Make Your Own Yogurt from Scratch

I never understood why good yogurt is so expensive.  Although after finding out what all is entailed with being licensed to process any dairy products, yogurt, cheese, cream etc.  Yeah, I understand better. It is absolutely cost prohibitive for the small-dairy to set up for any commercial operation.  The same rules and standards apply if you have 6 animals or 600 animals.  The difference is, if you have 600 ( big ag), then the cost of that steriliser and milk room etc.. are spread out over a much larger field.

However, there are a lot of small independent farms.  And in most places, these farms can sell raw fresh milk directly from the farm in small quantities.  The milk bought directly from the farmer is so much better.  Like fruit and vegetables, the nutrients are still potent when fresh.  Additionally, the financial benefit to the farmer is huge. Instead of getting pennies per gallon ( 34 cents? roughly, I am guessing here- prices change regularly based on those big-ag industries).  Yes- the farmer makes very little from that 3.00 price you pay at the market.  I am a firm believer that profit should go to the one who does the work.  The real work, not the middle-man work which is profit through markup and distribution, at the expense of the farmer.

Anyway- while it may be more expensive to buy milk from the farm, than it is from the market, the nutrient and economic benefits reach beyond the immediate moment.  Studies show that every dollar spent locally is the equivalent of about 5.00 in real money.  When money is spent at the big-box.. it leaves the local economy.  It’s GONE.  when money is spent locally, it passes hands roughly five times, before leaving the economic circle.

SO, local farm fresh milk is not as expensive as the price appears.  It usually ranges from 5.00-12.00 gallon ( high end organic products).  Raw fresh milk still contains all the huge benefits and nutrients, and is more digestible by the body.

Also, while it is more expensive, you can use it to make yogurt and cheese at home.  A half gallon of good yogurt would cost about 7.00.  so buying a gallon of fresh milk for 7.00 you have a half gallon of milk and a half gallon of yogurt that would have cost you 7.00 anyway. In the end, you are net-neutral, and have better, healthier food, and helped your neighbor at the same time!

It’s super easy to make yogurt.  Anyone can make it in the kitchen.  No special equipment or tools.  Except maybe a candy-thermometer.

First, I would suggest that you find a local farm where you can buy fresh raw milk.  Contrary to what the FDA and medical establishment might try to scare consumers with, it is healthier for you.  It is assimilated better by the body, is less allergic, and more nutrient dense.  Goat’s milk is far better than cow’s milk. In fact, it is the closest to human milk of any of the animals. I  particularly like the Swiss dairy breeds, Sanaan, Oberhasli, French Alpine ( okay, not Swiss. don’t say it;), etc.  Nigerian dwarf also has good milk.  A lot of goat dairy use Nubian, for the slightly higher fat content (nominally higher, but it makes a difference for cheese), but the Nubian milk tastes goaty- which is probably why a lot of goat milk has gotten a bum rap.  Mostly, you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between goat and cow- except, a little creamier, and- no after-slime in the mouth.  goat’s milk doesn’t make mucus- thereby being better for any sort of inflammatory conditions.  Raise goats now- recent addition to the horse-herd.. a very love-annoyance-love relationship. Goats love the garden.. and while I am a vegetarian ( mostly)… one way or another I WILL get to eat my kale and chard.. either directly.. or indirectly as a goat-kabob. 🙂

How to Make the Yoghurt

ANYWAY- get a gallon of raw milk, or half gallon.  It is usually about 5.00 depending on whether its organic. 5.00 for a half gallon of organic.  about 5.00 for a gallon of fresh, non-organic milk.  This may vary depending on where you are located.

Go buy a small container of commercial yogurt.  You CAN go to the health food store and buy yogurt culture, but don’t bother. I usually get some really awesome yogurt, that I wouldn’t otherwise buy.  Use a solid teaspoonful as a starter.

NOW, there are two ways to go about making yogurt.  If you’re starting out with regular dead milk.. a little different.

I make raw milk yogurt, so as not to lose all the good stuff ( and there’s a lot).  so, I warm the starter to room temperature, ditto with the milk.  heat the oven to low, around 95-11-ish.  I use a candy thermometer for this.  I let it sit overnight.  In the AM. yogurt. easy.  About 8 hours.  I think there are slight differences between the temp/ time to silky/ smoothness consistency.  It seems to vary with weather, temp/ dampness and whether or not there was a rerun of the Brady bunch…:)

NOW, if you want to make “safe” yogurt, you want to heat the milk on the stove, up to around 140, which is the temp at which germs and any yuckies are killed ( also the good stuff).  After heating it to 140 degrees, you let the temp come down to around 90.  From there, add the starter culture/ yogurt.  You can also add a little vanilla at the same time.

I haven’t tried adding any sugar in advance.  I think most people add fruit, honey and flavour after the yogurt is set. But- you get a gallon of yogurt for about 5.00.  Add whatever makes your happy yogurt.  It’s also great as a base for smoothies. I like to sweeten with honey or agave syrup.  I used a little of the hazelnut agave.  Heaven!

You get the fun of making something yourself, the way YOU will like it, helping your neighbor, and not spending any more money than you would normally. It’s a win-win no-brainer.  Enjoy!

Do share your yogurt recipes below, I’d love to hear them.



I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education.  Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques.  I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.

Author of:
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book