Which starter is best? (and a recipe for a high-protein PB yogurt snack)

published3 months ago
2 min read

Which starter is best for making yogurt--store-bought yogurt or a traditional freeze-dried starter?

These are the two most common types of starter used by homemade yogurt makers. I like to compare them to colorful hydrangeas with the humongous blooms--both the kind you buy in full bloom at the grocery store and the scraggly starter plant your neighbor gives you from his yard.

A Parable:

Grocery store hydrangeas are raised in a hot house, like store-bought yogurt. They are beautiful when you buy them, but they don't last long. If you try to plant that hydrangea in your garden, it won't withstand the forces of nature because of its sheltered upbringing.

However, the hydrangea plants your neighbor shares from his yard are already proven to withstand heat, irregular watering, and even disease. If they survive the transplant experience, they will only get better with age, like a traditional freeze-dried yogurt starter.

Note: When I refer to "generations," I'm talking about using the yogurt you made to start another batch.

1. Supermarket Yogurt:


  • Store-bought yogurt is easy and convenient.


2. Freeze-dried Starter--Traditional:


  • Available online
  • Good for unlimited generations (when used regularly)
  • Inexpensive in the long run


  • More expensive initially
  • First batch may be thin (but subsequent generations get thick)
  • Easy to share with others

No matter which starter you choose, remember this:

No yogurt makes a good starter after 10-12 days from the day it was made. (We've all done it, but it's not dependable.)

Yes, yogurt is OK to eat for at least two weeks. But just like humans, when it comes to reproducing, the younger the yogurt, the easier it happens. At a certain point, the yogurt bodies begin to die off, and there aren't enough of them to produce good yogurt.

This is important if you don't make yogurt very often. When your starter ages, the next generation can go sideways in a hurry.

My Recommendation:

If you are a sporadic yogurt maker, I recommend you buy fresh grocery store yogurt to use as a starter. If you are a regular and frequent yogurt maker, try freeze-dried traditional starter.

Looking for a new way to eat yogurt? Try this popular PB2 Recipe for Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt: A Satisfying Snack. It's delicious way to eat more protein.

What Readers are Saying:

"I love peanut butter and I love this recipe. I cut everything in half so I have just one serving." ---Colin
"Great recipe and great comments. Since I have been looking for a new tasty vehicle, I combined this with a couple of tbsp of nutritional yeast and a few drops of water. It was great. Thanks. ---Hobie

Have a good week,


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Hi Y'all, I'm Paula,

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