How to Make Yogurt at Home with a Yogurt Maker

The benefits of eating yogurt and the live cultures in it are well known. You can eat yogurt by itself or use as an ingredient in recipes. Making yogurt at home is easy, and with an automatic yogurt machine, it’s even easier. A major benefit of using a yogurt maker is that the temperature during processing is kept consistent.

Sand and Succotash | How to make yogurt at home using an automatic yogurt machine.

Components of the Yogurt-Making Set Up

A typical kit for a yogurt machine comes with the warming base, a cover, and individual cups and lids. Some models will have a dating system on the lids, either indicating when the yogurt should be used by, or when the yogurt was made. Freshly made yogurt will need to be consumed within ten days of it being made. If no numbering system is available on the jar lids, mark with freezer tape the date for a quick reminder.

Freeze-dried yogurt starters can be used to activate the yogurt. These are packets containing lactic bacteria (L. Bulcaricus, L. Acidophilus, S. Thermophilus) with other ingredients such as milk powder, sucrose and ascorbic acid. Homemade yogurt can also be made with purchased plain regular or Greek-style yogurt containing active live cultures. Once a batch of plain yogurt is made and chilled, it may be used one time to create another batch of yogurt. After that, you’ll need to begin a new batch of yogurt with either a fresh yogurt or freeze-dried starter.

Process of Making the Yogurt

Pasteurized milk is heated up and brought to a boil, and then cooled to a lukewarm temperature. The boiling process may be skipped, but the boiling creates a firmer yogurt in the end. And while whole milk, reduced fat milk, or skim milk may be used in the recipe, the consistency will be different depending on the milk being used, and the cooking time will also change.

After cooling the heated milk to lukewarm, yogurt cultures are introduced and let to set in the warmer base for a period of time to activate the cultures and create the homemade yogurt. Once finished, the yogurt is chilled and ready to serve.

How to Make Yogurt at Home with a Yogurt Maker
This recipe creates about 50 oz. of homemade plain yogurt. I use 2% milk in my yogurt because that is how we prefer the taste and texture at home, but experiment with other milks if you drink a different type of milk. This was tested and created using the Euro Cuisine Digital-Automatic Yogurt Maker. Refer to your manual if you have a different model for specific instructions unique to your model.
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Ingredients
  1. 42 oz. pasteurized 2% milk
  2. 6 oz. plain Greek-style yogurt (see note below)
Instructions
  1. Wash all jars and lids and dry thoroughly.
  2. Bring the milk to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from burning, and using a heavy, high-sided pot. Once the milk begins to climb up the sides of the pan, remove from heat and stir it down. Place back on the burner and continue to cook for about a minute more. Remove the pan from the burner, and let cool to around 110 degrees F. Use of a thermometer will be helpful; the milk will be lukewarm.
  3. Place the weighed plain yogurt into a mixing bowl. Add a couple of ladelfuls of the warm milk into the yogurt, and mix until smooth. Pour this back into the pot of milk. Divide the milk mixture evenly between the jars.
  4. Set the jars onto the base of the machine. Turn it on, and enter in the time required for the milk being used. 2% milk will take about 9 hours to create the yogurt. Cover the jars with the lid. Make sure to set the machine in an area that will be undisturbed and not bumped or moved as this will directly have an effect on the final texture of the finished product.
  5. The time is up, carefully remove the lid to avoid any water that has condensed on the lid to excessively get into the yogurt. Mark the date on the lids, and place on the jars. Place in the refrigerator for at least three hours to finish up the process.
  6. Serve the chilled plain yogurt as desired.
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Red Wine Braised Eggplant with Yogurt and Herb Tomatoes

Market Black Box: Surplus of eggplant.

What I did with it: Braised with red wine, and served them with yogurt and herb tomatoes.

Eggplant and tomatoes. I love cooking with both, and they pair up nicely. If you do a quick search in a search engine for ‘eggplant and tomatoes’, you’ll get all kinds of recipes – from bruschetta appetizers to dinner casseroles.

This simple braised eggplant dish is topped with yogurt and tomatoes for an easy meatless meal, but it goes equally well with grilled meats. Leftovers are great when used to stuff pita pocket sandwiches.

Red Wine Braised Eggplant with Yogurt Herb Tomatoes
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium eggplant, diced, see recipe
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 cup sliced bell peppers (use green, or a mixture of red, yellow and green)
  4. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian blend mixed herbs
  7. 1/2 cup dry red wine
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. Freshly ground black pepper, or cracked black pepper
For the Yogurt Herb Tomatoes
  1. 3 Roma tomatoes
  2. 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
  3. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  4. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Cut the eggplant into cubes about 3/4-inch in size. Leave the skins on for the recipe. If desired, they may be removed.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a rondeau or large saucepan with a lid (Dutch oven can also be used) over medium heat.
  3. Add in the diced eggplant, yellow onion, and sliced bell peppers. Stir to combine, and cover the pan with a lid. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring every 5 minutes or so, replacing lid after each stirring.
  4. Sprinkle in the dried basil and Italian herb mixture. Drizzle over the red wine and stir to combine. Continue to cook the vegetable mixture for another 10 minutes, covered, stirring frequently.
  5. When the vegetables have been cooked down and the eggplant is tender, add in the chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper. Stir, taste, and add in additional seasoning if necessary. For low-salt diets, omit salt all together.
  6. To serve on its own as pictured above, place in a pastry ring (or use a large, tall round cookie cutter) in the middle of a dinner plate. Using a spoon, take the eggplant and place the vegetables inside the pastry ring until the serving size has been met. Carefully remove the pastry ring and a perfectly round portion will be left. It may help to lift slowly while pressing the edges of the eggplant to keep it in place. Spoon some of the Yogurt Herb Tomatoes over the top and serve.
For the Yogurt Herb Tomatoes
  1. Core the tomatoes, and cut them into a small, even dice.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add in the plain low-fat yogurt and fresh herbs.
  3. Stir to combine, and serve with braised recipe above.
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