To make homemade yogurt with stevia, all you need is fresh milk, a starter culture and some simple kitchen utensils. You can use goat's milk, or whole, 2 percent or skim cow's milk. Yogurt with active bacteria from the grocery store will work as a starter culture. Mason jars make perfect containers and stevia, a natural sweetener, will improve the yogurt's taste without adding sugar. You can add fruits and flavorings to make your yogurt your own.
Preparing the Jars
To prepare containers for the yogurt, place four quart-size mason jars and matching lids in a large pot of water and boil them for 15 minutes. After that time, turn the heat off and leave the jars and lids in the water until you are ready to use them.
Preparing the Milk
It's important to heat the milk first to kill any bad bacteria that might ruin the yogurt. Heat one gallon of milk to between 185 and 195 degrees. You don't need to bring the milk to a boil. Cool the milk in the refrigerator to between 122 and 130 degrees in preparation for inoculation with the starter.
Preparing the Starter
The starter will inoculate the milk with the bacteria necessary to turn it into yogurt. Place 1 c. of the cooled milk in a medium-sized bowl with 1/2 c. fresh plain yogurt with active yeast cultures. Blend the two ingredients until fully mixed. This is the starter. Add the starter to the remaining cooled milk, and thoroughly mix it in.
Incubating the Yogurt
Pour the mixture into the mason jars. Leave about 1 inch between the top of the yogurt and the jar top. Place the lids on the jars and tighten them. Put the jars in a plastic cooler. Pour warm water (about 122 degrees) around the jars to keep them warm. Close the cooler and place it in a warm area for about three hours.
Mixing and Storing the Yogurt
Check the milk to see if it has reached the consistency of a gel. If not, let the milk sit for another hour. When the yogurt has gelled, add stevia, a natural sweetener, to each jar and mix it in with a stick blender or wooden spoon to sweeten. Add flavorings, such as vanilla, cinnamon or different fruits, at this time. Store the yogurt in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.