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Know How, Know More

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community

Yogurt at Home: Beyond the Basics

It's been a number of years since the "Back to Basics" do-it-yourself series where we made a basic mozzarella recipe from start to finish.  Refresh your memory by reading the Cheese, Please blog post.

If anyone thought cheese making was easy, yogurt is even easier, in my opinion.

These are the basic steps:

1. Heat milk
2. Stir in yogurt starter
3. Incubate milk to become yogurt

Yup, easy!

Drained yogurt


Bacteria from the yogurt starter will digest lactose – the sugar in milk – to form lactic acid. Lactic acid reduces the pH of the milk, making it more acidic. This causes proteins to coagulate or pull together, resulting in a thick milk that becomes yogurt. Bacteria from a previous batch of yogurt, or a purchased starter culture of bacteria, are used to inoculate the milk and start the process.

Make it at Home (or in Class)

This summer, join UI Extension for hands-on classes where we will start yogurt and have you take home a jar to incubate.

From a basic yogurt, to drained yogurt, to drinkable yogurt, it will be a fun class.  If you want to get started on your own, download the handout with instructions on making yogurt and some recipes using yogurt.  Let us know about your successes (and maybe some bloopers of trial-and-error).


Yogurt Made Simple, Washington State University Extension, 2015
Yogurt: One of the original dairy foods,
Yogurt and beyond,
What is Greek Yogurt?, University of Iowa Extension, 2010

Drinkable yogurt

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Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.

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