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6/20/12

How to flavor homemade yogurt


I had a hard time figuring out how to use homemade yogurt when I first started making it . . . so I stopped making it. No one wanted to eat it unless it was sweetened and flavored, but when I tried to add sugar and flavoring to the entire batch after the yogurt was made, it would end up super runny and/or grainy. Adding flavoring to individual portions right before serving worked okay, but it still got quite runny, and it was a pain.

I've finally figured out something that works for us! I really enjoy making yogurt, so I'm happy to have found a way to make it more palatable and convenient.

First of all, I add a bit of unflavored gelatin to make the texture more uniform and keep it from being so runny. Second, I add sugar and flavoring. Third, I run it through the blender to mix everything together really well.

Bonus tip: before you flavor your yogurt, take out 1/2 cup plain yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch. I put an X on the lid so we can remember not to eat it. I've also successfully frozen the starter, and it worked just great after thawing.


How to flavor homemade yogurt

1. Make some homemade yogurt. I go loosely by this recipe. If you don't have a yogurt maker, there are instructions all over the internet for making yogurt with a heating pad, an oven, a slow cooker, and who knows what else.

2. Wait for the yogurt to incubate. The longer you let it sit at the correct temperature, the thicker and tarter it will get. I let mine go quite a long time, 8–12 hours (usually overnight).

3. Collect some containers to hold your finished yogurt. I use the jars that came with my yogurt maker, 4- and 8-ounce canning jars, and 4-ounce plastic containers.

4. Combine your yogurt ingredients (see below) in the blender. Blend on high speed for 1–2 minutes, until completely combined.

5. Pour into jars, cover, and let set in fridge for about 3 hours.

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Strawberry yogurt

1 quart homemade yogurt
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin, softened in about 1/3 cup cold water for 5 minutes
2 cups whole strawberries (fresh or frozen—if using frozen, measure before thawing)
4+ tablespoons sugar


Vanilla yogurt

1 quart homemade yogurt
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, softened in about 1/4 cup cold water for 5 minutes
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4+ tablespoons sugar

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P.S. If you increase the gelatin by about half, you will get something similar to Yoplait Whips.

9 comments:

  1. I too have been experimenting with flavoured yogurt and after putting in the sweetner (5 Equal Stevia tabs)and vanilla, the following day it was as runny as when I started. So I put it in the fridge anyway but it stayed runny.
    The next night I decided to put it back into the heating thermos. It came out perfectly the second time around after refrigeration. Have done this a few times now.

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  2. I have been searching for a good way to flavor yogurt & I can't wait to try this!

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  3. I have also had good luck using jello and pudding boxes to flavor my yogurt. One package of flavor per half gallon of raw milk (before you make it into yogurt).

    The pudding I just mix in as is. The jello I disolve in a little bit of boiling water (between six and eight tablespoons) to get rid of the grit.

    No surgar is needed because it's already right there in the box. Granted there are still some mystery ingredients but I can't help but believe it is still better than commerically prepared yogurt.

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    1. Thank you! I wanted to try making banana yogurt with some pudding, but couldn't figure out if i could put it in the milk before heating & culturing or if it would just be pudding instead of yogurt.

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  4. I add sugar, about 1/4 c for 2 quarts and some extract (almond, vanilla or coconut) when the milk cools to about 130 degrees. I also add a small amount of fruit pectin at this time. I want my yogurt to be firm the first go around and this method works perfectly.

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  5. I am confused....what am I putting in jars and putting in the fridge...the fruit mix I just blended? Do I add the yogurt to the jar with the fruit mixture? I am very new to yogurt making. Thank you.

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    1. You're blending the yogurt with the fruit mix.

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    2. I have been making my own yogurt for awhile and find that Crystal Light works great for flavoring. Use the individual packet size. Or the many varieties of drink enhancers, play around with how many drops you prefer. If it is still too tart for your tastes add a little local honey - that will also help if you suffer from allergies :-)

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  6. I found the greatest flavor for yogurt - ginger syrup. However, I tried to make yogurt with it twice and failed twice. Then I found out that ginger is an antiseptic! So, whether you use it before or after incubation, it kills off all the yogurt culture.

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