I am somewhat kidding when I call myself an expert, but I’ve never had a batch of yogurt fail. Homemade yogurt is delicious. Why? Well, the stuff in the store (aside from being expensive) is made from low or nonfat milk, thickened with who-knows-what, and has old, gross fruit that’s swimming in HFCS. It might not be worse than table sugar, but it doesn’t taste good to me.
Homemade yogurt is pretty simple to make. There’s a great website that explains how, though you really don’t need it after a few times.
My Tips for Each Step
1. Boiling the milk: A fancy double boiler isn’t necessary. I use a metal bowl inside of a big pot, and it works great. I do not add any sweetener at this point.
2. Cooling: Since I tend to forget about things in the kitchen, I set a timer to check on the temperature of the milk every 5-10 minutes (fewer as it gets closer to 110 degrees.)
3. Cooling: Have a thermometer on hand and don’t just try to go by feel. I have a billion thermometers that are used for people (clean, of course), so I use one of those. They won’t register over 110 or so, but that’s the temperature I need anyway!
4. Incubating: I highly recommend a good thermos for incubating the yogurt. There’s no need to check the temperature, because it keeps the yogurt perfectly warm. I set mine on the counter and forget about it until the next day.
5. Don’t disturb the yogurt for the 8-12 hours! It gets a bunch of whey on the top and looks really gross if you do.
6. Flavoring: To sweeten the yogurt, just use some freezer jam. It tastes great, and it’s really easy.
I love to put unsweetened yogurt in smoothies. It gives them such a nice tang.
Yogurt is also excellent with fruit and granola. If we have any left over after a week, I freeze it into popsicles for the kids. Yum!
Nutrition facts will vary a lot based on what kind of milk you use and if/how you sweeten it.