Heirloom Yogurt: The Newest Craze in DIY Food

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

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

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.