Heirloom Yogurt: The Newest Craze in DIY Food

Making your own yogurt is surprisingly easy, and good for you

Yogurt that can live longer than you? Yogurt that you can make yourself? Better believe it — heirloom yogurt, made with more healthy bacteria, is making a comeback.

NPR reports that yogurt-making originally started in countries like Finland and Bulgaria. Now, companies are making the process easy by selling heirloom cultures or cultures inside freeze-dried powders, and foodies have taken on yogurt-making as part of a local and additive-free movement.

The hardest part of making yogurt is keeping the cultures — the stuff in the yogurt that makes it healthy — alive. Kitchn reports that to keep the cultures alive, you have to activate for a day or two, and then re-add it to batches every five to seven days to keep them from dying. Making homemade yogurt is possible without store-bought (or Internet-bought) cultures; most make it by culturing the bacteria from milk with yogurt from the store.

Heirloom yogurt is a good alternative for those looking to avoid added sugars and preservatives in store-bought yogurt, NPR reports. Plus, there's lots of different flavors that aren't commercially available. However, the store-bought cultures aren't that different from the cultures you find in your Dannon yogurt.