Homemade Yogurt Recipes (So You Can Eat it All the Time)

homemade yogurt

Do you know it’s been a month since I’ve posted a new recipe? That is ridiculous. You should all be leaving in droves. A food blog with no new recipes. Harumph.

Maybe that’s just because I haven’t been as inspired to cook new things as much lately with the vacation and deciding to sell our house. And of course, Decreasing Disposables in December didn’t lend itself all that well to obvious recipe connections.

Excuses, excuses.

Today is a bit of a cop-out, too, because I’m not even sharing one totally new recipe with mouth-watering photos (like I will next Tuesday, I promise!). This post is a collection of the many ways you can use your homemade yogurt once you get it going regularly.  Take this week’s Monday Mission and find even more tips for the best yogurt.

I’m pleased to share a video of my super simple, no dishes homemade yogurt method as a guest lecture in the GNOWFGLINS Cultured Dairy & Cheesemaking eCourse. Enrollment is open continually – Click HERE for more info.

I’m happy to invite Erin from The Conscious Shopper and The Green Phone Booth to share some of her tips:

So You’re Making Your Own Yogurt…Now What?

When I started making my own yogurt, I quickly learned that the key to making yogurt from my own starter is to make a lot of yogurt. If I make a quart of yogurt a week, my yogurt always turns out great. If I make it every three or four days, even better. But if I go too long between batches of yogurt, my starter loses its “starting power:” I get runny yogurt, or the yogurt doesn’t set at all.

But unless you loooove yogurt, a bowl of tangy, thick milk with fruit gets old fast. So I’ve come up with lots of creative ways to use up our yogurt so I always have a fresh starter…
The Basics
Mix it with fruit.

  • This is the ultra-basic way to eat yogurt. Stir in some cut up berries or bananas, and you’ve got a simple, healthy snack. I especially think this works well with frozen fruit because the the fruit gets slightly mushy and mixes well. (See 4 tips for eating your plain yogurt without any sweetener.)

Make smoothies.

  • Here’s my basic smoothie recipe: Add 1 banana, 2 cups canned fruit such as peaches, pears, or apples (preferably in jars not cans), 1 cup berries, 1 cup juice, and 1 cup yogurt to your blender, and blend until smooth.  (Katie’s green smoothies)

Plop it on your granola.

Substitute, Substitute, Substitute:
Substitute for Buttermilk

  • Like buttermilk, yogurt has a tangy flavor, so it’s an easy substitute if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. I actually never have buttermilk on hand, so I use yogurt all the time. My favorite way to substitute yogurt for buttermilk is in this recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing: Mix 1 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade), 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tsp. dried chives, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1/8 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Substitute for Cream

  • Yogurt has a tangy flavor, so it’s not a perfect substitute for cream. But it works great in ice cream recipes to make frozen yogurt!

Substitute for Sour Cream

  • My husband likes the taste of yogurt on his burritos and other Mexican entrees. I personally prefer real sour cream, but since we always have yogurt and rarely buy sour cream, it’s a pretty good substitute.

Substitute for Evaporated Milk

  • I’ve gotten mixed results with this one. I’ve been using yogurt as a substitute for the evaporated milk in my bread recipe for several months now, and it gives the bread a sourdough-ish flavor. On the other hand, I tried substituting yogurt for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie, and it made it into more of a pumpkin cheesecake.

Make Cheese:

If you’ve advanced to making yogurt cheese, you can use it as a simple substitute for cream cheese. (Tip: If you incubate your yogurt for less time, it tastes less tangy and your yogurt cheese will taste more like cream cheese.) We use yogurt cheese to make vegetable dips, spread it on bagels, and even mix it with fruit preserves to make a simple sweet dessert.

When All Else Fails:

You can freeze yogurt in ice cube trays to use as a starter. I’ve read some sources that advise against this (I can’t remember now why they say not to…), but either way, sometimes when I use a frozen starter it works great, and sometimes I get runny yogurt. I think it depends on how long the starter has been in my freezer.

What other ways have you come up with for using yogurt?

Well, Erin, I’ll tell you.  😉  I realized I don’t have as many yogurt “recipes” as I thought when I promised this post last week, so I’m sure glad you jumped in!

Yogurt with Grains:

Yogurt with Vegetables:

  • Garlic Yogurt Dip: We like this one with up to 1 tsp. of dill and sometimes throw in cilantro.  It’s a great dip for veggies for any party!
  • Creamy Garlic Dressing:  My favorite homemade dressing, and good for keeping the sick bugs away because of the fresh garlic.

Yogurt for Dessert:

Don’t forget the many yogurt cheese recipes I shared and what to do with whey that you’ll get from making yogurt cheese (the easiest process you’ll ever meet, I kid you not).

And why would one even want to eat so much yogurt, you ask?  Check out the health benefits of yogurt, which are quite incredible if you ask me.

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I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

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26 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Lynnette says

    thank you for this post. I have only made yogurt once and have “planned” to do it again and even have bought a starter several times but like you have been trying to get ready to put our house on the market. I WILL get my ducks in a row and start this practice. The post will help a bunch!

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. says

    Interesting…we don’t eat yogurt here and I’ve never been a big fan. Maybe eventually we’ll have to get back into it. But with dairy allergies, now is not a good time.

