Perfect Plain Low-Fat Yogurt Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Perfect Plain Low-Fat Yogurt

An extra boost of skim milk powder is added to this all-purpose recipe to increase the proteins in the mixture for a thicker yogurt. Be sure to use instant skim milk powder, which completely dissolves in the milk.



Ingredient Line: 
4 cups skim or low-fat milk
Ingredient Line: 
⅓ cup instant skim milk powder, optional
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup organic live-culture plain yogurt or 5 g freeze-dried yogurt culture


1. Heat milk to scalding point (170°F; 77°C) in saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk in skim milk powder, if using. Remove from heat, and let cool 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until milk temperature reaches 110° to 120°F (44° to 49°C) on instant-read thermometer, stirring once or twice.

2. Whisk together yogurt and 1/2 cup cooled milk in bowl. Whisk this mixture into remaining cooled milk. Pour into clean container(s), secure lid(s), and place in yogurt maker. Set timer for 8 to 10 hours. (The longer yogurt ferments, the firmer its texture and tangier its flavor.) Check 1 container after 8 hours; if yogurt has reached desired tartness and texture, remove cups from yogurt maker, and refrigerate. If not, replace test cup, and continue to ferment 1 to 2 hours more. Chill completely before serving.

Nutrition Information: 

4 g
Total Fat: 
<1 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
6 g
4 mg
55 mg
0 g
6 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

If you have a dehydrator with a temperature control, you can use it to make your yoghurt instead of purchasing a yoghurt maker. I use my Excalibur model to make yoghurt in about 4 to 6 hours. There are recipes over the internet and in the Excalibur Dehydrating book.

For the past 25 years I have made my yogurt in quart jars in a small cooler filled with warm water--comes out perfect every time!

To bring this recipe up to today's 'Greek yogurt' interest : Bring the milk to a boil - if not organic, this will inactivate any antibiotic residue in the milk and give stronger culture activity. I have a hard time getting instant organic powdered milk - if concerned about growth hormones in the milk, regular instant powdered milk can be chock full and no reporting of it is necessary. So - do not add powder and : Put your finished yogurt in a colander lined with muslin or several layers of cheesecloth and let drain to your liking (30 minutes is a good minimum). There you have it - Greek style yogurt that is thick, creamy and higher in protein due to water loss. (this is how they have been doing it in India for at least a couple of thousand years) btw : You can let the boiled milk cool in a container or crock and culture it in that container and wrap it in a thick towel. Checking temp with a thermometer can give better consistent results. Kelly B's way with quart jars &amp; warm water is perfect.

I use probiotic capsules as a starter if I don't have any organic yogurt. I use one that has 8 strains of probiotics.

I use a yogurt strainer and let it sit in the fridge to drain the whey and it thickens the consistency to Greek yogurt and even to a cream cheese consistency if I forget about it . You can always mix some whey back into it if that happens. I too it with homemade granola and frozen mixed berries .

My favorite way is to pour the yogurt into a big mop bucket and toss in the umbilical cord from the calf. Mix it up into a big messy mess and stick your head down in and sloop it all up. Martha Stewart says add a little nutmeg as well.