Can You Make Yogurt With Breast Milk?

Posted on Feb 14 2011 - 7:05am by Christine
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One of the most popular pages on our site is the one explaining how to make natural yogurt. Parents are thrilled to discover how very easy it is to produce homemade yogurt – and how it’s not only cheaper than the store bought variety but tastes better too!

You can find out How to Make Yogurt here

We received a message last week from a mom who’d followed the instructions and successfully made a batch of delicious yogurt, but wanted to know if she could achieve the same results using breast milk.

Can you make yogurt with breast milk

I must begin our answer by saying that we have never attempted to do so ourselves.

We always use whole (or full cream) milk in order to produce a creamy, relatively thick yogurt and have found that using lower fat milk gives us rather watery results.

Breast milk is, of course, lower in fat than whole cow’s milk – so we never did try making a batch of yogurt with it. However, we’ve heard from plenty of moms who have – and the common consensus is that it DOES produce results that are significantly more watery than cow’s milk.

That being said, there ARE ways around the problem – and the thinner texture doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not worth a try! Here are a few suggestions….

  • Allow breast milk yogurt to sit for a little longer than we recommend on our Homemade Yogurt page. Whereas we find seven hours to be a good ‘waiting period’ for cow’s milk yogurt, those who make yogurt with breast milk tend to find it way too runny at this point, suggesting waiting until around 9 to 10 hours instead.
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  • Carefully observe the temperatures suggested in our recipe. Allowing the mixture to become too hot or too cold can cause the bacteria to become inactive. However, many parents using breast milk to make yogurt choose to skip the step where the milk is initially heated to a high temperature. This is because they do not want to destroy the nutrients in the milk and also because breast milk is sterile anyway!
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  • Don’t move the yogurt around during the fermentation process (this applies regardless of the type of milk you are using). Moving the mixture – or stirring it – disturbs the work of the bacteria and can ruin your end results. As tempting as it is to test the texture, don’t do it until the yogurt has been sitting for around 9 to 10 hours.
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  • Try thickening the yogurt with baby’s cereal, wheat germ or silken tofu. Another option is to dissolve 1 tbsp agar flakes in 3 tbsp hot water, then stir the mixture into your prepared yogurt. Agar is essentially a vegetarian gelatin, with no odour or taste and it’s great for helping your yogurt to appear more ‘set’.

If you happen to have a go at making some breast milk yogurt for YOUR little one, please do leave a comment below to tell us how you got on. And if you’re already successfully making yogurt with breast milk and have any tips to share, then we’d love to hear those too!

Why not also try some homemade yogurt cheese – a super nutritious food for baby!

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5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. jessimarie September 17, 2017 at 8:26 pm -

    well. i’ve tried twice now to make breastmilk yogurt with some kind of interesting results! the first time was so watery.. i don’t think it was really yogurt at all. it was mostly whey (the yellowish liquid?) with some cloudy parts. i think it got too cold. so the next night… i forgot to turn the oven off, the metal ring around the mason jar heated to the point of burning the towel around the yogurt. so, we had the fire department at our house, a burned towel, and well, no yogurt. i didn’t tell the firemen that it was breastmilk i was using. somehow didn’t seem to fit right then. so now i’m on to my third attempt. this time with fresh milk, a cooler and a pot of hot water that i’ll reheat as needed. and i’ll let it go for probably 10 hours. hopefully i’ll remember to repost to tell y’all what happens.

  2. Christine September 18, 2017 at 9:10 am -

    Oh my goodness, what a story! Couldn’t help smiling at the fire department part (sorry, I know it’s not funny) – but we were imaging the firemen’s faces if you told them what you had been doing! I hope it was third time lucky and you actually have some yogurt now!

  3. Lauren October 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm -

    I am on my second attempt at breast milk yogurt. I am not using a yogurt machine, but have found that my heating pad nestled inside a big pan works perfectly for keeping my yogurt at the right temp. The problem, however, is that although it smells like yogurt, it definitely doesn’t look like yogurt. It’s way too thin. I thought initially it was because I hadn’t added enough culture, but I added more and had the same results the second time. Baby doesn’t mind it at all, but it definitely doesn’t look thick like yogurt.

    • Christine October 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm -

      Thanks for sharing, Lauren. Well, as baby approves regardless perhaps you could see it as a yogurt ‘drink’ instead!

  4. Sarah November 30, 2017 at 8:26 am -

    I made my first batch of yogurt with 2% milk and it didn’t turn out well at all. But after reading lots of reviews I realized the problem was the milk so we are going to try again tonight with frozen milk and maybe a small bit more starter (we used 1Tb in 1/2 qt of milk the first time)