Wednesday, May 6, 2009


One might suspect that I like yogurt a lot as I have shared a couple recipes using yogurt already: Artichoke Dipping Sauce, Strawberry Shakes, and Yogurt Sauce for Grilled Pork. Well, I do. I make my own yogurt using a yogurt maker. It is so easy and very economical. I use 6 cups of milk to make 8 portions of yogurt. If I can get milk for around $2 a gallon (and I can almost always at Costco, usually at Jewel, and for just a little more at Trader Joe's) it only costs about 75 cents. That is less than 10 cents per yogurt serving.
As frugal as I am, I don't even make my own yogurt to save money but because I get a more natural product without all of the additives that store-bought yogurt has. You can use organic milk to really get a healthier product but the cost will go up quite a bit. Also having a constant supply of plain yogurt (the yogurt is made plain but fruit and sweeteners can be added if desired) allows me to use it for sauces anytime I need one.
  • I add pureed chipotle to the plain yogurt for a creamy Mexican sauce for tacos or fish.
  • I add some dill with a little salt and pepper to the yogurt for a great sauce for grilled salmon.
  • I finely chop some cucumber and a little green onion with some salt and pepper, add it to the yogurt for a sauce that's great with indian flavored dishes or grilled meats.
  • I make smoothies using 1/2 cup yogurt, frozen fruit (that I purchased cheaply at the peak of the season and froze), some milk, vanilla, and maybe some additions like cinnamon, almonds, and flax seed.
I use fat-free milk to make my yogurt. The yogurt is much richer using 2% or especially whole milk but I don't need the extra fat. The process is very simple. You heat the yogurt up to 200 degrees (10 minutes in a microwave), cool it down to about 110 degrees, add some live culture (basically a spoonful of already made yogurt), and incubate it for 10 hours at about 110 degrees. You can make yogurt at home using a quart size canning jar and a cooler that will keep it at the right temperature. There are a lot of instructions for this on the internet. I find having a yogurt maker really convenient and the 1/2 cup containers are a good size for individual portions or making a sauce.


  1. Thanks for the tips on yogurt uses. I love to use it on cereal instead of milk, and like the idea of making my own as I can control the amount of sugar that is in the yogurt.

  2. Am looking for some dip recipes for chips & veggies using yogurt as the base. Got any good ones, or suggestions?

  3. You can substitute yogurt for any recipe that uses sour cream for a healthy alternative. If you have time, drain the yogurt (using a yogurt drainer or cheese cloth) so that it gets thicker. Then you can add any flavoring that you want. Cucumber dill is a good veggie dip. You can add feta to that also.