I bought my last bag of peaches from Allred's Orchard a couple of days ago and although I really love that fall is here, I am sad that my favorite breakfast is about to become a thing of the past (at least the peach part). I am in love with homemade yogurt (and so is my family)! It is delicious, creamy and inexpensive to make. Todd and I love it topped with fresh peaches and granola, Stella loves it on its own, Noah stirs strawberry jam into his and Preston isn't particular. Making yogurt is not difficult and totally worth the time and the money that it saves!
1 gallon of milk (I use whole)
1 cup yogurt starter (you can use a cup of plain Dannon or Yoplait yogurt, or you can use a cup from your previous batch of homemade yogurt)
1/2 cup Agave nectar
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place 4 quart glass canning jars, four lids, and four screw-tops in a large pot. Fill with an inch of water; cover with lid and heat to boiling. Boil ten minutes. Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars.
Pour one gallon of whole milk into a large, heavy bottomed stockpot. Over medium heat, warm the milk to 190 degrees F. Make sure to do this slowly, you don't want the milk to scourch on the bottom of the pan.
Place the pot in a sink filled with cold water and let the milk cool to 120 degrees F. While the milk is cooling, stir in the agave nectar and vanilla. Once the milk has reached 120 degrees F, stir in the cup of yogurt starter using a whisk. Stir well to ensure that the starter is thoroughly incorporated into the milk.
Pour the milk into jars and put the lids and bands on. Place them in a cooler.
Heat one gallon of water to 120 degrees F and pour into the cooler.
Shut the cooler lid and leave in a warm place for 6 hours (don't open the cooler lid). When the 6 hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.
*Once I've added the yogurt starter and the agave, I end up needing a small jar in addition to the 4 quart jars because I have a little more than 4 quarts of the milk/yogurt mixture and don't want any to go to waste.
*If you like your yogurt sweeter, you can add more agave. You can also use sugar in place of agave.
Adapted slightly from Frugal Girl