My Weekly Yogurt Post

🙂 Yep, I’m posting on yogurt again. I told you last week I’d let you know how the raw goat milk yogurt comes out. Delicious! (Click here for more traditional yogurt making instructions.)


Raw Goat Milk Yogurt - plain and strawberry

Raw Goat Milk Yogurt – plain and strawberry

Here’s how I did it.

Raw Goat Milk Yogurt

Prepare containers and utensils. Wash, rinse very well, pour boiling water over/into them.

1 qt. raw goat milk – heat gently on stove to 110°F. on candy or other food thermometer. (No more. You want it to remain raw.)

Whisk in: 3-4 Tbl. organic, natural plain yogurt with live cultures or recommended amount of dry yogurt culture.

Dump water out of yogurt containers and pour yogurt in. I used the containers that work in my dehydrator since that is where I cultured my yogurt this time. You can use a quart glass jar or smaller glass jars or a wide mouth glass or stainless steel thermos. Put lid(s) on.

Put in warm place to culture. You need a place that will keep a steady temp of 95-110°F. As I said, this time I used my dehydrator, that has a thermostat control on it. Culture 8-10 hours, until it sets up. Other ways you can culture yogurt are listed in a previous post on yogurt that has complete instructions and various uses.( I DO NOT find a crock pot, even on keep warm with the lid off to hold a low enough temp.) More yogurt posts here.

My additions for flavored yogurt per serving – all optional. Add 1 or more. (adjust amounts to your liking):

  • 1/2 tsp. raw organic agave nectar (or raw honey)
  • a couple drops of pure organic vanilla extract/flavoring
  • 2-3 fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries, mashed up – or 1-2 Tbl. other fruit

Enjoy! I am.

OK,  you do need a source of raw goat’s milk for this. You can substitute raw cow’s milk if you have a source/use cow’s milk. (I recommend not, but raw IS SO MUCH better for you than pasteurized, homogenized, chemically, feed-lot raised, …)

Want more help for yogurt making? Get our dirt-cheap Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Yogurt Making.

Yogurt Again

I posted a little over a week ago that I was making yogurt – trying some new experiments. 🙂 It wasn’t done at the time I posted my pics of the rest of my kitchen time – but…


My goat milk yogurt set up fine, but I was not happy with the agar agar addition to it. It made it set up more like jello.  Yesterday I made soy yogurt again and it worked great. (Yes, just my one lonely picture so far.)



Now just waiting for dh to bring more fresh goat’s milk home so I can try raw goat milk yogurt again – straight, without the agar agar. I’ll let you know how it goes. Now off to flavor the soy yogurt for breakfast.


See other yogurt posts – including instructions.


Want more help for yogurt making? Get our dirt-cheap Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Yogurt Making.

Yogurt Making – Soy Update

update from Making Yogurt

We’ve tried making the soy yogurt. It didn’t work. It did work. Here’s our limited experience so far.

Our first batch was from homemade soy milk. It never set up. I don’t know if that was strictly from being homemade. (I’ve heard that homemade doesn’t work, but also from others that it can – I don’t remember if they said you had to add SOME store bought in too though.) The other possibility is that all of my equipment wasn’t “sterile” enough. I thought I handled everything properly, but it was very busy in the kitchen that day with many of the children involved, so who knows.

This is one VERY IMPORTANT point. You don’t want to grow any other bacteria than your yogurt (acidophilus type) in your yogurt. Wash everything that will touch your milk/yogurt in hot water and rinse well, then pour boiling water over/in them all. Don’t put your finger in your milk/yogurt to test it.

The next time I made soy yogurt I tried store bought soy milk. It worked beautifully! I had read that soy yogurt doesn’t set up as firmly, so I added a bit of agar agar (1/2 tsp. powder to one quart of soy milk**). It set up very nicely. It has great flavor. And we are enjoying it in several different ways.

We’ve eaten it plain.

We’ve made Strawberry and Strawberry/Banana yogurt – about 3-4 large fresh or frozen strawberries (thaw the frozen ones), 1/2 – 1 tsp. honey, a couple drops of real vanilla flavor, (optional about 1/3 – 1/2 banana). Blend really well in a food processor. (This isn’t a large enough amount to blend in the blender.) Stir into 1 pint plain yogurt.

We’ve used it to make Ranch Dip, and in salad dressing. (Recipes another day, or in my Good for You – Naturally! Salads recipe book.)

We’ve used it as a sour cream substitute in Stroganoff.

It’s about time to make more. I am going to try with homemade milk again next time I try soy yogurt. But I may try goat milk yogurt first.

** agar agar needs to “dissolve” – so stir it into at least part of the soy milk about 10 min. before heating, for best results.


Want more help for yogurt making? Get our dirt-cheap Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Yogurt Making.

