Monday, October 20, 2008

Making Yogurt for Jack

When Jack first started eating solid foods, we tried yogurt as one of his first foods. To say he loved it can't quite explain what a success it was! He got to the point where he would see the Yo Baby container and begin squealing with delight. As a matter of fact, he recognized the container so well that we were able to put new and unpopular foods in an empty Yo Baby container to get him to eat them.

A few months ago, I got tired of paying $6.49, or whatever the Walmart sale price was, for 6 4 oz. containers, and driving across town to the only non membership grocery store who sells Yo Baby. I'm not opposed to using whole milk plain yogurt in a big tub at our regular grocery store, but have you ever looked for that? EVERYTHING is non-fat or low fat, and Jack's growing brain needs the fat from whole milk. So, I decided that I would try to make yogurt from my pumped milk. I used freeze dried live cultures, but it didn't work. And I was very upset that I had wasted a quart of milk- that's a lot to pump!

Anyhow, I recently decided to try it again... with plain old whole milk, since that's what the Yo Baby is made from, and since the American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled the amount of Vitamin D a child needs daily. This time it worked fabulously, Jack loves it, and I get to control what goes in it... no more sugar or preservatives for Jack!

So here's how you do it!

  • Heat a quart of milk in a glass container in a pot full of water, kind of a make-shift double boiler. You want to heat fairly slowly so it doesn't scald. Heat to 185 degrees to kill all the bacteria.
  • Place heated milk on a trivet in the fridge to cool the milk to about 110 degrees. This is the ideal incubating temperature. DSC01507
  • Next add 2 tbsp. yogurt starter. This can be plain store bought yogurt, yogurt from a previous batch, or freeze- dried yogurt cultures. The idea is to get the live cultures in there. You can also add 1/4 c of Nonfat Dry Milk .DSC01508
  • Put the glass jars in a crockpot filled with water, turned to warm. The temp should hover around 100 degrees. Put a towel over the jar(s) and let incubate for 6-10 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets, but also the more tangy. I tend to take it out at the 6 hour mark, because it's sweeter that way, and I've taken care of the thickening with the dry milk.DSC01509

It's that easy! Jack will eat it plain, but I usually make different fruit and veggie purees to mix in. This summer I made them from fresh, but right now I'm using frozen produce. Jack generally eats this for breakfast every morning. I mix about a tablespoon of baby oatmeal (already cooked so no need to heat), a tablespoon of puree, and three or four tablespoons of yogurt, and it makes a great meal. He's currently enjoying a rotation of the following purees: pears, peaches, mixed berries, pumpkin (his current favorite), and apples. Seriously, it looks so good sometimes I finish what he doesn't (which usually isn't much)!

10 comments:

friedrichfamily said...

You forgot the step, "Borrow a candy thermometer from your cousin and hold it hostage, even when she asks for it back." :)

Andes Adventures said...

Awesome idea. Callie hasn't really liked yogurt yet, so we'll have to try your recipe. Do you add any fruits or flavors? Maybe your cousin wants to "borrow" Jack for a night in return for extended candy thermometer loan. ;)

amosclarkson said...

Too bad Eli STILL doesn't like mushy food like yogurt or applesauce. You are such a great cook!

Bethany said...

I'm glad you tried the breast milk so I didn't have to. Any ideas as to why it didn't work though, as it seems like it should? Also, what kinds of vegetables do you use?

Cassi and Chadd said...

I got your link from the crockpot blog--I have been looking for a recipe because yobaby is SO EXPENSIVE and Maddux loves it so much. I'm excited to try it out. I hope you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Have you tried using breastmilk again since the first time you tried making yogurt (when it didn't quite work out)? I tried yesterday and didn't work out - it could be that the BM was too close to the 3-month mark, or simply that it doesn't work w/ the BM...

What do you think?

Erin K said...

Thank you for the great instructions - found you through the crock pot 365 site - someone left a comment with your address. I do have one question, please. When you put the bottles into the crock pot that is turned onto warm, do you leave the crock pot turned on, or shut it off once the temp is 100 degrees? Thanks!

deldobuss said...

I think the breast milk didn't work because it contains a different kind of lactose than cow or goat milk. (It's called galactose) The cultures in yogurt eat the lactose, and so it probably was not their kind of food or not enough for it to thicken properly.

karyn dunavant said...

Just wanted to let you know this post ROCKS!!! I tried doing it a little bit different...At first I did it your way, but it was too intensive to wait on the milk to do its own thing, so I tried a couple things the second time...First, I doubled the recipe (almost 2qt)then just heated the (2%) milk to 185 directly in a Farberware pot on the stove, (I hooked my latte thermometer onto my whisk)stirring every minute or so, the stove being up to a little over medium. A lot of people say to put the milk in the fridge to cool it down, but I found a super quick and energy efficient way to do it. (I was also concerned that bacteria in my fridge might mess up my sterile milk) I just stuck the pot in a sink of cold tap water, and it cooled it so quick, I wasn't expecting it and actually had to warm it back up to 115*! After I added the yogurt and the milk powder, I stirred it with my same whisk, then poured the mixture into eight 8 oz jars and put them into the slow cooker that had 115-120 degree water in it. Unplugged the thing, wrapped it in towels, and let it sit for 6 hours! The result was beautiful! I don't have to spoon into the fresh yogurt until I want it, and my husband can just take one to work every day! He just pours about 1/4 inch maple syrup (pure) on top and stirs it in. It very much tastes like Brown Cow Cream Top Maple yogurt. I know a lady that was addicted to the stuff for aeyons(Ate about a quart a week-that gets expensive!)...I was always buying it for her since she lived too far from Whole Foods...I gave her a jar of it and she said "WOW!!! TEACH ME HOW!!!"

Tori said...

Great idea, Karyn! I'm going to try it your way next time!