Kate’s Yogurt History:

Before I can tell you about homemade yogurt, I’ve got to tell you a bit about my mother.

My mother is what we referred to in the 1970’s and 80’s as a Health Food Nut.  Not an extreme Nut, but Nutty enough that no one ever stole my lunch. She got our eggs from “The Egg Lady”  and she purchased kitchen staples from “The Health Food Store“.

To appease my brother and me when we begged for Kraft Dinner, Mum made “Homemade Dinner“. When we begged for Cheez Whiz, she bought “Healthy Cheez Whiz“, which didn’t have the colour, texture or taste of what this kid of the ’70’s was hoping for.  We ate a lot of seeds, home-sprouted sprouts and homemade granola.

My mother recycled jars, containers and bags long before anyone else.

In the 1980’s, when I was a somewhat geeky teenager, just trying to fit in, opening my lunch was a daily worry.  My mother must have been the inventor(?), initiator(?), Grand Poobah(?) of no-waste lunching.

If we were “lucky, my brother and I opened brown paper lunch bags that had been used and re-used so many times that they were as worn and soft as 3-ply toilet paper. (Note: I have a sister as well, but she’s 10.5 years younger and I had moved out of the house by the time she was taking a lunch to school)

If we were “unlucky, my brother and I opened a MILK bag.

Aside: In certain parts of Canada, milk can be purchased in bags.  Inside the main bag (which my mother washed and then packed our lunches in) are three smaller bags (which, when empty, my mother washed and packed “GORP“, or crackers, or a sandwich for our lunch in).

Image below is from mentalfloss.com – Why do Canadians Drink Milk in Bags

I once opened a Thermos of homemade soup and my friend took a look inside and asked “Is it alive?“.

Looking back, I realize I should be thanking Mum for taking such care of us. There were very few processed foods in our house. Instead, she served us healthy, home-cooked meals without additives. Not to mention the effort she put into packing a lunch for me everyday right through until the end of high school.  As a school lunch-maker myself now, I can appreciate the monotony, futility and thanklessness of this $hitty job.

But what about the Homemade yogurt?

Oh, right. Back on track. My mother also used to make yogurt. I don’t recall her making it, I just recall the 6 brownish glass jars with lids taking up space in the fridge and in my way when I was looking for a snack. I remember homemade yogurt having a tangy taste that is lacking in the commercially made stuff. And I remember eating homemade yogurt with a bit of maple syrup for dessert.

After leaving home, I essentially stopped eating yogurt and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started again. I enjoy the creamy texture of Greek style yogurt, but I’ve been missing the tanginess of the stuff my mom used to make.

Recently – like in the last year – I have been thinking of making my own yogurt.

Kate’s Top Three Reasons to Make Yogurt

  1. Most important – to experiment with incubation timing to get the tangy taste that I miss
  2. Pretty important – to save money. We go through a lot of yogurt here
  3. Petty important – to be able to say things like “Oh, you like yogurt? Have you tried making it?  It’s very easy and homemade yogurt is sooooo much better than store-bought.

Another Reason to Make Yogurt

  1. Total Control of Ingredients! You control the ingredients so you know exactly what’s in it.

Kate’s Top Tip for Homemade Yogurt

Spontaneity Kate is NOT my nickname.  I don’t do anything without researching the heck out of it first.

My Top Tip for anyone starting to make yogurt is to spend a little time reading through blogs, forums, and comments in facebook groups. Learn from the mistakes and trials from others. Find out what kind of milk works, temperatures, timing, and tips.

Kate’s Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

Ha ha! Tricked you.  I don’t have my “own” recipe for homemade yogurt. At this point, as a relative “newbie” I’m not interested in re-inventing the wheel. I DID do a lot of research though to find the best recipe for me and settled upon this recipe (and great instructions) provided on thisoldgal.com for making yogurt in an Instant Pot.

Just to add to her instructions: Thisoldgal mentions that longer incubation times result in tarter yogurt.  I have now made yogurt 3 times with incubation times of 8, 9 and 10 hours.  None of these times resulted in a tart/tangy yogurt.  Actually, I didn’t notice a difference in tartness between the 3 trials. So I’m still working on that and will update if I come up with anything new.

How do I get my Homemade Yogurt More Tart?

Do you know the key to tart yogurt?  Can you enlighten me? Please leave me a comment below. I NEED to know!

Tips for Flavoured Homemade Yogurt

Do you have a favourite flavoured homemade yogurt?  Educate me! My kids love flavoured yogurts.  Please leave a comment with your flavouring tips!

Do you have a fool-proof recipe for vegan yogurt?

I’m trying to lessen our dependency on animal products and am in search of a fool-proof vegan yogurt recipe.  I’ve seen varying degrees of success on the facebook vegan groups – some people succeed, but other fail with the same product.  If you’ve got a recipe that has worked for you, can you kindly leave a comment below and add a link to the recipe if it’s online? Greatly appreciated!