• Sallie Godwin

Raw Milk Yogurt -Homemade Recipe

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

This is all about how to turn your raw milk into thick and creamy yogurt at home!

We get 2 gallons of raw milk a week from our favorite local farms. Virginia is what we call a "cow share" or a "heard share" state - meaning we own a % of an actual dairy herd and then are entitled to a % of the milk that herd produces. So technically we are drinking milk from OUR cow, that WE OWN. :) It's great. We love our cow. She eats nutritious grass and then in turn gives us such delicious, creamy healthy milk - high in the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K2! Can I get a "wooooooo-hoooo!!" ?!? ;)

I make a little over half of our milk each week into yogurt. So that's about 5 or 6 quarts of yogurt a week! Organic store-bought yogurt runs between $3 and $6 a quart. We pay about $4 for a half gallon of our super high-quality REAL milk yogurt - meaning our homemade yogurt is only $2/quart!! And homemade yogurt made from real, raw milk is nutritionally far superior to anything we can find in a grocery store.

This post isn't going to be all about raw milk or why it is better for you. I will talk about that at another time. :) If you are interested in why real, grass-fed, raw milk is SO good and SO good for you -- check out A Campaign for Real Milk.

All the studies on why milk is so bad for you have been done with pasteurized, homogenized, dead, gross, CAFO (confinement animal feeding operation) milk. That stuff isn't even food. They boil it, dye it, add denatured dry skim milk powder to it, and ship it across the country. It is from sick cows that have been bread to produce way too much milk and have mastitis ALL THE TIME. Of course it is bad for you. I know. Real milk and store-bought milk are not even the same thing. One is fake. One is food. (Oh wait, I said I wasn't going to talk about this here lol . . . ;)

Anyways, our cows get to spend their days eating grass. In pasture. Grazing to their hearts content. Those girls get to do all the things a cow could ever want to do. She has plenty of room to roam, and she gets daily fresh air and sunshine. She is not stressed. She makes beautiful milk that cultures throughout time have prized for its nutrition value.

The first thing you will need in order to make yogurt at home is a yogurt maker.

This is the one I have and use. It makes a half gallon at a time. I like it pretty well. I wish it kept it hotter, but I have found a few hacks to make my yogurt turn out nice and thick every time. The fact it makes so much at a time is a plus when you are making almost a gallon and a half a week like I am!

The other option for making raw milk yogurt is to get one of these bad boys. Um yes. You read the price tag correctly. IT IS AMAAAAAZING. You can make fruit leathers, jerky, sprouted nuts and seeds, and yogurt and more with this thing! I am going to get one one day. :) You just set the temperature and its by far the easiest way to make yogurt. No heating the milk or anything. You just set the temp to 110 degrees and you are done. Fun stuff. I want one. . .

Homemade yogurt two ways -

1. Okay, so the way I make yogurt with a lowly yogurt maker goes like this . . .

You will need:

  • A large stainless steel saucepan for gently heating the milk - (I use the bottom of my steamer because I actually don't own any large saucepans)

  • a thermometer with a clamp on the side - (this comes with the Euro yogurt maker)

  • a yogurt maker - I use the Euro Cuisine

  • a half gallon of real, raw, grass-fed milk (farm resources page)

  • heaping 1/2 cup of plain, whole milk, organic yogurt** from the store* to "start" it

  • a whisk and a bamboo spatula for stirring

**you can also use yogurt from previous homemade batches, but it will loose its potency after several generations because the yogurt culture is "competing" with so many other good bacteria in the raw milk. It is a good idea to have a fresh carton of store-bought yogurt in your refrigerator to give the culture an extra boost of "yogurty-ness" ;)

*my favorite brands are "Nancy's" which you can get at Kroger and Wegman's, "Stoneyfield Farms" which you can find almost anywhere including Food Lion!! "Seven Stars Farms" is a SUPER high quality brand that I recommend if you can find it. And I also really like the "Trader Joe's" store brand! Just make sure it is PLAIN (we don't want flavors or sugar) and make sure it is WHOLE milk (who wants to pay them to take the nutrient out?!?). Also - make sure it is regular yogurt - the more strands of bacteria and different kinds of live active cultures the better! Greek yogurt is not a great pick because it is usually only like 2 different stands of live cultures and it is thickened with skim milk powder which dilutes the potency of the probiotics. . . so just go for plain "regular" yogurt. :D

Add the milk to the saucepan and turn on very low. Clip the thermometer to the side of the saucepan so it is slightly submerged in the milk (but not touching the bottom of the pan). Stir it around every few minutes and keep an eye on the temperature! We want to get it to just *slightly* over 110 degress - no more!

