How to Make Yogurt at Home

A cross-cultural palate-pleaser, yogurt is a treasure trove of vitamins, minerals and protein—and is easy to make at home!

| March 2011 Web

Home Dairy with Ashley English book cover

"Homemade Living: Home Dairy with Ashley English" guides you through making your own dairy products, whether you keep milking cows or simply buy your milk fresh. Find recipes for whipped butters, healthful yogurt, incomparable cheese, sweet ice creams and more.

Photo Courtesy Lark Crafts

The following is an excerpt from Home Dairy with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Cheese, Yogurt, Butter & More by Ashley English (Lark Crafts, 2011). The excerpt is from Chapter 5: Cultured Dairy. 


Spooned into granola, mixed with cucumber and spices for a cooling raita, or blended into a refreshing fruit shake, yogurt has a long and storied reputation as a cross-cultural palate-pleaser. Yogurt’s pudding-like texture, coupled with an intense tanginess, makes it perfect for any meal, from breakfast to dinner (think chilled yogurt soup) to dessert. This cultured treat is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, containing generous amounts of iodine, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B2 and B12. It is also a great source of protein, with 8 ounces supplying  around 8 grams.

Prior to the 20th century, yogurt was consumed primarily in the Middle East, Asia, Russia, and several eastern European countries. During the 1900s, research conducted by Dr. Ilya Mechnikov brought yogurt to the attention of the Western world. The Ukrainian-born doctor was given a Nobel prize for his work on the role of beneficial bacteria—now commonly known as probiotics—in digestion. Based on the dietary habits of some of the world’s longest-lived individuals, such as inhabitants of eastern Europe, known for their regular consumption of cultured dairy foods, he theorized that lactic acid could prolong life, and consumed soured milk and yogurt daily. His research inspired a new generation of yogurt makers and eaters, introducing the puckery treat to the entire world.

Yogurt recipe 

When you’re just starting out, you have the option of using a packet of commercially prepared yogurt starter or a dollop of prepared yogurt, purchased from the market. If you decide to use prepared yogurt, make certain it indicates somewhere on the label that it possesses “live, active cultures.” The existence of these cultures is absolutely crucial to the success of your batch. While you can use milk of any type, the higher the butterfat in your ingredients, the thicker and creamier the end product will be.

kathleen kubic
2/26/2013 4:15:07 PM

Sounds great and easy to do. Can't wait to try it.

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