Yogurt is cool and refreshing and healthy! And even better you can make it yourself for a fraction what it costs in the store. You will need:
Yogurt starter (I have used everything from Plain Mountain High or Dannon Commercial Yogurt from the regular grocery store to Natren's Live Cultures from the health food store).
Milk – We think whole milk makes the best and most creamy yogurt, but I have made it from 1% and 2% also.
A wide-mouthed thermos or plastic insulated cooler jug.
A heavy saucepan a little bigger than the thermos or cooler jug.
Instructions: Pour milk into the cooler jug to within 1" from the top – This is to measure how much will fit into your jug. Then pour the milk into the saucepan.
Put 2 - 4 tablespoons of yogurt – or the appropriate starter – in the cooler jug to come to room temperature while you prepare the rest.
Heat the milk in the saucepan on a medium level until the milk is very near to boiling, but not yet rolling – about 180 degrees. Watch closely, you do not want it to boil. When this level is reached, turn off the burner and allow the milk to cool until you can hold your finger in it – about 120 degrees. The more gradually it cools, the creamier it will be.
Pour about one cupful of the warm milk into the cooler jug with the starter and stir gently. Gradually add the rest of the milk stirring as you go.
Put the lid on the cooler jug and set it in a warm place like on top of the stove if you are baking bread or cooking other things or near a warm window.
Leave it undisturbed for 12 - 24 hours. If it is thick and formed when you check it, then refrigerate. If it has not yet thickened to your liking, leave it a while longer to continue to set-up. Just make sure your family doesn't finish the bowlful off before you take out 2 - 4 tablespoons of your homemade yogurt for your next batch starter!
We have a big family, so I usually make a gallon at a time in two 2-quart cooler jugs.