One Simple Change, and Winnie Abramson’s Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

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Photo: Winnie Abramson

I’ve got a holiday present for you! One of my favorite bloggers, Winnie Abramson, ND, has written the excellent book One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life. Winnie is the writer behind Healthy Green Kitchen, and the book expands on the inspiring ideas for healthy living that Winnie writes about online. I like it so much that I want to share it, so I’ve got one copy to send out to my readers.

9781452119571The book contains fourteen easy recipes for improving your diet, and amongst them I was happy to find Homemade Yogurt! Yogurt is an essential part of Iranian cuisine, and lots of Iranians make their own from scratch. It sounds intimidating, but making yogurt is quite simple, as you’ll see from Winnie’s recipe. As she points out, yogurt is full of good bacteria that helps keep your tummy in tip-top shape.

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Photo: Winnie Abramson

Post a comment and let me know why you’d be happy to get this book—whether you want it for yourself or a loved one–and I’ll go ahead and send it to you. I’ll announce the winner on Friday December 20 at 5 pm EST, feel free to enter your comment any time time until then. Here is Winnie’s yogurt recipe, enjoy!


Post-script, December 20: Thanks everyone for entering, the winner is Lia in San Francisco. I wish you all a wonderful holiday, thanks for participating!


from One Simple Change by Winnie Abramson

Makes 1 qt / 960 ml

Yogurt made with live cultures is high in protein, calcium, and probiotics, which aid the digestive system. I’m a big fan of low-tech yogurt making; you don’t need any fancy equipment to make wholesome plain yogurt.

Herbalist Susun Weed recommends consuming 1 qt/960 ml of organic yogurt each week to strengthen the immune system and prevent cancer. I eat my yogurt plain or with nuts and dried fruit or a few spoonfuls of homemade granola. And I also add it to smoothies.

You can use any kind of milk, but for the most healthful yogurt, use the most healthful milk you can find. I suggest organic, preferably raw cow’s milk, or goat’s or sheep’s milk. Full-fat milk will make the richest, thickest yogurt; the fat in yogurt helps your body assimilate the calcium and other nutrients it contains.

4 cups/960 ml milk

1 tbsp plain, live-culture yogurt


One 1-qt/960-ml glass canning jar with a screw-top lid, metal or BPA-free plastic

1. Clean the glass jar and lid in hot, soapy water, or use the hottest setting on your dishwasher.

2. In a small pot, heat the milk over medium heat to a temperature of 180°F/82°C.If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, heat the milk until it is just starting to boil; don’t let it come to a rolling boil as this will be too hot. Make sure you don’t walk away from the milk and allow it to boil over, because it makes a big mess (trust me). Use a slotted spoon to remove any skin that forms on the surface of the hot milk.

3. Remove from the heat and let the milk cool to 110°F/45°C, about 25 minutes. (You should be able to put a fingertip in the milk and hold it there for 10 seconds.) Put the pot into a bowlful of ice water to speed the cooling, if you’d like. Don’t let the milk cool below 110°F/45°C; it needs to be at this temperature to culture properly.

4. Pour the milk into the canning jar and gently mix in the yogurt. Cap the jar tightly. Preheat your oven to 110°F/45°C. Once it reaches this temperature, turn it off. If you can’t set your oven to 110°F/45°C, preheat it to the lowest setting possible (in many ovens, this is 200°F/95°C), and then turn it off and give it time to cool down until approximately 110°F/45°C.

5. Wrap your jar in a thick towel (I use a big bath towel) and place it in the oven on its side (remove racks as necessary so that it fits). Turn the light of your oven on (to keep it warm) and close the door.

6. The towel will insulate the jar, ensuring that the milk stays warm during the culturing process. Leave it there for about 12 hours (or at least overnight). Unwrap the jar and place it in the refrigerator to cool for several hours. You now have homemade yogurt!

7. If you end up with liquid (the whey) floating atop your yogurt, mix it in or, for thicker yogurt, pour it off. Don’t discard the whey, though; it contains water-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, and can be added to soups or used in other recipes. Homemade live-culture yogurt will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator; you can use 1 tbsp of your homemade yogurt to make another batch.

16 thoughts on “One Simple Change, and Winnie Abramson’s Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

  1. I’d love to have this book because…well, I’ve been going through some rough things lately and I would love a dose of inspiration and energy.

  2. Hi Luisa, I’ve been transforming diet since summer and the New Persian Kitchen has been a huge part of this. I’ve enjoyed cooking so many of your recipes for friends and family who have even caught on and bought their own copies. This book led me to your Lucid Food cookbook and following your recipe posts online (delicious homemade peanut butter cups and stuffed eggplants!) I would love this book because I respect your culinary opinion and experience. And I’m always open to new recipes. The yoghurt definitely caught my eye as this is a staple in my diet. Thanks for everything.
    Your #1 San Francisco fan -Lia

  3. I’d love this book because it sounds amazing and like it fits in with my beliefs about food and nutrition. I am a breastfeeding mother of two and constantly need new inspiration to keep things healthy. I do already make yogurt 2-3 times a week with a very similar method (only I just wrap the jar in a towel and leave it on the counter for 24 hours).

  4. Am a fan of Winnie’s, would love her book! I like making yogurt at home and always pick up new tricks by seeing other peoples’ recipes. I will give this ice bowl idea a try as I sometimes get impatient with the milk cooling:)

  5. I think this book could help me a lot in continuing on the path towards a healthier lifestyle. I grew up eating fast foods, no veggies and little (if any) moderation of sweets and with no exercise. I’m now very far from that but always looking for areas of improvement. Thanks!

  6. This cookbook would look great next to my stunning Lucid Food cookbook! A recent diagnosis of colitis has forced me to give up all dairy. I would love this cookbook and recipies!!!!

  7. Dangit, I really want the book! Am I too late for sure? 🙂
    Also, just a few comments on the yogurt recipe (you can see more exactly how I do mine on my blog), but you can be more environmentally friendly by not leaving your oven on and rather just sticking the jar/towel in a regular old insulated cooler for 8-12 hours. Uses no energy, plus you still have your oven if you need to use it. Also yogurt will keep for quite a bit longer than 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

  8. I just started making Greek Yogurt, I use my food dehydrator to incubate it. It’s been working out pretty good. Thanks for the info about the Whey, I didn’t know about the nutrient value of it. I’ve been dumping it into a grease jar to throw away, I’ll have to start saving it.

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