    I also had a comment for you yesterday but the comment box wasn’t working. :( I saved it though, so here it is!

    Have you tried looking for local farms at all? I’m sure you have. We are lucky enough to have a local farm here that doesn’t homogenize their milk, and pasteurizes at the lowest legal temperature. That means ALL the milk, including whole and cream. The cream is VERY expensive (like $10 for 1/2 gal.) but the whole milk is more reasonable ($4 – $5/half gallon). Yes, expensive, but probably the safest you can get — local and not messed with. The cows are grass-fed too. I don’t think organic but hey, you take what you can get, right? They’re quite a ways from you (I’m in central OH), but the farm is Snowville Creamery. They even sell the milk at my local health food stores so it’s easy to buy. :)

    Another idea — have you tried using coconut milk? We can’t do dairy so I might eventually try that with the coconut milk. My daughter just started drinking it so maybe she’ll start eating the yogurt someday!

    (Btw my post today is a carnival, so enter your health-related posts!)
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Health News Tuesday: GM Foods, HIV Tests, Six Risky Chemicals in your Body =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kate,
    We actually get raw milk right from the farm, but at $6 a gallon, I only get one/week. Not enough for yogurt too! It’s grassfed and organic. I have tried raw milk yogurt with an extra gallon, but I had bad luck with consistency. I JUST had my first success a few weeks ago, so maybe I will be able to try it again someday soon. The unhomogenized milk I mentioned in yesterday’s post is local, too, but sold in stores. I just haven’t bought into paying double for everything yet – need to find more wiggle room in the budget!
    Thanks for the ideas! I can’t wait to see if someone can make yog w/coconut milk!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. jason says

    You can also substitute yogurt 1:1 for oil in baked goods. I like this option because when I’m adding 1/4 cup or more of coconut oil to anything, I start seeing dollar signs dancing around.

    Supposedly, it can also be an egg substitute in baked goods. I haven’t tried this, yet.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jason,
    Excellent tips, both of them. I empathize with the dancing dollar signs. I have a good source for c. oil, and I also get the refined (flavorless) stuff for some purposes at about $15 for 7 lbs. Cheaper than good butter! http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/08/13/a-good-deal-on-top-fats/
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. says

    Great suggestions! Besides many of these, I also love stirring yogurt into tomato sauce to make a creamy tomato sauce for pasta!
    .-= Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen´s last blog ..Corn Pasta w/ Leftovers and 10 things… =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jenn,
    That is a totally unique idea that I have never heard (just when you think you’re an expert on a subject…). 😉 Thank you so much for sharing!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Rebecca K says

    I just had to double check the amount of culture. I thought previously you said 1 tbsp / quart, so I use 2 tbsp / half gallon, which is how much I make at a time. But now I just reread and saw 2 tbsp / quart….maybe I’m confused? I started freezing a batch in ice cube trays and I’m using 2 ice cubes per half gallon batch. What do you think?

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. says

    Yogurt and sour cream both make excellent garnishes for soup. My chicken soup goes from good to awesome with a bit of yogurt/sour cream in it! Yogurt makes a better cream soup, in my opinion, than cream does.

    However: it’s best to add the yogurt right before serving, after the soup has cooled a bit, so as not to kill all the good bacteria.
    .-= Sheila´s last blog ..Cooking lessons from my husband =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. says

    I discovered- by accident- a fix for runny yogurt this week. We had runny homemade yogurt for breakfast, and then were running to get kids to school, and oops! forgot the yogurt on the counter. It sat out on the counter for about 2 or 3 hours, and when I noticed it, the texture was perfect. I ate it and it tasted great! I figured, since this is a process of multiplying bacteria anyway, that it wouldn’t hurt.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Chanelle,
    Wow! Maybe that’s why I’ve had better luck lately – I haven’t been adding the teapot of boiling water but still incubate 16 hours. Perhaps those last few hours at room temp are good for creaminess.
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. says

    We love making yogurt! It saves us a lot of money and we make a gallon or two at a time then strain it. If you ever get into cooking Indian or Middle Eastern foods, yogurt is a staple. My hubby is half Lebanese, so we go through quite a bit of yogurt. Tandoori chicken is a particular favorite in our house.

    [Reply to this comment]

  9. Stella Wong says

    This is my second time to made my own yoghurt and it turn out great but tastes sour. My country’s climate is sunny and hot and it helps a lot. I wonder how to made yoghurt less sour so it much more easier to eat..

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Stella,
    I do think the Greek yogurt that I use now is much less sour than the Dannon starter, so a different starter can make a big difference, as can temperature of incubating (I think closer to 100F is less sour) and time (4 hours should be less sour).
    Good luck! :) katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  10. Wes L. says

    I make homemade yogurt as a supplement for workouts. Everything in yogurt is exactly what you need for your body’s recovery. I will usually mix about 3 Tb per 20 ounces of protein shake (I use MuscleMilk, so 2 scoops, 9 oz water and 3 oz yogurt). The first recipe on how to make the yogurt was very useful and has saved me a big wad of cash. These recipes will come in handy for snacks and as a quick protein warm up supplement to prevent sour stomach. Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

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