Homemade Yogurt, Ready to Pack in a Lunch, Made in a Picnic Cooler

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I know, it’s a ridiculously long title, but just “Homemade Yogurt” didn’t say it all. Because I wanted to tell you not only how to make yogurt, but how to make it so that it’s ready to pack into your husband’s or child’s lunch. And, how I make it in a cooler – no need for a yogurt maker! Hence, the loquacious title.

Ok, so here is how I do it. I make only a quart at a time, but this can easily be doubled. On low heat, I heat 3 1/2 cups of raw milk to 185º, stirring frequently. (Alternately, you may heat this to only 110 degrees for yogurt that is still raw, but it will be more of a drinkable yogurt.) Remove the milk from the heat and cool to 110º. I use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature. When the milk is at 110º, I stir in 1/2 cup of yogurt from a previous batch. You may use plain, good quality store bought yogurt if this is your first batch. I then pour into 4 oz canning jars, leaving room at the top for a topping, to be added later. I screw on the lids and place the jars in an insulated picnic cooler. I then fill a quart canning jar with boiling water and place that in the cooler as well to keep the temperature inside the cooler nice and warm. The lid goes onto the cooler and I go to bed. In the morning, I have 8 little jars of beautiful yogurt. I add a teaspoon or so of fruit jam made with maple syrup to each jar and refrigerate. When I am packing lunches, the yogurt is ready to go.

Shared at Sunday School, Monday Mania, Barn Hop, Harvest Monday, Weekend Gourmet, Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Homestead Helps, Rural Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Freaky Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Fight Back Friday



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Comments

  1. says

    o i MUST try this! perhaps i will add my “sun jam”…do u think that would be ok…it is made with strawberries and honey that u put out in the sun tho thicken???!!!

    • says

      Oh, please, can I have that recipe too? My strawberries patch looks promising and I really wanted to make jam or some type of preserves this year without using refined sugar. Janet S.

    • says

      Laureen just returned from Puerto Rico. Here’s her recipe for Sun Jam:
      1 qt. chopped strawberries
      3 c. honey
      2 Tabl. lemon juice concentrate
      Boil together abt 10 min., stirring
      skim off the scum
      put in glass baking pan, 8 1/2 x 11
      cover with plastic (i use a piece of glass to keep bees and chipmunks out of it…carefully slide if off and wipe off the condensation that forms)
      put in the sun, and back in house at night or if it rains…rotate to sunniest spots on deck or porch…i leave mine out 2-4 days till it thickens…it doesn’t always get super thick. esp. if it’s been rainy and the berries are wetter! still tastes delish!
      seal in sm. jars, boil abt 10 min. only, to seal and store!

  2. says

    How great!! I am so happy to see someone take the time to make their own yogurt instead of buying it.

    I was making kefir yogurt for the longest time, then we went on vacation and I gave all my kefir grains away. Have you ever tried the kefir? You don’t have to boil the milk, you just add the kefir grains and let it sit out on your counter. It is so full of probiotics, that is why I was making it. I even made my own cream cheese.

    • says

      I don’t do so well with dairy and I make the yogurt for my husband. I recently made kefir – a friend gave me the grains. I wanted to see how I would do with it. Hmmm. I wasn’t so fond of it, so it sits in my frig. :(

  3. Gretchen says

    Susan, this sounds fabulous! Cristina and I have been experimenting lately with making different dairy products. We have made sour cream and cream cheese so far. i want to make yogurt for the boys ( I cannot have it-migraines :(). Anyway, thanks for the recipe, I am definitely going to be trying it! Gretchen

    • says

      Hi Gretchen. I’m so glad that you and Cristina get to spend time together!! I miss her a lot. I see you also made butter – sounds like you are having a lot of fun!!! Blessings to all of you!

  4. Gail Mills says

    I feel like I am in the dark ages, but I’m desiring to make healthier eating choices. I eat yogert daily. So….if I were to make this, where would I get the milk?

    • says

      Gail, I get raw milk every Thursday at Everything Natural. A farmer delivers it around 4 p.m. It’s about $4 a half gallon, I think. Kara and Amber P both get theirs from a farm in Moscow and it is a bit less expensive. I opt for the convenience of a few blocks away since we only use 1/2 gal a week.

  5. maryhysong says

    I used to make yogurt all the time when I had dairy goats. I didn’t heat the milk; strained it warm from the goat into jars with a couple tablespoons of yogurt in them. Set them in my oven because if I cracked the door open the pilot light kept the temp just right. Mixed honey or preserves into them just before eating.

  6. says

    Wow.. that’s amazing.. you just made making yogurt sound easy! I need to try this sometime, although I will have to try to find a place to buy raw milk. Oh and I love the little 4 oz jars! How long does the yogurt keep in the fridge?

    • says

      Really, any thermometer at all is fine. I just happen to have a candy thermometer. Some people don’t use thermometers at all. They observse when a “skin” begins to form on the milk and call it good.

    • says

      It’s easy, and quick. I always say that I can make it faster than I can run to the store and buy it! Of course, that doesn’t count the “sitting” time. Thank you for hosting each week – I always look forward to it.

  7. says

    What a fantastic idea! I have yet to make my own yogurt since I have some pretty excellent sources locally that have given me a reason to be lazy about it. But I really should try to make it. Your method seems like the easiest i have seen so far. Hmm, now to find that cooler. ;)

  8. Gretchen says

    Susan, I used this method this week with my yogurt and it worked perfectly! My boys prefer greek style yogurt so I strained it over a tea towel and colander for about 6 hours in the refrigerator and it was perfect! Now to try to make the strawberry jam! Thanks for all you hard work and blogging about it. It sure does make it a lot easier to feed my boys “clean” for this full time working mommy!

    • says

      I’m glad to hear that, Gretchen. Do you eat oatmeal? If you soak the oatmeal for 12 – 24 hours ahead of time, it makes it more digestible. Add some of the whey (the liquid you strained from the yogurt) to help the process. I think it’s tastier this way, too!

  9. Lupita Trimmer says

    Hi! I’m in love with this yogurt recipe!!
    I’ve never tried to make yogurt at home, but looks so easy.

    My question is, because we live in Florida, do I have to put the cooler inside the house (A/C will kill the heat in few hours)? Or, may I leave the cooler in the garage, that is always very warm?

      • Lupita Trimmer says

        Thanks Susan!
        This part od the year is much better than summer, temperatures are dropping down to 77-73 at night. But, should I put the hot water bottle inside the cooler? Or just leave the garage temperature to do the job.

        • Susan says

          Well, the ideal temperature you want to maintain is 110 degrees, give or take 5 degrees. Why don’t you put the cooler in the garage with a thermometer inside and see what you get. Likely you’ll need some hot water.

          • Lupita Trimmer says

            Well, after two times preparing this recipe I can say it’s totally yummy! First time I prepared with organic whole milk and 2% Greek yogurt… Delicious! Second time I used raw milk and 0% organic Greek yogurt, wow this is really good!!!
            Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, my family is having the best yogurt in town… ;-)

              • Lupita Trimmer says

                YES! And I used the hot water bottle as well. I prepare the yogurt in the morning and the cooler in the garage up to 10:30 pm. Then I refrigerate them all night. In the morning is ready and I can’t wait to have my breakfast (fruit, yogurt and granola!).
                By the way, few days ago I shared a jar of yogurt with a couple friends and they fell in love with it!!!

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