Easy peasy plastic free yoghurt recipe

Homemade yoghurt in a glass jar

Eleanor Williamson continues her journey towards becoming plastic free with a simple homemade, plastic free yoghurt recipe...

Yoghurt is a big deal in our household and the kids barely go a day without it. So when I decided to go plastic free the issue of plastic yoghurt pots quickly became a big one!

I managed to find one company that use glass pots. However, the yoghurt is very expensive, has a plastic lid and is not locally produced. It also seems a bit wrong to be filling up our recycling bin with pretty glass jars that have been used once (and endlessly upcycling them into things that we don't want or need didn't seem to be the answer either).

I looked into buying a yoghurt maker but they are all made of plastic and they are quite expensive. In my quest to go plastic free I am keen to cut down on consumption not increase it and the thought of another unloved kitchen appliance gathering dust in a cupboard was enough to make me decide against this option.

So I was left with one alternative – to make my own – and I have to admit I was not convinced this was going to work out! I am not known for my skills in the kitchen and I do not have a lot of spare time so if this was going to work it had to be super simple, incredibly easy and surprisingly quick.

So, here is my 'super simple, incredibly easy and surprising quick' recipe for homemade yoghurt:

1 Pint of milk (preferably organic)
1 Tablespoon of live yoghurt

You will also need a thermos flask and a thermometer. 

To make this plastic free you need to buy milk in a glass bottle and yoghurt in a glass pot. However, once you have made your first batch of yoghurt you can then use it to make the next batch. So if the yoghurt for your first batch comes from a plastic pot there is no reason to stress too much – just think of all the plastic pots you will be saving in the future.

1. Heat the milk until it is almost boiling.
2. Remove it from the heat and cool it to 110F / 43C.
3. Add a tablespoon of live yoghurt and stir.
4. Pour the mixture into the thermos flask and leave out for between 5 and 12 hours.
5. Once made, store your yoghurt in a glass jar in the fridge.

Using a thermos flask keeps the mixture from cooling down too quickly. I have found that if you leave it for 5 hours you get a runny yoghurt. The longer you leave it the thicker it gets.

The finished yoghurt is delicious and in my household it is kid-approved. To make a fruity yoghurt mix it with your favourite jam or sweeten it with honey.

My yoghurt making experience has really hammered home to me the fact that we don't think enough about our consumption habits. I thought making yoghurt would be complex and would require specialist equipment, I assumed that buying it in plastic pots was the convenient choice. It turns out it is easier to make it than it is to pop over to the shop!