Acidophilus Three Billion is a probiotic that aids in digestion, but it is also the live cultures needed to make yogurt. Instead of using plain yogurt with live cultures, use the acidophilus tablets instead. (I bought mine on Amazon, but health food stores should have it too) Take note that the incubation period for the yogurt will be quite a bit longer, like 18-24 hours, before it starts to firm up. Normally, with a plain yogurt starter, I would get the yogurt started in the morning and it would be setting up in the fridge by dinner time. I made yogurt with the acidophilus and started incubating at 9am and I let it sit until about 10am the next day. It wasn't bitter, like yogurt can get, it just took longer to set up. I also made the yogurt in my Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker and that was a great option if I didn't have electricity. I usually use my yogurt maker, and I'll have to try my next batch with my tablets to see if the yogurt comes out any differently.
This is how I make yogurt. You will notice that I don't heat up my milk and then let it cool. If you are using powdered milk you can skip that step. If you use regular milk from the grocery store you will need to heat up your milk to 180 degrees and then let it cool to 100-110 degrees before adding your starter. Don't let it cool to under 100 degrees or the starter won't "start". It will stay in kind of a hibernation state.
Start by putting 3 3/4 C water and 1 C powdered milk into a blender. Blend until combined. Allow a few moments for the frothy milk to settle to the top. You can scoop it off at this point and discard. I add 1/3 C sugar and 1 T vanilla flavoring to my yogurt unless I am planning on making sour cream with it. My children really like a little sweetness and flavor to their yogurt. I used to give them honey to mix in but the yogurt would get runny and they wouldn't eat it. If you really don't care to use the sugar you can try a sugar substitute.
|Pill Crusher that I bought on amazon.com.|
Using a pill crusher, crush 3 acidophilus tablets and add to a little of the blended milk. Add it back to the blender and just stir to combine.
Pour the milk into a clean, warm quart jar. This recipe makes enough yogurt for one quart. (I fill my mason jar with hot water while I make up the yogurt.)
There are several ways to incubate your yogurt but I decided to try my Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker. If you don't have one try a small cooler or wonderbox. Just make sure to have little or no air space around the jar. I filled my cooker with the hottest water I could get out of my faucet, which was around 125 degrees. Anything hotter will kill your starter. After 8 hours I did switch out my water for hot water again. The yogurt won't set up if it is too cool either. Try to keep it above 110 degrees. Don't let all of the temperature info scare you away from making yogurt. It really isn't as hard as it may seem.
Here is my yogurt after about 24 hours of incubation. It is now in the fridge cooling off. I tasted it and it was smooth, creamy, and just sweet enough.
Powdered Milk Yogurt Recipe3 3/4 C warm tap water
1 C non-instant powdered milk (milk from the cannery)
2-4 T plain yogurt with active cultures OR 3 Acidophilus tablets, crushed
1/3 C sugar
1 T vanilla
Combine the water and powdered milk in a blender or use an emulsion blender. Scoop off the foam. Add the sugar and vanilla and blend. Add the starter to a little of the milk and add back to milk. Stir gently to combine. Pour into a warmed quart mason jar and incubate. Wrap tightly in towels and place in a cooler or use a thermal cooker. Fill the thermal cooker with hot tap water and place mason jar inside. If using a yogurt starter your yogurt will be ready after about 8 hours. Place in fridge and allow to firm up. The thermal cooker can take up to 24 hours. I checked it about every 8 hours.
|I filled my jars with warm water to heat them up.|
Now you can have yogurt anytime, even in an emergency. The cooling of the yogurt after incubation could be done with a cooler that has been buried under ground (with the lid open at the top) or in cold storage, but that is a whole other post :)