So I’m on my third batch of homemade yogurt and it’s absolutely amazing. One small drawback is that it seems every batch comes out a little differently and that if you try to drain whey through four layers of double-layered cheesecloth nothing will drain through, no matter how thin it is.

Here are a few recipes (the first one listed is the one I used):

I did my first batch with pure cream. Being paleo I was trying to avoid the carbs in milk, but it turned out more like sour cream (there is a fine line between the two to begin with, I guess). Then I found this amazing whole milk to use and had fantastic results not using the ultra-pasturized milk right out of the grocery store cooler section.

This milk is ah-mazing! It’s not pasturized and as such takes SO much better to becoming yogurt than the normal stuff. I even took a little sip and didn’t immediately get horrific stomach pains. (I haven’t been able to just drink a glass of normal milk since my second daughter was born almost 7 years ago.) So I was able to enjoy a taste of awesome for the first time in a long, long time.

I used Greek Gods full-fat greek yogurt as my starter. That stuff is so thick and amazing that a little bit really goes a long way to satisfying my desire for creamy, awesome yogurt.

My crock pot is a cheapy one and I don’t even remember where I got it or how long ago. In order to culture it I put it in my oven with the light on (but *not* with the oven on). I wrap it in two beach towels.

The first two times I left it in the oven for 12 hours and it came out with a thick, solid top and a very liquidy bottom that, when mixed, turned into the consistency of normal yoplait yogurt. This last time I let it culture in the oven for about 16 hours and there was a TON more whey than there usually is. After straining it was almost as thick as regular greek yogurt from the store.

I’m very concerned about things being all-natural, so the dry milk isn’t an option for me because I can’t verify the ingredients and that makes me nervous.

Let me know if you try one of the recipes above. Next time I want to try half milk and half cream, but I can’t seem to find an organic, unpasturized cream at the store where I get my milk. I’m not sure it’s really necessary anyway, because with the whole milk it’s really fantastic.

The best part is that when everything goes normally and I mix the whey into the yogurt and it’s the consistency of “normal” yogurt and not thick greek yogurt it makes yogurt at a 1:1 ratio. So 64oz. of milk makes 64oz. of yogurt. Sure a half-gallon of milk being $4.99 is expensive (at least it is in my book) but after the math is done you’re looking at .07 cents per ounce for the yogurt. Do the math against your favorite yogurt and I can’t imagine that you’ll come up with a better price for even the HFCS-laden cheap stuff! (Unless it’s an amazing sale, of course!)

I want to try to make cheese next, but not really out of yogurt. The recipes say that the cheese comes out like a chevre and that’s a spreading cheese. Since I don’t eat processed carbs, bread and crackers and the things you traditionally spread cheese on aren’t on my daily menu. So I’d rather find a recipe for mozzerella and give that a whirl.

My favorite way to serve my yogurt is a small bowl and three big strawberries. I dip the strawberries in the yogurt and gobble it up. It doesn’t take much to feel really satisfied, and that’s a win in my book.