How can I estimate the nutritional values for homemade yogurt?
January 11, 2010 6:40 AM   Subscribe

How can I estimate the nutritional values for homemade yogurt?

I've had a lot of fun recently making my own yogurt. It tastes great, and it is much cheaper than buying yogurt in a store. After some experimentation, this seems to be the best method that produces consistently excellent results. I do vary the recipe by not including any powdered milk. It never quite seemed to work right when I put powdered milk in. I just use whole milk, usually a gallon at a time. It is just regular milk purchased in a grocery store. Occasionally I have used 2% milk as well. So here is my problem-- I'd like to count my calories as part of a food plan, and I'm not sure how to rate my homemade yogurt. My googleness is failing me here, until I remembered I'd seen a lot of good nutritional comments on the green. Common sense suggests to me that using only whole milk to make yogurt should yield a product that has similar if not identical calories to the original milk, but I am not a nutritionist, so I don't know for sure. Also, I think I may have read that the yogurt cultures increase the amount of protein in the final product, but I don't know if this is true or not.

Summary: I'm making my own yogurt out of normal pasteurized whole milk and a little bit of yogurt starter left over from my last batch. How can I enter nutritional information for this into my food diary? Thanks for the help, Metafilter!
posted by seasparrow to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
Completely wild guess as I know nothing: estimate based on store-bought yogurt made from roughly the same ingredients? Say if you could find a tub of yogurt made of whole milk with no additives (although that could be difficult) and figure that yours would be roughly the same. Or take several different brands of yogurt and average their calorie counts.

Or - I see that that recipe uses a specific brand of yogurt as its starter. If that has a calorie count on it, you could just use that - it seems logical that your homemade yogurt would be similar...?
posted by Xany at 7:10 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you make, say, 10 servings out of your gallon of whole milk I would think your nutritional information would be about this over 10.
posted by shothotbot at 7:17 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just use the nutritional value of the milk; the nutritional content of the starter is negligible.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:18 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: According to these:

the nutrient content is effectively the same. I think there might be a bit less sugar in the yogurt as some of it gets consumed by the bacteria (though you're going to consume the bacteria also; it's not as if the laws of physics are violated and matter and energy get destroyed by your yogurt maker). If you're going to pour off the whey, you're going to pour off some of the protein.
posted by chengjih at 7:19 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Good answers so far. Watch out if you decant whey though. You willl discard protein but at the same time water. The product you end up eating will be concentrated with respect to protein.
posted by Fiery Jack at 8:13 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

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