Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homemade Yogurt

Would you like to have a bowl of silky yogurt topped with avocado slices, chopped almonds, and drizzled with honey?

I know I do.
I know I want it for breakfast, snack, and dinner if I feel like eating light.

But I can't spend that much money just for yogurt. I know it's healthy, though.

What to do? Make it at home.

I’ve been meaning to write about how to make homemade yogurt since last year. Alas, the road to my computer is blocked by heaps of books begging to be read. So it isn’t my entire fault, you see. I've tried.

With prices skyrocketing, I am forced to do many DIY projects. It’s a good thing actually. So whatever the future brings, the simple, sustainable lifestyle we’ve been living should help us get through many things. Why pay for simple indulgence if you can make it by yourself?
  • A tub of 500gr good quality plain (greek) yogurt, store bought, cost 4$
  • A tub of 1kg good quality plain (greek) yogurt, homemade, cost 1.5$
That’s my rough calculation. But that simple math should make you want to start making homemade yogurt especially if it is a staple in your everyday meal and cooking.

Essential tools for yogurt making:
-Stock Pot (minimum 1.5L)
-Glass jar(s)

1 Litre of PASTEURIZED milk. Not UHT.
1 cup of good quality plain (greek) yogurt.
2-3 tbs milk powder (optional)

-Have all of the ingredients in room temperature.
-Heat the milk on medium heat, while stirring, until it reaches 85C.
-When it has reached 85C, remove the pot from the stove
-Let the milk cool in the pot until it is down to 38C
-Meanwhile, sterilize and dry the jars. You can use big Ball jar, or you can use ex-jam jars you have at home. They will all do.
-Mix the milk powder into the cooling milk, make sure there’s no lump.
-Once the milk has cooled to 38C, stir your 1 cup of room temperature yogurt in. Stir the yogurt before you put it in the milk so it would be easier to avoid lumps.
-Pour your milk-yogurt mixture in to the prepared jar(s) and close the lid(s).
-Place it in a warm place and leave it untouched for 8-12 hours to let the bacteria multiply.
-Refrigerate it right away
-Enjoy it plain or have it with toppings!

Important notes, tips, and reminders
-The use of milk powder is to thicken the yogurt, feel free to omit if you want thinner consistency.
-Ideas of warm places: On your refrigerator, next to your rice cooker, next to your slow cooker, inside your oven with the light on, your embrace.
-Do not temper with the yogurt until it’s fully chilled in the refrigerator.
-Keep 1cup of your homemade yogurt for making another batch of yogurt next time.
-This homemade yogurt must always be refrigerated and it is best consumed within 2 weeks.

Now if you have the luxury of owning a yogurt maker, you still have to follow the cooking steps. A yogurt maker is actually a warmer just like a baby food/milk warmer. You put your milk-yogurt mixture in the yogurt maker and the machine keeps it warm by generating a low heat. It isn’t a tool for making yogurt instantly. Do not be fooled. It does, I admit, help a lot. I recently purchased one and I have to say that it is the best kitchen gadget I own next to my ice cream maker. It’s cheap and consumes only 25Watt of electricity. With a steady heat like that, it takes me only 7 hours to finish the yogurt before it’s refrigerated.

Don't be discouraged to make yogurt without yogurt maker. Just find a warm spot in your house and your very own lactobacillus farm is good to go. 

Stay healthy,

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