Friday, April 27, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

Who doesn't dream of that cold, silky yogurt off the spoon? You can create your own yogurt easily and affordably too! I promise you won't regret it! Here's what you need to get started:

1 half-gallon of milk (whole works best, but 2% works) of your choice
medium heavy-bottomed saucepan
1 cup yogurt starter (MUST contain live cultures: acidopolous) my favorite is dannon for tang, or any organic brand for smooth taste
wire whisk
medium size bowl

Thats it!

First, bring your milk ALMOST to a boil (watch it like a hawk!), take it off the heat when you see small bubbles appear
Then, let milk cool for about 15-20 minutes, then try my 20 second rule (put your finger in and if you can keep it there 20 seconds without removing its ready!)
Pour a little of the hot milk in the medium bowl along with the 1 cup of yogurt. Whisk it until the yogurt melds with the milk, NOW, if your heated pan has scalded on the bottom, pour your hot milk along with the yogurt mixture into this new pan, secure the lid, and put into your COLD oven, oven light ON for 10 to 12 hours. DO NOT DISTURB IT!!!!! after the alloted time, place it in the refrigerator for an hour or so to firm. And, wallah!! Yummy yogurt!!! NOTE: the best time I find to do this recipe is in the evening, after dinner giving you fresh yogurt in the morning. Also, do not reuse your yogurt for making your next batch, it becomes weaker and watery. Always use fresh yogurt starter.

Recipe ideas for your plain yogurt:

Breakfast: put on granola, pancakes, oatmeal or with fruit with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg

Lunch: use in place of sour cream in your recipes, or mayonnaise

Dinner: great in stroganoff, in soups, dip along with garlic for fries, or with herbs for raw veggies

Dessert: top your scones with jam and yogurt mixed with honey, dash of vanilla, top fruit crisps and cobblers with same. Mix with orange juice concentrate and vanilla and freeze pops for kid-friendly snack, experiment and have fun!!!!

Say goodbye to oodles of yogurt containers in your recycling trash every week and enjoy making you own. Some of you may have yogurt makers.. I don't, and this method works for me. My mom fills quart jars with her yogurt, places them in a warm water bath in a large covered container in her COLD oven. Just try it!!