a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Jan, 2011

Yo Go

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Remember my sugar-free yogurt snack the other day?

It inspired me to try to make my own, and let me tell you, it turned out pretty awesome.

You may be asking yourself, why on earth would I want to make my own yogurt? I understand why you’re wondering. After all, you can buy yogurt fairly inexpensively at the grocery store, right? But consider this:

  • If we did the math I still think homemade yogurt would be cheaper than buying.
  • Making homemade yogurt is a pretty natural process, and does not contain a lot of ingredients that storebought yogurts may contain, like additives, colouring or gelatin … which may be of interest to vegetarians and vegans because unless something in the food industry has changed, gelatin is still made the old-fashioned way, out of horse hooves. Other ingredients may include corn starch for thickener, sugar, and other artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
  • You can flavour homemade yogurt yourself and control the sweetness. Personally I find commercially fruit yogurts much too sweet for my liking. Like with my oatmeal, I prefer it plain and to add my own toppings. I thought my batch might end up tasting tart, like some commercial brands, but it wasn’t. 

I made my yogurt -without a yogurt maker – exactly as written here. I even got out the candy thermometer so I could get the temperature right. It totally worked! I put my batch of yogurt in a very slightly warmed oven (with the light on) for about 8 hours before I put it in the fridge. The consistency was very good, although a tiny bit less solid than I would have liked it to be. I read somewhere that it’s better to throw a towel over it instead of using a dish with a lid (like I did). At this point I could throw it into a fine sieve and strain out some of the liquids, but I’m not sure if it bugs me enough to bother with this.

Some ways to use yogurt:

  • Strain overnight through cheese cloth and use for a base for a dip or for tzatziki. It’s MUCH better than a sour-cream base. Here’s a great recipe from Canadian Living, which is pretty close to mine. (I grate my cucumber instead of chopping it.)
  • Have it for breakfast. I had some this morning with strawberries (formerly frozen) and a liberal sprinkle of All-Bran Buds. (Kellogg should pay me for my slavish devotion to this stuff! But sadly, I need to inform you that the SECOND ingredient is sugar/glucose-fructose. KELLOGG, YOU MUST FIX THIS.) It’s also good with fresh blueberries and a sprinkle of slivered almonds. My  mother used to make yogurt and serve it with a spoonful of jam in it. (Just an idea!)
  • Use yogurt as a base for fruit smoothies. I bet it’d be really good whirled up in a blender with a few hunks of frozen banana.

Any other ideas?

What I don’t know is if this is better than storebought in terms of the number of active bacteria. I know this is important for some people. Regardless, I like it just the same.

7 Responses to "Yo Go"

1 | elsewise

January 21st, 2011 at 11:05 am


I make mine just like this, with a couple of tweaks from experimenting and advice from @Hellcat13’s dad. I’ve tried both 1% and 2% milk, and both have worked out fine. I add skim milk powder as a thickener along with the greek yogurt I use as a starter. Stirring constantly during the heating process seems to help the texture, since it prevents the milk from thickening up and cooking against the sides/bottom of the pot.

I use the 125ml mason jars for lunches – put a few frozen berries in the bottom of the jar, top with yogurt and a little honey or sugar if needed, maybe some vanilla, and the yogurt gets flavoured while staying cold all morning (just shake the jar when you’re ready to eat).

Other successful flavour experiments: cinnamon/sugar, maple/pear, strawberry/banana…

Homemade yogurt makes delicious frozen yogurt, too (I use the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment). I add a little alcohol to keep it from freezing solid, but that’s totally optional.

Glad you’ve had such a successful first experiment!

2 | TorontoMom

January 21st, 2011 at 1:29 pm


Chicken tenders or sliced chicken marinated in yogurt, to which you add whatever seasonings you like..we are garlic/rosemary fans. Roll tenders in homeade bread crumbs and bake for delicious, nutricious chicken fingers. Commercial crumbs often have added sugar, so I just whiz up bread ends and keep a bag in the freezer. If your family likes cheese, you can grate some parmesan with the crumbs.

3 | bushidoka

January 21st, 2011 at 9:43 pm


I’ve tried a number of methods for making yoghurt and the best I’ve found is the 2nd set of videos I made on this link :


The cool thing about it is that you make the yoghurt in sealed mason jars at temperatures that are high enough to kill most spoilers but not the active bacteria in the starter. I’ve had a jar of this keep unopened in the fridge for just over a year and it was fine though it did lose a bit of flavour over that long time

4 | bushidoka

January 21st, 2011 at 9:45 pm


p.s. my math puts home made WAY cheaper than buying. Bulk milk is so darned cheap when you buy 4L

5 | Merry120

January 22nd, 2011 at 1:28 am


I have got to try to make my own yogurt. Currently I buy fat free greek yogurt with very few ingredients but I’m sure it would be cheaper to make my own. I eat greek yogurt every morning with thawed blueberries & homemade granola.

6 | Karen Humphrey

January 28th, 2011 at 1:20 am


I have wanted to make home made yogurt for a very long time and now I think I just have to. My fave way to eat it is with maple syrup and a banana.

Thanks for linking up to Food Revolution Friday!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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