Making Yogurt

Before I even start, let me tell you – you don’t have to have a yogurt maker to make yogurt! Yogurt is VERY easy to make. No long list of ingredients or steps to follow. 2-3 ingredients and heat, stir, pour, incubate. That’s it.

I haven’t done it in a while – since we went off “real”/cow’s milk. (I haven’t tried it with the alternative milks yet. Soy milk* is said to work well. Update: I’ve now made raw goat’s milk yogurt. Click for instructions.) I had an individual yogurt maker in the past and for several years used the yogurt making kit that goes with my dehydrator. (It’s time to pull it out and try our own soy yogurt.)

If you don’t have a yogurt maker and want to make yogurt, here are some other sources you can use to hold the right temp. I’ve used them all in the past when I didn’t have a maker.

You need:

Milk (raw, store bought, powdered milk mixed to proper proportions, or soy) about 4 cups (but you can make as much or little as you want.) Heat, in a heavy saucepan over low heat, to a bit under a boil. (Be careful not to scorch it!) Then cool to 115°. My old candy thermometer didn’t go low enough, my new one does. I’ve used a fish aquarium floating thermometer for this and my sourdoughs.

Optional, for “thickening power”. Homemade yogurt is sometimes a little thinner than store bought, more like European yogurt. –

Powdered Milk. You can add extra powdered milk for a firmer yogurt – either regular powdered milk, or soy. I’ve heard that with the “other” starter, linked below, you don’t need to add this. If you do add it, add 1/2 – 1 c. per 1 qt. of milk before heating milk.

Or agar agar powder – dissolve 1 tsp in 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil (watch closely) add to milk.

Live Yogurt Cultures. Stir into the milk AFTER it has cooled to 115° or you’ll kill them! –

From either a Yogurt Starter – I’ve used Yogourmet, I’ve heard of another one that is good for a thicker yogurt. Use the amount listed on the package.

Or from Plain Yogurt with *live, active* cultures. Use 2-4 Tbl. plain yogurt for 1 qt. of milk.

Pour yogurt mixture into perfectly clean containers. (A good way is to pour boiling water into washed and rinsed containers, then empty them.) Small glass jelly jars make a good individual size, or pint or quart jars are fine. My yogurt maker came with small plastic containers with lids.

Incubate – You want a steady temp of 95-115°. Use your thermometer to check that it maintains this temp.

It will take anywhere from 3-9 or so hours for your yogurt to set up. Test it by tilting the jar a bit. Refrigerate as soon as it is set.

Here are some ways you can incubate your yogurt without a yogurt maker:

Pour milk/culture mixture that’s at 115° (or just slightly lower) into an insulated thermos and wrap with a thick towel.

Or place a folded towel on top of a heating pad turned onto low and place yogurt containers on top of it and cover with another towel. Or put containers in a covered box on top of the heating pad.

Or in a box (or styrofoam cooler) with a small light bulb in it. ( I built one of these – cooler with light bulb – for my sourdoughs.)

Or in a gas oven (turned off) with a pilot light.

Or in a ceramic crock, wrapped in a blanket, or placed in an insulated cooler.

Or place containers in a water bath in an electric skillet or slow cooker/crock pot on low. If you do this be sure to test it out with a thermometer in a jar of water (instead of yogurt) to make sure it holds the correct temperature over that length of time. I have not found newer crock pots to hold the proper temp. My newer one, on keep warm setting, still needed the lid off to maintain a temp of 115-120. Also water (of proper temp) needed to be added several times, since it evaporates with the lid off.

Or any other place you can keep a steady proper temp. This is the key thing, find a place that you can test out to make sure it holds the required temp steadily.

My fave place in my dehydrator that has a thermostat control. I can set it at 105-110° and know it is going to stay right there the whole time. But I’ve also had good results with a heating pad on low with a thick (double layer) towel between it and the jars and another towel thrown over it all.

What can you do with your yogurt? (Stir in any additions after the yogurt has incubated.)

You can eat it plain.

You can sweeten or flavor it – with fresh fruit, or fruit only spreads, or honey or agave nectar or vanilla or maple syrup, etc.

You can make awesome smoothies with it and fresh or frozen fruit.

You can make “ice cream” (frozen yogurt) with it.

You can use it in place of buttermilk in recipes. Just stir it to thin it a bit.

You can use it in breads – especially good in sourdough types.

You can use it in place of sour cream or even creme cheese. Put it in cheesecloth and pull up the corners of the cloth and hang over a bowl or the sink to drain/drip overnight. This will make a thicker yogurt, perfect as a substitute for either of these, depending on how thick you get it. Use this on baked potatoes, in dips and dressings, and other recipes.

*Note: Homemade soy milk will need a “sugar” of some type added to it for the culture to feed off of in order to set up. Honey and maple syrup won’t work. (Since I haven’t made this yet, I’m not sure yet what I will use.)

(See update on Making Soy Yogurt)


Want more help for yogurt making? Get our dirt-cheap Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Yogurt Making.

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