Vanilla Yogurt Recipe
This Amish homemade vanilla yogurt recipe is very easy to make. And it is definitely cheaper to make yogurt than buy it.
I love having lots of vanilla yogurt in the fridge because it is so good to eat at any time of the day, and it is so versatile. You can eat it plain, make vanilla yogurt parfaits with lots of fruit, or use it for baking.
Vanilla Yogurt or Flavored Homemade Yogurt
If you want a plain and healthier yogurt, use whole milk and do not add any sugar or vanilla. But I like homemade yogurt a little sweetened. I don't add a lot of sugar because I'm trying to be healthy. But I do like homemade vanilla yogurt, so I add some sugar and vanilla to mine. Then if I want more flavor I add some berries.
You can also flavor your yogurt with pie filling. After the fermentation process, you want to chill your yogurt before stirring it to avoid a watery yogurt. But after it is chilled you can stir in some pie filling to taste.
Homemade Yogurt Starter
You will need to buy a container of yogurt to use as a starter, and you need to buy the yogurt that specifically has live cultures. I used the Activia brand. I was always told that you are supposed to use plain yogurt as a starter, but honestly, I couldn't find any plain Activia the last time I needed it. So I just used strawberry, and I could not tell any difference. The yogurt turned out the same, except it had a few flecks of strawberries on the bottom.
Then save one small jar of your homemade vanilla yogurt to use as a starter the next time you want to make it. But after using your starter for about four or five batches, you need to buy another container again to use as a fresh starter.
How to make vanilla yogurt
This recipe vanilla yogurt is so yummy and it is so easy to make, that I don't think you'll only make it once.
Pour two quarts of milk into a heavy-bottom saucepan. It's fine if you don't have a heavy-bottom saucepan, you will just need to heat the milk on low to avoid having it burn.
Heat the milk to 180 degrees. I've never tried to make it without a thermometer. If you want to risk just guessing the temperature, it is close to boiling. But I would recommend investing in a thermometer.
Affiliate link...This is the kind of thermometer that I use.
Remove the milk from the heat and let it cool to 130 degrees. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin in cold water and let it sit for a few minutes. Mix the sugar and yogurt starter. Add gelatin, vanilla, and sugar/yogurt mixture to 130-degree milk. Stir until it is dissolved and smooth.
Fermentation - How to make homemade vanilla yogurt
Place yogurt mixture into sterile pint or quart jars and lay a flat lid on top, do not tighten. Place in a warm area for 8-12 hours. If you have a gas oven with a pilot light, you can set it in the oven to keep it warm. I have an electric stove, so what I have found to be the easiest is setting it in my cooler with hot water.
I have a medium-sized drink cooler that I set my jars in with hot tap water almost to the top of the jars. This works great. Some people just wrap theirs in heavy towels and place them in the warmest spot in the house. It doesn't matter exactly how you do it, but it does need to stay a little warmer than room temperature.
Do not disturb it for at least eight hours, as it goes through the fermentation process. After eight to twelve hours place your jars in the refrigerator and let the yogurt cool before stirring.
Shelf life of homemade yogurt
How long does homemade yogurt last? Your homemade yogurt will last for at least two weeks stored in the refrigerator. Mine always gets eaten before two weeks are up, so I have never tried to keep it longer than that. But it may last even longer.
What to make with vanilla yogurt
There are lots of cake or scones, etc. recipes that ask for yogurt. And anytime a recipe asks for plain yogurt you can substitute the recipe with vanilla yogurt.
I love yogurt parfaits! If you've never had one, it's simply granola, berries, and yogurt layered in a dish. So good for breakfast or snack anytime. Here is my homemade granola recipe.
I also love to eat yogurt mixed with fruit. Any kind of berries is great! Yogurt is great with chopped apples and topped with toasted pecans too.
I pack a lunch for my husband almost every day, and I try to keep it at least a little interesting by not putting the same stuff in every day. So whenever I have lots of homemade yogurt, I mix some with fruit to put in his lunch.
Lots of milk to use on an Amish Dairy Farm
If you live on an Amish dairy farm you always have plenty of milk. So sometimes we would make our own butter, yogurt, ice cream, etc. There are so many things you can make at home and they are not that difficult to make. Many of us just think it's easier to buy it at the store. But you will find that it is cheaper to make your own food, and it is usually healthier.
The best homemade vanilla yogurt recipe!
You may want to try more Amish recipes...
Amish Homemade Vanilla Yogurt Recipe
- 2 qt. milk
- 1 Tbs. unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 c. cold water
- 1/4 c. active yogurt
- 1/2 - 1 c. sugar
- 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
- Heat milk on medium-low temperature in a heavy-bottom pan to 180°. (If you don't have a heavy-bottom pan, heat over low temperature to avoid burning your milk.)
- Remove from heat and let it cool to 130°.
- Meanwhile soak gelatin in cold water, let is sit for a few minutes. Then add to 130° milk.
- Mix sugar and yogurt starter, and add to milk.
- Add vanilla. Stir until it is smooth.
- Place mixture in sterile pint or quart-sized jars. Place lids on top, but do not tighten.
- Place in a warm area, undisturbed, for 8 - 12 hours.
- Screw on the lids and chill.
- To begin the process again, save a small jar of yogurt for your next starter.