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How do you sweeten/flavor homemade yogurt?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
If any of you have perfected the technique of sweetened/ flavored yogurt, I'd love to hear about it. If the yogurt isn't flavored or sweetened, my kids won't eat it. I've tried adding fruit conserves to the yogurt after it's made, but the yogurt becomes runnier and messier as a result of stirring. Can the conserves be mixed in before culturing?

I've also tried adding sucanat to the warm milk before it's cultured and that works really well for the first few batches before it goes off, but when I've added vanilla extract, I taste the alcohol more than the vanilla. Has anyone tried grinding vanilla beans into the yogurt instead?
post #2 of 11
I've so far used maple syrup and brown sugar for sweetener/flavor and just mix it in before I eat it. It's never caused runniness though. Is the yogurt nice and thick before you start stirring it? Maybe it just needs to stay longer in the heat to make it thicker? I don't know - I'm pretty new at this yogurt making stuff, but maybe I've just been lucky!
post #3 of 11
I buy organic baby food purees at the Superstore (they are half the cost there) and use that to sweeten the yogurt. We can make so many more flavors this way and it's just pure unsweetend fruit. I don't make my own yogurt anymore, the organic milk cost just does not make a difference and I have found a wonderful thick organic full fat yogurt that stays nice and thick. That's here in Canada though. Maybe if you take the fruit and layer in the yogurt...one layer of yogurt, one layer of pureed fruit, another layer of yogurt and the pureed fruit on top. That way they get a spoonful of fruit with each bite of yogurt. Those natural, unsweetened motts apple sauces work well with the older kids to.
post #4 of 11
We've done:

applesauce with a bit of cinnamon/sugar
pureed banana
maple and brown sugar
fruit preserves (Polamer All-fruit type)
frozen berries thawed with a bit of sugar sprinkled on them
and adding granola to the top is just plain exciting to a kid!
post #5 of 11
I use regular sugar, but brown sugar and maple syrup should work finel. I have used vanilla beans nearly every time I make yogurt.

As for the fruit, put it in the bottom of the container before you put the yogurt mixture in. The process the yogurt how you normally would. That should work. If the yogurt is getting runny, you might want to try something that is thicker.

Hope that helps.

Nicole
post #6 of 11
I mix frozen blueberries into it after it's made- although my kids do like it plain.
post #7 of 11
I like pureed fruit including apple sauce, partially frozen berries, cinnamon and sucanat, molasses, raw honey and maple syrup.
post #8 of 11
We use honey and maple syrup.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I never thought of unsweetened baby food or pureed fruit. Those are great ideas. It sounds like most of you flavor the yogurt after processing. I process my yogurt in quart jars in a Salton maker. I think the kids would think it was fun if I then poured the yogurt into little individual jars with pureed fruit on the bottom, like little parfaits.
Killick, could you tell me more about how you process vanilla yogurt? I really like the idea of having vanilla yogurt ready made for mixing with granola for a fast breakfast. How much vanilla bean do you use per quart of yogurt? I just ordered 2 vanilla beans from the coop, but I've never used them before, just extract. Do you add it after warming the milk? Is this also when you add your sugar?
post #10 of 11
Sorry about the delay in replying.

When I use a vanilla bean, I split the bean lengthwise and try to scrape out the seeds into the milk as best as I can. Then I put the entire husk of the bean into the mixture and heat it until almost boiling. I use a whole vanilla bean for 1 GALLON not QUART of milk. To sweeten that, I add 1 cup of sugar. It would be pretty good to use raw sugar too, but substitues would okay too, I guess.

I don't use a yogurt machine or anything. After heating the mixture, I add yogurt starter and then put them into small canning jars. Then I pop them all into the oven and leave them there with the light of the oven on until they solidify. Then I regridgerate them. The vanilla yogurt really is fantastic with granola and almond slivers. Hope this helps.

Nicole
post #11 of 11
I just came here to post this exact same thread! :LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr
I have found a wonderful thick organic full fat yogurt that stays nice and thick. That's here in Canada though.
What's it called? I'm interested.
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