Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homemade Yogurt

Note to self: Do not Christmas shop all day when you plan to make yogurt and then not start said yogurt until 4pm. With school pickups and after school tennis lessons I kinda waited a wee bit too long to get my first ever batch of yogurt going, but all in all homemade is worth the fact that I stayed up until midnight last night to turn my machine off.

I procrastinated on making homemade yogurt. I stared at my new machine for two weeks! This must be difficult. It looks difficult. And then leaving milk out on the counter! For eight hours! I just couldn't fathom any of it.

But making homemade yogurt is ridiculous easy and, although I stayed up way too late on my first attempt, I know that I can easily start a batch in the morning (or right before bed) and we can always have fresh, homemade, no throwing away those plastic containers, yogurt.

My mom was recently in Maine and a friend of hers served homemade yogurt. It was delicious and she said to herself, "I totally have to make this, Natalie will be totally impressed." Ok I am embellishing. I am pretty sure that sounds more like the dialogue in my head, but anyhow great minds think alike. When she returned home coincidentally I had a yogurt maker on my kitchen counter...so now I have decided I have to totally impress her first!

The man who made yogurt for my mom used powdered milk so that is what I have done here. There are several ways to make yogurt, you can boil it first (and just use milk and yogurt) or not boil it and add a bit of powdered milk as a thickener. One less dish to clean for me!!! Ok I choose the latter for my first experience.

yogurt maker
1.3 L or 42 oz fresh pasteurized milk
6 oz plain yogurt (or freeze-dried yogurt starter)- they've got the good probiotics
10 tsp powdered milk

Obviously you have to follow the directions for your specific yogurt maker, but hopefully when you see how easy it can be, my post will motivate you to give yogurt making a try. Less sugar, less iffy ingredients, less waste. 

First make sure your milk is room temp. Then add 6 oz of yogurt and 10 tsp of powdered milk and whisk until smooth. Fill up your clean glass jars and plug in and turn on yogurt maker.

This model has a line to mark when you need to turn the device off- in this case eight hours. For whole milk you cook for 8 hours, 10 hours for 2%, and up to 12 for skim milk. I am not sure I understand why marking this number helps me as it does not turn off the machine and I still have to wait up until midnight, but whatever. Worth the trouble? YES.

Water will condense on the lid of the yogurt maker so never fear.

Yawn, it 11:22. What was I thinking?!

Yay, they are done! I popped in the fridge and time to snooze.

I surprised the girls this morning with pancakes topped with the yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. I wanted their first taste of "plain" (actually anything but plain as it is soooo yummy and creamy) yogurt to be a positive experience. They gobbled it up. Mommy made it and they were amazed. 

Update: I tried boiling the milk recently. Just as easy and one less ingredient. Organic powdered milk is still processed so I wanted as few ingredients as possible. All you do is boil the milk until it creeps up the side of the pan. Then turn the heat off and let cool until 95 degrees, checking with a kitchen thermometer. Then everything else is the same. Easy easy.

Want one? Click on the yogurt maker:

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