Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's Make Some Yogurt...and Ranch Dressing While We're at It

You'd think that making yogurt is like making magic, but it's not. I wish I had taken the time make homemade yogurt for Bebé when he 1st started eating. None the less, we're doing it now, it's great, and cheaper than buying a container every week.
The first rule is you need yogurt to make yogurt.  The 1st time I made yogurt, I used left over vanilla and every recipe says DO NOT use flavored yogurt. At the time it was all I had and I didn't want to go to the store for one yogurt. And to tell you the truth, once you're done you can hardly taste it, and after using the homemade yogurt for a second batch you don't taste it at all.
When you have plain yogurt, there are so many things you can do with it. Honey and thawed frozen fruit are my favorite toppings b/c the natural syrup from the fruit is so tasty. I also substitute yogurt for sour cream in recipes because we hardly ever use sour cream.
Last night, I decided to make ranch dressing after making yogurt and it was so tasty. For the past week there have been three different shows that have included wedge salad, and I began craving it. Enough was enough and I was determined to have a salad with ranch dressing, even though we had no bacon. A refreshing salad with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes,green onions and homemade ranch dressing did the trick.

servings: 8 cups

2 quart pot
candy thermometer
wood spoon
2 1-pint glass jars (the kind for jelly)
crock pot

½ cup yogurt (room temperature)
1 pints (4 cups) milk
Whole milk can be used, especially for toddlers. For less fat, use 2% or 1% milk.

Heat milk on medium heat to 185°. Stir to prevent burning. Should be foamy not boiling. About 20 min.

Cool milk to 115°. Milk will still have some steam. If cooling in the refrigerator check every 10 minutes. Takes about 30 to 45 minutes

While milk is cooling, leave starter (plain yogurt) out to get to room temperature.

Once milk has cooled stir in starter; pour into glass jars and tighten lids.

Place in crock pot. Pour warm water in crock pot to surround jars. Keep setting on warm. The temperature should stay between 110 and 120°. This helps the bacteria grow to make the yogurt. Leave for 7 hours or longer. Refrigerate.

Yogurt will have clear liquid on the top and this can be poured out or mixed in. Yogurt may not be as thick as store-bought becuase it has not thickening agent added.
Yogurt will keep for 1 to 2 weeks. Recipe can easily be adjusted for the amount eaten during this time.

Adapted from WikiHow - How to Make Yogurt


1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup yogurt
½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dry chives
1 teaspoon dry parsley
buttermilk or regular milk

salt and pepper to taste

Stir mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic powder, dry chives and dry parsley. Add buttermilk or milk to loosen mixture until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper as desired. Let sit for 20 minutes.

TIP #1: Add as little or as much seasoning for desired taste.
TIP #2: To make buttermilk add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup milk. Stir and let sit until thickened. About 10 minutes.

Adapted from All Recipes: Ranch Dressing II and The Pioneer Woman


  1. Awesome Idea! I never thought about making my own yougurt! Quinn and I eat SO much of it, it would probably be more cost effective!

  2. I think it is cheaper. A gallon of milk is $3 bucks, and that's a lot more homemade yogurt than store bought, and plain is so much more diverse than the flavored kind.