Homemade Yogurt, Ready to Pack in a Lunch, Made in a Picnic Cooler

I know, it’s a ridiculously long title, but just “Homemade Yogurt” didn’t say it all. Because I wanted to tell you not only how to make yogurt, but how to make it so that it’s ready to pack into your husband’s or child’s lunch. And, how I make it in a cooler – no need for a yogurt maker! Hence, the loquacious title.

Ok, so here is how I do it. I make only a quart at a time, but this can easily be doubled. On low heat, I heat 3 1/2 cups of raw milk to 185º, stirring frequently. (Alternately, you may heat this to only 110 degrees for yogurt that is still raw, but it will be more of a drinkable yogurt.) Remove the milk from the heat and cool to 110º. I use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature. When the milk is at 110º, I stir in 1/2 cup of yogurt from a previous batch. You may use plain, good quality store bought yogurt if this is your first batch. I then pour into 4 oz canning jars, leaving room at the top for a topping, to be added later. I screw on the lids and place the jars in an insulated picnic cooler. I then fill a quart canning jar with boiling water and place that in the cooler as well to keep the temperature inside the cooler nice and warm. The lid goes onto the cooler and I go to bed. In the morning, I have 8 little jars of beautiful yogurt. I add a teaspoon or so of fruit jam made with maple syrup to each jar and refrigerate. When I am packing lunches, the yogurt is ready to go.

Shared at Sunday School, Monday Mania, Barn Hop, Harvest Monday, Weekend Gourmet, Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Homestead Helps, Rural Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Freaky Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Fight Back Friday

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32 Responses to Homemade Yogurt, Ready to Pack in a Lunch, Made in a Picnic Cooler

  1. o i MUST try this! perhaps i will add my “sun jam”…do u think that would be ok…it is made with strawberries and honey that u put out in the sun tho thicken???!!!

    • That sounds fantastic. I would love the recipe – so the strawberries are still raw, then?

    • Heather says:

      Can you please share the recipe for your sun jam? I am interested in making it! 🙂

    • Flo says:

      I want this recipe for the sun jam too

    • Oh, please, can I have that recipe too? My strawberries patch looks promising and I really wanted to make jam or some type of preserves this year without using refined sugar. Janet S.

    • Laureen just returned from Puerto Rico. Here’s her recipe for Sun Jam:
      1 qt. chopped strawberries
      3 c. honey
      2 Tabl. lemon juice concentrate
      Boil together abt 10 min., stirring
      skim off the scum
      put in glass baking pan, 8 1/2 x 11
      cover with plastic (i use a piece of glass to keep bees and chipmunks out of it…carefully slide if off and wipe off the condensation that forms)
      put in the sun, and back in house at night or if it rains…rotate to sunniest spots on deck or porch…i leave mine out 2-4 days till it thickens…it doesn’t always get super thick. esp. if it’s been rainy and the berries are wetter! still tastes delish!
      seal in sm. jars, boil abt 10 min. only, to seal and store!

  2. How great!! I am so happy to see someone take the time to make their own yogurt instead of buying it.

    I was making kefir yogurt for the longest time, then we went on vacation and I gave all my kefir grains away. Have you ever tried the kefir? You don’t have to boil the milk, you just add the kefir grains and let it sit out on your counter. It is so full of probiotics, that is why I was making it. I even made my own cream cheese.

    • I don’t do so well with dairy and I make the yogurt for my husband. I recently made kefir – a friend gave me the grains. I wanted to see how I would do with it. Hmmm. I wasn’t so fond of it, so it sits in my frig. 😦

  3. Gretchen says:

    Susan, this sounds fabulous! Cristina and I have been experimenting lately with making different dairy products. We have made sour cream and cream cheese so far. i want to make yogurt for the boys ( I cannot have it-migraines :(). Anyway, thanks for the recipe, I am definitely going to be trying it! Gretchen

    • Hi Gretchen. I’m so glad that you and Cristina get to spend time together!! I miss her a lot. I see you also made butter – sounds like you are having a lot of fun!!! Blessings to all of you!

  4. Gail Mills says:

    I feel like I am in the dark ages, but I’m desiring to make healthier eating choices. I eat yogert daily. So….if I were to make this, where would I get the milk?

    • Gail, I get raw milk every Thursday at Everything Natural. A farmer delivers it around 4 p.m. It’s about $4 a half gallon, I think. Kara and Amber P both get theirs from a farm in Moscow and it is a bit less expensive. I opt for the convenience of a few blocks away since we only use 1/2 gal a week.

  5. Ha! Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this…I will definitely try it out 🙂

  6. maryhysong says:

    I used to make yogurt all the time when I had dairy goats. I didn’t heat the milk; strained it warm from the goat into jars with a couple tablespoons of yogurt in them. Set them in my oven because if I cracked the door open the pilot light kept the temp just right. Mixed honey or preserves into them just before eating.

  7. How cool is that! Warm milk straight from the mama!

  8. Julie says:

    Wow.. that’s amazing.. you just made making yogurt sound easy! I need to try this sometime, although I will have to try to find a place to buy raw milk. Oh and I love the little 4 oz jars! How long does the yogurt keep in the fridge?

  9. This sounds great! I don’t have huge success making candy with a candy thermometer, though, so that part makes me a little nervous 😉

    • Really, any thermometer at all is fine. I just happen to have a candy thermometer. Some people don’t use thermometers at all. They observse when a “skin” begins to form on the milk and call it good.

  10. Nancy says:

    Sounds delicious and so easy! Thank you for the recipe. 🙂

  11. Debbie says:

    I’ve never made yogurt, but you sure make it look and sound easy! Hmmm??? thanks for sharing this with the farmgirls/guys!

    • It’s easy, and quick. I always say that I can make it faster than I can run to the store and buy it! Of course, that doesn’t count the “sitting” time. Thank you for hosting each week – I always look forward to it.

  12. What a fantastic idea! I have yet to make my own yogurt since I have some pretty excellent sources locally that have given me a reason to be lazy about it. But I really should try to make it. Your method seems like the easiest i have seen so far. Hmm, now to find that cooler. 😉

  13. Gretchen says:

    Susan, I used this method this week with my yogurt and it worked perfectly! My boys prefer greek style yogurt so I strained it over a tea towel and colander for about 6 hours in the refrigerator and it was perfect! Now to try to make the strawberry jam! Thanks for all you hard work and blogging about it. It sure does make it a lot easier to feed my boys “clean” for this full time working mommy!

    • I’m glad to hear that, Gretchen. Do you eat oatmeal? If you soak the oatmeal for 12 – 24 hours ahead of time, it makes it more digestible. Add some of the whey (the liquid you strained from the yogurt) to help the process. I think it’s tastier this way, too!

  14. Gretchen says:

    Ooh, great idea! Yes, my boys love oats. Thanks again!

  15. Jasmin says:

    How important is it that it’s raw milk? I’m not aware of anywhere it is sold here in Denmark :/

  16. Pingback: My Clean Food Journey | learningandyearning

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