Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yummy Yogurt

I had forgotten how easy it is to make homemade yogurt. I had also forgotten how much better it tastes. My friend Kathy recently gave me a sample of hers and I immediately ordered the above Salton yogurt maker from Amazon for $10 with free shipping.

Years ago we made yogurt for our dog who had every malady known to the canine world. Our neighbors gave us a culture they had smuggled out of Bulgaria years before. We simply put warm water, powdered milk, and a small amount of yogurt in a quart jar; shook it up; and let it sit under a blanket overnight. The next day it was ready. That yogurt then provided the starter for the next batch. But when that dog departed, I stopped making yogurt and resorted to buying it.

For years we bought the sweetened kind with fruit and then I suddenly lost my taste for all that sugar and switched to plain yogurt, knowing I could always add fresh fruit.

I thought the Greek yogurt Fage was the best until I tasted Kathy’s yogurt. Here’s her recipe:

1/4 cup of yogurt to use as starter (Kathy says the Greek yogurt won’t work as a starter)
½ cup of nonfat powdered milk (I used Organic Valley)
4 cups of milk (any kind – I used Organic Valley 1% lactose free)

Warm the starter in the yogurt maker while you heat the milk. In a heavy saucepan, mix the powdered milk with a small amount of the milk until it dissolves. Add the remaining milk and heat to 180-200 degrees, just before boiling. Cool to around 115 degrees. (A candy thermometer is handy for checking the temperature of the milk.) Mix the starter into the milk mixture. Place in the yogurt maker and leave overnight. In the morning you will have delicious yogurt for breakfast.

The beauty of this yogurt is my husband who is lactose intolerant can eat it. It’s mostly lactose free. He has yet to get used to the absence of sugar, but he’s happy to be able to take advantage of the benefits of yogurt once again.


Blogger Kristin said...

You do so much. From tap dancing to volunteering, making your own yogurt and making music, it's impressive.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I wonder what I'll be doing in 10 years after the excitement of trying all these new (and old) things has worn off.

11:43 AM  
Blogger steve said...

I like yogurt but would never make my own..i mean really...Yogurts gross!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I guess cultivating yogurt is not gourmet enough for an ex-chef, eh? I've heard yogurt described in many ways, but never as GROSS!

2:49 PM  
Blogger steve said...

i worked with a guy that was such a wuss that he said Sour Cream was gross...thats where I get this from....the flipside is the swiss guys that won't eat a iece of cheese unless they have to peel some mold off of it.
My dad used to make Sourdough pancakes and he claimed his starter was at least 40 years old!

3:53 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I have made my own yogurt and ... to be honest ... I didn't like it.

I can't remember what it tastes like though, since it has been probably 30 years since I last tried to make it.

Interestingly, yogurt is not all the same. When I was in Peru, I bought some yogurt and didn't like it. I suppose they use a different bacteria.

We tried buying yogurt made from goat milk for JJ (he loves dairy, but cow milk aggravates his eczema - even if the doctors say it doesn't), but he didn't like it (nor did I - too sour).

I prefer a high fat yogurt. We can buy a plain one up here with 10% milk fat. The flavoured ones come with 8% M.F. and are really, really good.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I continue to be fascinated by things that require a starter.

Richard -- I think plain unsweetened yogurt may be an acquired taste. I just add some fruit, such as blueberries or pears to the yogurt and it doesn't taste sharp at all. But then, we all have different tastes.

4:26 PM  

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