For the love of Yoghurt…

Since Bo and I got back from Indo we have been living in haze of uncertainty. I’ve been a bit of an emotional whirlwind and Bo has been getting over a repeat of that awful flu she had just before we left the village. We’ve had more than a bit of time on our hands, and I haven’t really known what to do..

But I have had access to all of these wonderful things that I’ve been without for so many years. I’ve also been thinking a lot about money. Our family relies on my measly freelanced based income (which is pretty minimal when you have a baby that doesn’t sleep) to stay afloat at the moment, and it’s tough going most of the time. So finding creative, healthy and eco-friendly ways to cut costs is right up there on my things to do list.

Given how much yoghurt Bo and I both eat I decided that I should make my own. That way I can be sure it’s organic, baby friendly and packed full of the good stuff AND we could cut some costs. Sounds like a win win to me. I was nervous to try. I’m not so good at following instructions, I’m more of a fake it till you make it kind of girl, especially in the kitchen… which sometimes turns out gloriously and other times, fails miserably. I read lots of instructions online as to how to make yoghurt, but I don’t posses fancy things like candy-thermometers or special metal bowls or any of that sort of thing and damned if I was gonna go out and buy them…

So I read a bit and then I just winged it… and you know what? It worked! It’s so easy, no measuring, no thermometers, no stress yoghurt making. Right here. Right now…



  • Milk (however much you need to fill your jar) – I’ve been using full fat fresh milk but apparently low fat works too.
  • Milk Powder – You can skip this one, I have, but using it makes a much creamier, more set, yoghurt.
  • Yoghurt starter – You can use the powdered stuff OR you can just use a bit of your favourite yoghurt. I used unsweetened organic natural yoghurt. Just make sure that it has the live culture in it, most good yoghurts do.


  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Oven
  • Glass Jar – you can use plastic if you want but glass is nicer, and more earth-friendly.


Preheat your oven to whatever degrees. It doesn’t matter so much cos you are going to turn it off. I usually just cook something. Last night I roasted pumpkin. When the oven is hot (or whatever you are cooking is done) turn the oven off and leave the door CLOSED to hold the heat in.

Whisk together milk and a couple of heaped teaspoons (I never measure, so just use whatever) milk powder in your saucepan. Don’t worry about lumps, they don’t matter.

Turn the heat on and cook the milk until just before it boils. When the little bubbles start forming around the edges and the milk is steaming, turn it off. If you forget, like I have, and it boils, don’t worry about it – it still works – just remove that skin from the top and keep going.

Let the milk cool down till it’s warm but not hot. Stick your finger in, if it burns… wait longer. When it is just warm to touch, that’s pretty good.

Take out a cup of the milk and mix it with your yoghurt starter. Just use a couple of teaspoons of yoghurt starter, it doesn’t seem to matter if you use lots or not too much… Once combined add the cup of mixed milk back into the saucepan.

Pour the yoghurt mixture into a CLEAN jar and pop the lid on. Wrap in a tea towel, cloth nappy, baby blanket – whatever and pop it in your already warm oven. Leave the oven light on but the oven should be off. Close the door.



That’s it. You’re done. I just leave it over night. 12 hours-ish, sometimes longer if I forget. The longer you leave it the more tart and yoghurt-y it becomes. In the morning take the yoghurt out and put it in the fridge. It will last about 2 – 3 weeks, and to make the next batch? Just use a few spoonfuls of THIS batch as your yoghurt starter. That’s right… no more buying commercial yoghurt. Ever.

That’s it. Eat it plain, add fruit, cook with it, yum! So easy. And so cost effective. My guess is each jar (my jars are 950ml) is costing me around $2 max. Compared to $5+ for 500ml of the natural unsweetened yoghurt I usually buy? That’s definite savings.

Do you make your own yoghurt? Do you have any tips? Any tricks? Any awesome ideas? I can’t wait to make coconut yoghurt – just by substituting the cows milk for coconut milk – delicious, healthy and vegan friendly too. That will be next weeks experiment!


