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

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

Strawberry Maple Jam

There is so much to love about this jam. There are only two ingredients, both of which are available in my local area. It’s simple to make, it’s healthier than jam with sugar, and it’s delicious. The maple flavor does not overpower the strawberries, but remains subtle. According to Janie Quinn, author of Essential Eating: The Digestible Diet, maple syrup is “the easiest-to-digest natural sweetener because it digests very slowly, thereby avoiding a sugar rush into the bloodstream.”

To make the jam, simply mix 3 cups of strawberries, hulled and quartered, with 1 cup of pure maple syrup. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Cool, and enjoy. Let me know what you think.

Update: I’ve also used this recipe to make huckleberry jam, and raspberry jam. Each was just as wonderful as the strawberry. 

Shared at Real Food Wednesday, Sunday School, Monday Mania, Homestead Barn Hop, Real Food Forager, Tuesday Garden Party, Teach Me Tuesday, Frugal Ways Sustainable Ways, Whole Foods Wednesday, Rural Thursday, Garden Club Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Farmgirl Friday, Homestead Helps, Seasonal Recipe Roundup, Berry Recipe Roundup

Featured at Tuesday Garden Party