Growing up in China I used to think all yogurt was liquid, a bit thicker than normal milk, the kind that is commonly seen in Chinese supermarkets. Later when I learnt that good yogurt is rich and thick and is supposed to be consumed with a spoon, I found the normal commercial yogurt no longer appealing to me. Not to mention, I don’t know what they put in the commercial products. @_@ So I decided to make my own yogurt.
Homemade yogurt is so good, as it’s fresh and clean and has absolutely no coloring or thickeners added. It’s also very easy, the best way to make it would be to plug the machine before you go to bed, then in the morning you will have fresh yogurt to start! Since I began making it, some of my friends also wanted to follow my example, so I have been busy buying yogurt machines for them from Taobao for a while, haha. Another friend has told me that a heater or thermos can also be utilized to make yogurt, but for hygienic reason, I don’t bother using those, as yogurt machine is not that expensive, I don’t want to spend more time troubleshooting when I have been successfully making yogurt with the machine. :P
Health Index: 5/5 (everyday food, highly recommended)
Kitchen Gadgets: Yogurt Machine
1000 ml fresh soymilk at room temperature, or lightly warmed, but never over 40C
1 bag of yogurt culture
1. Boil the yogurt container for 1 minute or wash it carefully with boiling water for 1 minute. It should be very clean, free of all germs, bacteria, and oil. You might as well boil the spoon you will use to mix the milk and culture as well.
2. Buy fresh milk that’s stored in the fridge, not the UHT ones from the shelf. The milk should not contain any additives, including sugar, preserves, or other ingredients.
3. Pour a little milk in the container, and add the cultures (1 small bag per liter of milk ), mix well, add the rest of the milk, put on the lid and put it carefully into the yogurt machine. Plug in for 8 to 10 hours, NEVER exceeding 14 hours. Go to sleep or work or whatever and then your yogurt is ready.
4. The yogurt can be eaten when it’s done, still lukewarm, but the best taste comes after you leave it in the fridge to set for another few hours or overnight. So be patient.
If you’re allergic to soy, you could try black bean milk, the yogurt would be gray, but texture is similar. I haven’t tried other milk yet, but have been successful with black bean milk.
If your yogurt doesn’t turn out right check the following:
1. Temperature, it should be 42 or 43 C, check if your machine is broken
2. Whether everything is thoroughly cleaned
3. Whether your milk is fresh and additive-free
4. Whether your cultures are stored properly so they are still active (they should be stored in the freezer)