[note: most yogurt recipes tell you to heat the milk to 180 degrees and then let it cool back down to 110. You don't have to do that! It kills all the beneficial enzymes and bacteria in the milk. We want to keep as much of that in tact as possible. And it is just an extra step for no good reason. Most recipes tell you to do that because it will ensure that the milk "thickens" and there are no other bacteria competing with the "yogurt bacteria." Although yes, it will be a little runnier in the end than store-bought, I have found that mine still thickens up just fine as long as the yogurt starter is strong. If you want to make your yogurt thicker, just strain it over a colander lined with a clean kitchen flour sack towel to strain some of the whey out. Use the whey to preserve homemade mayonnaise or just drink with lemon for minerals and electrolyte replacement!]

While the milk is heating gently, add the heaping 1/2 cup of starter yogurt to the clean 2 qt. glass jar that comes with the yogurt maker. Plug in the yogurt maker and add put the jar with the starter yogurt inside to let it start getting warm.

As soon as the milk on the stove gets to about 110 or slightly higher ... between 110 and 112 ish . . . take the glass jar out of the yogurt maker and carefully pour just a little bit (like a cup or two) of the warmed milk into the jar. Get a whisk and gently whisk the milk into the yogurt starter. Add a little bit more of the milk and whisk again. Then add the rest of the milk. If there is a little milk left (which sometimes there is because the starter displaces some of the half gallon) - add it to your coffee or tea or just make hot cacao with it!

Make sure the starter is fully incorporated with the warm milk. Put the top on the glass jar. Put the jar into the yogurt maker. Put the plastic cover on top of the yogurt maker machine. Make sure the yogurt maker is in a warm place. This is especially important in the winter time! I like to put mine high up on a bookshelf in my kitchen - that way as the warm air rises it helps keep my yogurt nice and cozy! :) The other thing I do to make sure it stays nice and warm, is to also cover the whole thing with a thick kitchen towel. The warmer your yogurt stays - the closer the 110 you keep it - the THICKER it will be when it is done.

2. How to make yogurt with an the Excalibur Dehydrator: (the easy way)

You will need:

Put the yogurt starter into the bottom of the half gallon glass jar. Pour in a small amount of the milk (nope, you don't have to heat it!) and whisk thoroughly. Add a little more of the milk and whisk until there are no lumps and it is well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and stir thoroughly but gently. Put the lid on the jar. Turn on your Excalibur to 105 degrees. Remove the racks from the inside and place the jar inside the Excalibur. Leave it there . . .

3. {UPDATE} There is a third way to make it too - that doesn't require a yogurt maker or a dehydrator - with camping thermoses!

I used to make it this way all the time before I got my yogurt maker. It worked really well!

This thermos holds about 2 liters (about the same as the yogurt maker) and doesn't require any electricity! It will keep the yogurt toasty at 110 degrees for 24 hours!.

Follow the same instructions for heating the milk and mixing in the starter as for the yogurt maker method. But you will need to pre-heat the thermos.

To pre-heat the thermos - boil some water and pour it into a clean thermos and let it stand with the top on for ONE MINUTE. Then dump the water out and add the warmed milk and starter mixture and put the lid on to retain the heat. Set in a warm place.

Wait 24 hours. Don't disturb it.

Waiting 24 hours gives the yogurt a deliciously tart flavor. It also makes it completely LACTOSE FREE!! Although the yogurt can be ready before then, the 24-hour yogurt is the "GAPS" approved way of doing it - great for anyone with digestive issues, neurological issues, skin issues, or just wants to keep their sugar and carb intake low!

Transfer the glass jar to the refrigerator. Let chill for at least 4-6 hrs. or overnight.

This yogurt is SOOOO GOOD!! And SOOO nutritious!! :D

Serving Suggestions:

This yogurt will keep for at least 2 months in the refrigerator. All those good bacteria are working hard to preserve it and will keep any bad bacteria intruders out! :)

Hope you enjoy!


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#rawmilk #yogurt #breakfast #snack #recipe

Ancestral Living in the Third Millennium

© 2019 Chance Godwin

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