Ron’s World Famous Homemade Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Here’s the short of it: Heat the milk, cool the milk, add the culture, place the bowl on a bath towel when mixture is 120°, leave it alone for 8 hours. Strain it through a thread bare dish towel. Add you favorite instant pudding. etc. I whip mine up in about 30 minutes including the heating and cooling. My cost on a big quart About $2.
Now: the long of it line by line:
I seriously have been creating this yogurt for over two years now. I’ve got it down to an art, so follow my instructions line by line and you should have created something that you will make for the rest of your life. Follow me! It’s really easy.
1 ½ qts Milk (I use whole milk or whatever is about to expire, but you can get by with 2%, and sometimes a mixture)
½ cup of your favorite Greek yogurt (or whatever you’ve got on hand. Any culture brand or consistency will work. I also always seem to have Oikos Greek fat free Vanilla on hand.
Additional ¼ cup milk
½ cup powdered milk (cheapest brand you can find)
½ cup stevia ( I use Stevia In the Raw powder, but have used ‘house brands’)
1 $.59 package of Vanilla (or other) instant pudding (Sugar free is ok. House brand ok)
One bath towel, one thread bare flour sack dish towel, and a colander
In a 2 quart ceramic microwavable bowl, pour in the 1 ½ quarts of milk. You don’t have to be precise. Microwave it to 180° or slightly above. My 1200 watt Panasonic does it in 12 minutes. Carry the hot bowl and set it in the bottom of an empty, plugged sink. Add cool water to the sink and insert your digital thermometer. Cool until the milk reaches 130° or less.
While the milk is heating and cooling, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt, ½ cup milk, Stevia, and powdered milk into a thick gruel. When the milk cools to 130°, move it out of the sink on to the counter, add the gruel and gently stir. (do not over stir and create foam, be gentle)
Place the bowl on the doubled over bath towel, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (to keep the towel out of the mixture), punch a couple of small holes in it and fold the towel over the bowl.
Set your digital timer for 8 hours, set it on top of the towel and walk away! Eight hours later, open the towel, remove the plastic wrap (save) and empty the yogurt onto the flour sack dish towel lining the colander. Quickly set the colander on top of the bowl, cover the yogurt in the colander with the plastic wrap again, and fold the left over dish towel over the top of the plastic wrap so the yogurt liquor does not wick into the towel and get all over the refrigerator. Let set in the refrigerator all afternoon or overnight if it’s late.
The next morning, you will have Greek yogurt and the liquor (whey) will be in the bowl.
Now carefully empty the Greeked yogurt back into the emptied bowl. (You can re-incorporate some of the whey if you think it wept too much, you’ll learn) It depends on how long you let it weep.
Now, empty the package of Vanilla pudding on top of the slightly wet Greek yogurt (the pudding is going to add flavor, but yes, will need something to thicken, therefore judge the yogurt lest it be too dry. (Pour some whey back in if you have too). Quickly mix in the pudding with a whisk, immersion blender or mixer. I usually work in a few bubbles now to lighten it up.
Pour into a covered container and let cool in the refrigerator. Yes you can taste it, but it will taste better once it’s set, and the pudding powder has time to dissolve.
Later, spoon some into a desert bowl (for me a cereal bowl) throw in a fist full of French Vanilla and Almond granola, and mix. Now, slice ½ a banana on top, give it a swirl of ‘Red Can’ whipped topping and enjoy. You are going to be pleased with what you’ve created, and your total cost for this decadent dessert is going to be a little yogurt, 1 ½ qts of milk, a handful of this and a little bit of that and mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Now remember! This is another one of those things that I make that can be breakfast or last minute supper before you go to bed, totally healthy, and it tastes like banana cream pie without the crust.
You can use other toppings of course, whatever is in season (strawberries, mmmmmm), or really do it up with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles, or mini chocolate pieces, or shavings. I’ve done it all, and have never been disappointed. NEVER!
I’ve done this so many times; my total time investment is may be 20 minutes.
Cost + time vs. pleasure Ha! You tell me!