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  • October 21, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Rachel - This is so weird, I swear I was going to write a post about making yogurt! I used to make my own yogurt back in the uk every week – I had a 70s yogurt maker from my mum which is basically an insulated jar that you plug in to warm up slightly. Yogurt here is sooo expensive and I had a complete duh moment a couple of months ago when I realised it’s probably hot enough here that I could just leave the milk + starter out for a day and it would work just fine. Not tried it yet though!
    If you strain it through cheese cloth you can get greek style yogurt – yummy with honey, nom nom nom!ReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2012 - 8:00 pm

    Xoe - You are brave. Good on ya for making your own. I just feel lazy now, lol 🙂ReplyCancel

  • October 22, 2012 - 7:24 am

    Angela - Hey Sash,

    My YaiYai use to make our yoghurt and she taught me too, so I consider myself a bit of yoghurt wizz.

    Just thought Id add you don’t need to pre-heat your oven. I just pop my bottles straight into an esky. But before this, swish some boiled water around in the esky to warm it, as you would a tea pot. Then pop your warm jars in, nestle in a towel to help keep the heat in and pop the lid on.

    Bob will be your Uncle in 8-12 hours.

    I love mine with honey!

    • October 22, 2012 - 7:50 am

      Sash - Oooh Yoghurt pro eh? I did do that hot water thingie with one of my jars… totally forgot to write it though. Great to know about the non-oven thing. Making life even EASIER! Love it! xoxoReplyCancel

  • October 22, 2012 - 9:07 pm

    erica @ expatria, baby - Ha! Funny that I read this over the weekend, because we just bought a yoghurt maker this weekend, and made our inaugural batch of yoghurt which saves me spending 50 000 rupia on the nice greek style yoghurt that I like. Woot. I kinda know we don’t really need the yoghurt maker, but I’m married to a chef, and well, kitchen gadgets are his bag.
    It should also be stated for the record that sunday lunch was muesli, yoghurt and a spoonful of cherry jam.ReplyCancel

  • October 22, 2012 - 10:32 pm

    Jelli - Love making yogurt at home. I haven’t done it for a long time simply because I generally do it in the Crockpot, which is stowed away since we live with pals. Thanks for reminding me about this.ReplyCancel

  • October 23, 2012 - 6:27 am

    Angela - Another one of my YaiYai’s favorites is Greek style ricotta cheese called Mizithra. Its much like making yoghurt.

    The cheese is made with fig tree sap, you can use rennet or lemon juice too – but the sap gives it its distinct flavor and is the way YaiYai did it so its the only way in my book.

    When Im on Prego leave I’ll write up the recipe for you.


  • October 27, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    Cherry - Oh my Word! I am so excited to try this out!ReplyCancel

  • November 2, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    » November challenge… changing the way we look at food. Inked in Colour - […] this realisation is why I started making my own yoghurt. Which is still going awesomely and every week it gets cheaper and easier to make. And even more […]ReplyCancel

  • December 7, 2012 - 7:04 pm

    aliciabetts - Hello,

    I have been making yogurt for years, but in a slightly different way. It takes three steps:

    1. Heat as much milk as you want yogurt in a saucepan, the right temperature is when you can keep your finger in without burning but it’s hot.
    2. Add one plain yogurt to the warm milk and stirr well (it works also if you save some from your previously made yogurt, half a cup should do).
    3. Wrap the saucespan or the jar if you prefer, with a coat, blanket, or whatever is best for you.

    After around 6-8h you’re yogurt will be done, put it in the refrigerator to cool and it’s ready to eat!

    So no oven (no extra energy) and no specific container needed.

    Cheers and thanks for sharing!


  • December 19, 2012 - 6:08 pm
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    Good Food: The Green Smoothie Diaries. | Inked in Colour - […] huge handfuls of baby spinach – One or two bananas – One mango cheek – A couple of spoonfuls of Homemade Yoghurt (or plain store bought yoghurt – or even better Kefir) – A good splash of Milk (Can be almond […]ReplyCancel

  • February 12, 2013 - 5:03 am

    Good Food: An introduction to Kefir (and a yummy recipe too) | Inked in Colour - […] are producing beautiful kefir that Bo and I have in our smoothies every morning and along with my homemade yoghurt I feel that we are both reaping health benefits whilst being very kind to our environment (and my […]ReplyCancel

  • March 9, 2013 - 8:30 am

    Yummi food on the run (GIVE AWAY) | Inked in Colour - […] that’s where Yummi Pouches come in. These environmentally friendly products make transporting yoghurt, soups, and other yummy treats easy. Easy to fill, easy to clean (and dishwasher friendly!) and […]ReplyCancel

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