Whether you are making yogurt at home or if you have bought some from the store, you can take steps to make it taste less sour. For homemade yogurt, incubate the yogurt for a shorter period of time, strain the yogurt well and store it as soon as possible at fridge temperature.
You can add extra ingredients to your yogurt like cooked fruit, nuts and oats to help to reduce the sour taste. This article will explore my top tips to get rid of the sour taste in yogurt that you can use at home.
1. Incubate yogurt for a shorter period of time
If you are making yogurt at home then the less time that you incubate the yogurt, the less sour it will taste. Yogurts that are incubated for as little as 5 hours will have a less sour taste than those incubated for longer.
While many yogurt recipes require at least a 7 hour incubation period at room temperature, reducing this even slightly can help to reduce sourness. This is because the bacteria will have less time to break down the lactose in the milk making lactic acid.
The lactic acid is what gives the yogurt its sour taste, so the less time the bacteria have to be active at room temperature, the less sour your yogurt will be.
If you are making yogurt in a yogurt maker, choose a mix that has been labelled as a ‘mild’ flavor. This will give you a less sour result.
2. Strain the yogurt
Another way to reduce the sourness in your homemade or store bought yogurt is to strain it. Taking the time to strain off the liquid that forms at the top and sides of the yogurt, the whey will reduce the sour taste.
You can take this to the next level and strain your yogurt through a muslin cloth in a strainer overnight. This will reduce the liquid content of the yogurt significantly and reduce the sourness.
The yogurt will have a higher milk solid content and will get thicker. This is the process that is used to make labneh, a Greek yogurt dip that is brilliant on pita bread.
Whether you have bought or made yogurt, straining the whey protein off of the yogurt will make it taste less sour.
3. Eat the yogurt as soon as possible after buying
Eat yogurt as soon as possible after you have bought the yogurt from the store or made it at home and bought it up to fridge temperature. The longer the yogurt stays in the fridge the more time the bacteria will have to digest the lactose and make lactic acid.
This will make the yogurt taste more and more sour over time. It is perfectly fine to eat as long as it is within its use by date. It will often have more liquid on top which is due to the separation of the curds and whey. Drain the liquid off to help to reduce the sour taste.
4. Keep yogurt at fridge temperature or lower
To make sure that yogurt does not get too sour over time it is important to keep it at or below fridge temperature at all times. This means it is important to transport it from the store to your fridge as fast as possible.
Avoid leaving yogurt out at room temperature before you eat it as this can allow more bacterial activity and a higher citric acid content. This will make the yogurt taste more sour over time.
5. Add sweeteners
Adding natural sweeteners to your yogurt is another way to reduce the sourness. You can mix through maple syrup, honey, molasses or even caster sugar. A small amount of sugar will be all that you need to reduce the sourness if you are not used to adding sweetener.
Add 1 teaspoon of any of the sweeteners above and your yogurt will taste less sour. You can even add stevia if you want to avoid the calories in sugar.
6. Add fruit
Add cooked, fresh or frozen fruit to your yogurt to help to reduce sourness. Mix through a small amount of chopped fruit like banana, berries, mango, peaches or pears and the sourness will reduce significantly in your yogurt.
7. Add milk
Mixing milk through your yogurt is a great way to reduce sourness while still keeping that pure yogurt taste. Add around a tablespoon of milk to a tub of yogurt and mix it through. This will reduce the thickness of your yogurt but will also decrease the sour taste.
8. Add cream
Mixing cream through your yogurt is another great way to reduce the sourness. Take 1 tablespoon of pure cream and mix it through the tub. This will reduce the sourness, thicken the yogurt and give it a more luxurious taste. Grate over some dark chocolate for an amazing dessert.
9. Add nuts or oats
Adding some nuts or oats is a great way to reduce the sour taste of yogurt. Add crushed or slivered almonds or crush some walnuts or pistachios through with yogurt. Add oats to your yogurt and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This will make a great breakfast if you add some extra fruit.
How to Get Rid of the Sour Taste in Yogurt | Summary
Yogurt tastes sour due to the fermentation process needed to create it. Microbes break down the lactose in the milk which creates lactic acid making the yogurt taste sour. The more microbial activity there is, the more lactic acid will be in your yogurt making it taste sourer.
Straining the yogurt, mixing through sweet fruit, milk or cream will all help to reduce the sourness of the yogurt. Yogurt soaked oats plus some fruit makes a delicious breakfast or an easy snack.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.