second batch, I chose to believe the woman who said she never uses a thermometer and goes by steam and smell.  I hadn’t remembered it steaming so I was a bit worried, but it was fine.  I am working off of the people who want thicker yogurt and they heat it higher and let it sit longer.  I have not yet strained any yogurt, so my product is very runny.  But I like it.  It is good.

Here is to future posts about yogurt!  Can’t wait!  (Yogurt Making Tips post – 07.23.13 / Yogurt Instructions post 07.25.13)

Do you like yogurt?  What brand?  What flavor?

2 Responses to “Yogurt Starter”

  1. Michele said

    yoGURT!!!!! Yay, you are awesome. When you come visit let’s make yogurt 🙂

    Like

    • Ok. It is super easy. I think I might strain some of this batch to make it thicker. It is really runny. Unlike yogurt you get. It is almost like thick soup. But it is tart and creaming.

      Like

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