Monday, May 12, 2008
Let's talk about yogurt
I've been making yogurt every Monday since February. It is so easy to make, I'm going to share it with you.
I used to be a plain yogurt hater - I'd only eat the souped-up strawberry sugar that is Yoplait. The more I've made this and eaten it with granola every morning for breakfast, the more I love it.
Back when the baby was sick, the whole family had to go on antibiotics to help prevent Ty from getting it. If you're female, then you know what havoc antibiotics can wreak on your girlie system, and if you're anyone else you know what it can do to your intestines (it's a horrible picture, I know). One great preventative measure is to have your daily, fresh yogurt.
You will need 2 1-quart mason jars that have been run through the sanitizing cycle in your dishwasher (or boiled for like, forever) and their lids.
1 1/2 qts of milk (I prefer raw, but you can use store-bought)
1/2 C powdered milk
2-3 tbsp of yogurt or powdered yogurt starter
whisk and spoon
small glass measuring cup
Turn your oven to 200. Turn it off as soon as it's heated up. In the meantime, pour your 1 1/2 qts of milk into the stock pot. Once the milk has reached about 100 degrees, dip your glass measuring cup into the pot, taking about 1/2 cup out. Pour the powdered milk into the cup and whisk until it's smooth and dissolved. Pour the milk back in. Once you reach 116 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and dip your measuring cup back in, taking about the same amount as before and spoon in your yogurt (store bought plain vanilla is fine or use some from a previous batch), stir until smooth and dissolved. Pour back into pot and stir well. (If using pasteurized milk, you will need to heat it up to 180 degrees while stirring constantly, then remove from heat and let cool back to 116 before you put the yogurt starter in or else you will kill the yogurt culture).
Divide the yogurt into the 2 jars, put the lids on and set in the stove until yogurt has reached the desired level of tartness and has 'yogled' (approximately 4-6 hours). Do not be tempted to leave it in the oven in order to thicken it up some more - the cold of the fridge will help do that - just pay attention to the flavor. You will know right here if you've gone wrong (flavor-wise). It will be somewhat thick and runny, but put it in the fridge. Voila! you will have wonderful yogurt that's good for you (and no sugar). However, if you can't quite make the transition to plain right off the bat, then I recommend mixing in a couple spoonfuls of Strawberry Simply Fruit or your own freezer jam. Yum!
I use my aunt's old Salton yogurt maker and my large glass Smucker jam jars with screw on lids. The newer Salton yogurt makers do not make all that much yogurt so I haven't bought my own. Yogurt is great to use in place of the milk in a smoothie or sour cream. I can't believe I never liked it before, and it's so easy I've only messed up twice (because I forgot about it). Maybe set a timer to avoid that.
Check out what Lara's talking about - baby clothes....those were the days...