THE BLOG
11/14/2013 03:50 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Homemade Greek Yogurt

This DIY by gluten-free goddess, Alexandra of Alex T Cooks will have you enjoying au naturale homemade goodness straight from her own kitchen...

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Greek yogurt consumption has blown up in the last couple of years, and rightfully so. It's high in protein and has tons of healthy bacteria that helps balance our digestive systems. But, sadly, most of the Greek yogurt out there is made from non-organic milk that is treated with chemicals, stabilizers and, often, filled with hidden sugars as well. Making your own organic yogurt at at home allows you to avoid all these things because you are in control. You control the consistency, the fermentation time, and the quality of milk that goes into it. I like using raw milk when I can find it and if I can't I will buy an organic grass fed milk. Shockingly the price of a quart of expensive organic milk is approximately the same price as a large container of generic non-organic Greek yogurt.

When making your own yogurt the most important part is the resting period; this is when the milk starts to ferment and turns into yogurt. I like wrapping my cooking vessel in a towel and putting it in an oven that is turned off. I leave it there for up to 12 hours, then strain it through cheese cloth. Letting it drain overnight will result in that thicker "greek" style yogurt.

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Ingredients
1/2 gallon whole milk, preferably raw or organic, grass-fed
1/4 cup of store-bought greek yogurt (this will act as your starter)

candy thermometer
cheesecloth
large pot

Method
Over medium heat, in a large pot, heat milk to 180 degrees, stirring frequently to avoid burning the bottom.

Turn off heat and let milk cool to about 105 degrees (a skin will form on top).

Carefully mix in 1/4 cup yogurt.

Wrap your pot in a towel and place in a warm dark environment like a closet or an oven.

Allow to sit undisturbed for 8-12 hours.

After the time has passed, open the lid and you should have a thick yogurt-like mixture. Place a strainer over a bowl with cheesecloth, and strain yogurt mixture. Cover and allow to drain for several more hours. (The longer you strain it the thicker the yogurt becomes.)

Once desired thickness is achieved, store yogurt in an air-tight container for up to a week.

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Photos by assoc. producer Leigh Kosloski

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