Grant always gives me a hard time for buying yogurt. It is pretty much the only thing we still buy in a plastic container, and he doesn’t care for it much, so he likes to chide me for the wasteful packaging.
I have actually cut down on my dairy consumption a lot since we started this project, but I still buy one every week or three (and I personally do think that the transparent Fraser Valley yogurt ones are great for reusing in the freezer because you can see what’s in them).
unfortunately, although the containers can be recycled, they can’t get made into more food grade containers, so it does mean that every yogurt I buy is encased in virgin plastic.
I’ve been reading for awhile now about people making yogurt at home. I even have a personal friend, Miss. M, who swears by it. I like the idea of a) reducing plastic waste and b) saving money, but, trouble is, I don’t have a yogurt maker and I can’t buy one because of the darned rules.
Ah ha, then I read that you don’t need a specific appliance, you just need a mason jar and a candy thermometer. I decided to make yogurt.
You need to make a little incubator, or as Grant said “a yogurt bed”, so you can tuck it in overnight. I used a towel in a lidded plastic container about the size of an icecream bucket. You could use a mini cooler too.
1 litre of milk (I use only half because it was my first try)
2 TBSP plain yogurt with active bacterial culture
-heat milk in saucepan until frothy -185F(85C)
-cool the pot in a cold water bath to close to 110F (43C) – this is the optimal temperature for incubation.
-add the yogurt and stir around
-put in a sterilized mason jar, screw on the lid, wrap it in the towel, and tuck it in to bed for 6 hours in a warm area like near a heating vent. (I actually just left it on the warm counter of the dishwasher for about 9 hours overnight)
A little milk and BAM, the next day it’s magically yogurt. I seriously felt like I made something out of nothing! It’s like making cake out of water. Well, maybe not quite, but I’m still pretty impressed.
I if I want to make more yogurt using that yogurt as the culture, they recommend I do it within 5 days which is quite a lot of yogurt making. Alternatively, I might just buy a little pot every once in a while to use as starter. Either way, it would still be much less waste than before.