In The Kitchen with
In The Kitchen with
Do you love yogurt? Our family does and I realized we were spending a fortune on it every week. I didn't buy the cheap yogurt because quality matters to us when it comes to food. Did you know that store bought yogurt hardly contains any active probiotics by the time you bring it into your refrigerator? Have you ever looked at the amount of sugar contained in the yogurt you buy? Even worse, have you looked at the chemicals that are in many brands of yogurt, including aspartame or other artificial sweeteners? There are good brands out there, but they are expensive. Homemade food is always cheaper and YOU control the quality of what goes into your food. So I knew making yogurt was the answer, but how hard would it be?
I've owned an Instant Pot for over year. I knew there was a "Yogurt" button, but frankly I was always afraid to try it. Making yogurt seemed like one of those "gourmet" foods that was complicated, until I saw a post on Facebook describing just how easy it is; how inexpensive it is; and how much healthier it is to make it yourself. So I decided to to be brave and try it. I figured in the worst case scenario I would tie up my Instant Pot for 24 hours and lose the cost of a gallon of milk, IF it didn't turn out. But it was amazingly simple AND tasted better than any yogurt I've ever had! So now we're hooked! I've made it five times now and determined that it's even a pretty forgiving recipe because sometimes I don't pay complete attention to details when I cook......
This blog is typically for recipes that I make using essential oils. This yogurt recipe itself doesn't use essential oils, but I'm posting it here anyway because we use yogurt in so many recipes that do use essential oils, so I wanted to give everyone easy access to it. I'm also posting it here because I'm just so proud of myself for overcoming my "fear" of trying it - it really IS easy to make yogurt, if you have an Instant Pot! (see link below)
You'll find the printable recipe at the bottom of this page, but I'll walk you through each of the steps first.
I prefer using the glass lid for the Instant Pot after sterilizing the pot because the recipe never comes under pressure again and the glass lid is easier to handle. But if you are using the original lid that comes with your IP, you will want to make sure that the silicon sealing ring is not one you've used when you cook something savory, because you may taste that previous recipe in your yogurt no matter how well you've cleaned it. I have a silicone ring that I use only for yogurt when I sterilize the pot and if I do use the original lid for the entire process (see link below to buy a 3-pack of colored rings - orange ring for sweet food; brown ring for savory food and a white to use for common use foods making it easier to prevent the odors from transferring between foods.)
First you'll start with a clean pot using the original lid for this step. I start by steaming the Instant Pot to sanitize it. To do this, add about 3 cups of water to your Instant Pot, lock the original lid on and close the steam vent. Set to "Steam" for 5 minutes. Carefully open when finished and dump out the water and allow the pot to cool down.
Once the stainless steel pot has been emptied and cooled down after being steamed, I add 1 gallon of whole milk. I'm fortunate to own a herd share so that I can purchase fresh, organic raw milk at my local farmer's market (shout out to Sagetown Dairy of Benton, TN!!!) I prefer using whole milk rather than 2% or skim because it makes the yogurt so creamy! If you can't find raw milk (it's illegal in most states without owning your own cow or a herd share - here's Tennessee's law) then any good quality, organic whole milk will work.
Cover with a lid (the IP won't be pressurized so the Instant Pot Tempered Glass lid works great for this - see link below); set the Instant Pot to "Yogurt" setting and use the "Adjust" button until you see "Boil". This process takes about 30 minutes and will beep when the cycle is complete. Periodically whisk the milk during the "boil" phase and check the temperature using a digital kitchen thermometer (see link below for the one I use) until it reaches between 181-185 degrees. Whisking often makes sure you're getting an accurate temp and not just testing a pocket that is warmer or cooler than the whole pot. If you don't reach at least 181 degrees for the first cycle, just reset the cycle and recheck. It won't take as long to complete the second time. Although I usually reach 181+ degrees on the first cycle, I've had it take 3 cycles and not make it. At that point, I set the IP to "Sauté," used the "Adjust" button to get it set on low, whisked continuously and checked often until the temperature reached 181 degrees.
NOTE: I usually use 2 Tablespoons of Starter and incubate for 8 hours. However, using less Starter will give you a much thicker and creamier yogurt. Incubating for 8-10 hours will give you a tart, but not overly sour Yogurt. If you prefer a milder tasting Yogurt, try incubating for 6-8 hours. Incubating 9-10 hours will give a much tarter tasting yogurt.
Make it Greek Yogurt!
All that's left is to enjoy your yogurt!!!! Because this is unsweetened, plain greek yogurt we add fruit toppings depending on what we want each time we have a bowl. Some of our favorite toppings are my homemade Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Compote, Peach Compote or Old Fashion Apple Compote!
The fruit is lightly sweetened, so for most people no additional sweeteners are needed, but you can also add honey or liquid stevia to your serving of yogurt to enhance the sweetness if you prefer.
We also use our greek yogurt as a healthy alternative to using sour cream (you can't even tell the difference!) on potatoes or Mexican food, or in place of sour cream or mayo in dip recipes. It is so versatile! Once you start making it you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Tools I used to make this yogurt:
See my Instant Pot fruit compote recipes to use as yogurt toppings:
Instant Pot Strawberry Compote with Ginger Oil
Old Fashion Apple Compote with On Guard Oil
Instant Pot Blueberry Compote with Lemon Oil
Perfect Peach Compote with Cinnamon Oil
Dark Sweet Cherry Compote with Rosemary Oil
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Holly Mays has been on a journey to share natural ways of supporting health and wellness since 2010 when she graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Health Coach. She is a recognized as a Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She and her husband, David Mays, became dōTERRA Wellness Advocates in February 2012 and found their passion in empowering people through education to use dōTERRA essential oils, supplements and non-toxic products as a foundation for health and wellness and to create a life of purpose.
We are David and Holly Mays and we love to cook! Our focus is on preparing nutritious healthy whole foods, because we know our body functions so much better when properly nourished.