DIY/Crafts RECIPES

Blueberry Instant Pot Yogurt Jars 101

Jar-Instant-Pot-Yogurt-Blueberry--PIN

Why Instant Pot Yogurt?

When I first bought my Instant Pot, I had visions of Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt jars lined up and pretty in my refrigerator, ready to grab and go.  I was tired of paying too much money to buy organic yogurt or yogurt that was full of sugar.  I wanted to be in control of what was in our yogurt, and have enough of it that my family could eat it every day and get a nice dose of probiotics.

I googled ‘how to make homemade yogurt in the instant pot’, and was overwhelmed and intimidated by all the ways to make homemade yogurt, even in the instant pot, which promised to make the process easier! I took some time reading through articles and watching videos on YouTube when I finally stumbled upon one video that made me think, “Ok, I could totally do that!”

What I loved about this particular video was that it was just another mom, in her kitchen, taking me through the steps. The lighting was not great, there was clutter on her counters, and the video was not polished, but boy was it practical and useful! It was the only video I watched that empowered me to try homemade yogurt myself, and I no longer felt intimidated by the process.

Jars of Instant Pot Yogurt with Blueberries Fruit On The Bottom

I will share the video at the end of this article, and walk you through the same steps she walked me through and will keep it simple as possible.

Scoop for Blueberry Compote

Instant Pot Yogurt Supplies

Milk

Buy 1/2 gallon of organic milk. If you want a thick, greek-type yogurt, the best results come from a full-fat milk.

Single Container of Yogurt

Buy one small container of organic plain greek yogurt of choice. This will be your starter used introduce probiotics into your new batch of yogurt.  It needs to say ‘live and active cultures’ on the packaging. Very important! The cultures are what will grow as your yogurt incubates overnight at the perfect temperature thanks to the instant pot. This will be the only time you need to buy yogurt because you can use a bit of homemade yogurt as starter for the new batch.

Thermometer

The instant pot simplifies the yogurt making process so much, that you only have to use a thermometer once. Thank goodness!

Instant Pot

This is a given. It is my new best friend. It would be worth having just for yogurt, but I use it several times a week for other things, too. I love my Instant Pot!

Strainer & Paper Coffee Filters

You only need to strain if you want thick greek yogurt. I like mine nice and thick so that I can use it as a substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise in certain recipes. I’m always looking for ways to save money and get more probiotics in! In the video, she uses a nut bag. I use a normal strainer lined with coffee filters, but just ordered a fancy yogurt strainer, which is linked below.

Jars

Small jars are not necessary, but boy are they cute and convenient! The jars pictured can be purchased by clicking on this link. You could store the yogurt into one or two big jars if you prefer.

Jars of Instant Pot Yogurt with Blueberries Fruit On The Bottom

Instant Pot Yogurt Instructions – Evening

I like to start my yogurt in the evening after all the dinner dishes are done. I love being in a clean kitchen and starting in the evening gives the instant pot time to scald the milk, then cool down enough to add the starter and incubate overnight.

 

Scald Milk

Pour 1/2 gallon of milk into your instant pot. Close the lid. Turn knob to vent.

Set instant pot by pushing the ‘YOGURT’ button. Push the ‘ADJUST’ button until it says ‘BOIL’ and wait a few seconds and it will beep and start on its own. It should take about an hour for the milk to boil. This is when I walk away and go read a book! No need to babysit the instant pot, it brings the milk to boiling temperature automatically, then beep at you a few times and the display will say “YOGT.” When you hear this, put down your book and go unplug the instant pot. Remove lid, being careful not to let condensation drip into the milk.

 

Add Culture

This is the only time you need your thermometer. In the video, she checks the temperature after it boils to make sure it came up to temperature. I don’t do this because I trust the instant pot sensors to bring it to a boil then shut off. This is the beauty of using the instant pot. It has built in sensors for keeping the milk at the right temperature at the right time for yogurt making.

Remove the pot from the cooker and put on the counter to cool down to 115 degrees. This will take 30 minutes to an hour for 1/2 gallon. You can stir it to help cool it down, or just continue relaxing with a book like I do!

Once the milk reaches at least 115 degrees, it is safe to add your culture. Any warmer than this will cook your culture and the probiotics will die and the yogurt will not set. This is why you need a thermometer.

Take a cup of the milk and stir in  1/4 cup of your yogurt starter/culture, then add mixture back into the instant pot and mix well.  I like to use a whisk.

 

Incubate the Yogurt

Put the pot back into the cooker, seal the lid, turn the knob to sealing, plug it back in, and press ‘YOGURT’. It will display “8:00” which means 8 hours. It will beep to let you know it has started the incubation process. The display will show “0:00” and start counting UP until it reaches the total 8 hours.

I love knowing the pot is keeping it at the exact temperature it needs to be for the culture to incubate and produce all those amazing little guys that will help make our guts healthy! All this while I am sleeping! Such a cool process.

Don’t be too concerned about getting to your yogurt right at the 8-hour spot. I usually get my strainer and filters ready the night before, and when I wake up I dump my yogurt right into the strainer. It usually is more like 9 hours by the time I get to it. No big deal.

 

 Instant Pot Yogurt with Blueberries Fruit On The Bottom

Instant Pot Yogurt Instructions – Morning

 

Strain the Yogurt

You can pour the yogurt as it is into jars, or strain it to make thick, greek-like yogurt. I line my strainer with overlapping paper coffee filters, place it in a bowl that is the right size to hold the strained whey, pour the yogurt right in, then put it into the refrigerator for a bit.

instant pot yogurt strain in coffee filters

Some people use cheesecloth, some use nut milk bags. I just ordered this amazing Euro Cuisine strainer from Amazon which has rave reviews and will make this process even easier! Coffee filters work well, but they are a bit messy after straining and I’m all about ease and efficiency.

After sitting for an hour or so in the refrigerator, I put the yogurt back into the instant pot and stir again. I then spoon it into my jars. You can dump the leftover whey, use it in your favorite biscuit recipe in place of buttermilk or google search different ways to use whey.

 

Blueberry Compote for Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt

I sometimes use this Blueberry Compote recipe in the bottom of the jar for fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. It is delicious! Use a cookie scoop easily get the blueberry compote into the jars.

More often than not, I just fill my little jars with plain yogurt so my family can just grab them and top them with whatever they would like. Sometimes I add vanilla for vanilla flavored yogurt. Sometimes I sweeten it with maple syrup or honey, but my yogurt turns out so nice and mild that I don’t have to use much sweetener. (NOTE: If you like a tangier yogurt, you can incubate for 12 hours instead of 8 hours. Just push the button one extra time until you see the number 12 on the display.)

 

Yogurt Topping Ideas

Our favorite toppings are fresh berries and granola. I love topping mine with chia or the Ancient Grain and Seed Mix from Trader Joes. I have often used half a package of dry Berry and Flax Instant Oatmeal from Trader Joes. It adds just the right amount of sweet and crunch when I am in a hurry!

Sliced bananas, crumbled up granola bars, Homemade Quinoa Crunch — really the topping possibilities are endless!

 

Jars of Instant Pot Yogurt with Blueberries Fruit On The Bottom

Keeping Your Yogurt

A 1/2  gallon of milk makes about a quart of yogurt. It will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator and grows more tart over time. It really a delicious and smooth tasting yogurt, and goes down so easy! I enjoy the taste of homemade yogurt so much more than store bought yogurt. I’m amazed how filling just one little jar is when mixed with seeds and berries. It is a great way to get protein and probiotics into the body!

{the video that made me brave enough to try yogurt in my Instant Pot}

——–

I hope this helps take the intimidation out of making homemade yogurt for you. The instant pot and knowing the right steps makes the process very easy. Make sure you watch the video. It will help to have a visual of the process. I used this video, heavy on the pause button, the first couple times I made yogurt. It was super helpful.

What about you? Do you own an Instant Pot? Is homemade yogurt something you would want to try making in it?

1 Comment

  • Reply Anonymous April 3, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    For some reason, I had never heard of making your own yogurt. What a great idea!

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