Sunday, March 14, 2010

Probiotics... anyone!

Can you believe that yogurt was not always a popular food item. When I was a teenager, my mom introduced the family to yogurt. Her German friend (I can't remember her name) gave her some and told her it was really good for you. My mom was all about "healthy" stuff so she introduced us all to yogurt. Mrs... (Oh, I wish I could remember her name) made it for us for a while (plain, unsweetened) but really and honestly... it was the more disgusting thing I had ever eaten... and no one in the house liked it... That little trend died off after a few months.

Then comes my friend Ann who again tried me on yogurt... but this time she added fruit and honey to it. So... ok... getting a little better, but still.. not something I would chose first... I tried to like it, and when she would give me a little tub of it, I plastered it with honey.. and would eat about half each time. That trend died too.. after a little while.

Then commercial yogurt came along.. packed with sugar and fake flavorings just on
time for me to feed it to my kids!!! Not being someone who enjoyed "additives", I decided I would start making my own. I acquired a yogurt making set from a yard sale and off I went.. making yogurt for the kids. And here I was back to the plain sour crap that Mrs whats*her*name made. I added canned fruit cocktail or jam to it and honey... and the kids would "sort of eat it"... and after a while I was throwing it out more than not. In my next yard sale, the yogurt maker found a new home and a new family. That trend ended.. after a while.

Turn the clocks ahead now.. 20 years... and yogurt has become the mainstay of many kids, many households and many diets... including mine. I have eaten nothing but fat free, sugar free yogurt for years as well as the kids.
A month or so ago when I was in Clare, Caroline introduced me to her home made yogurt. And it was divine... all she did was add a little vanilla to it... now that is thinking. I enjoyed the flavor very much.. and I am not sure if its because I have eaten fat free no sugar for so long that I can now enjoy the plain sour crap now.. or the flavor of it has greatly improved in the past 20 years... So, I am back to making my own yogurt and although its not as good as Carolyn's.. it improves with each batch!

How to make yogurt at home...

Take 1 or 2 litres of milk (what ever fat content you want) I used 2%
Bring to a boil on the stove stirring constantly
Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. If you like using a thermometer, the temp you should be reaching is 180 (according to a couple of YouTube videos).
Once the three minutes is up, take it off the heat and let cool to body temperature which takes about an hour if you use 2 litres of milk. ( I used 1 litre of milk the last time and it took far less time to cool)

Once it has cooled to 98 to 100 degrees you can now add the yogurt culture. I have used 2% plain yogurt (and it must say "Live culture" on the container). I have also used "Balkan" style yogurt which makes a thicker yogurt and although its absolutely yummy, it is too high in fat for me. Add in about a quarter of a cup of yogurt to your milk... stir and then put in the oven with the oven light on for about 4 hours.
I happen to have a "proof" selection on my oven which keeps the oven at 100 degrees. But, just in the oven for 4 hours with the light on is fine too.
After 4 hours... ta da!!!! Yogurt. I have made it 5 times now, and I truly enjoy the taste of the yogurt. I had cereal and nuts, blueberries and other fruit. I have made several loaves and banana muffins with it and I have made 2 litres at a time, and 1 litre at a time.
Thanks Carolyn for introducing me to homemade yogurt again!


S said...

Oddly I have been thinking about making yogurt lately too! You can't get unsweetened yogurt here at all - so no tzatziki, no using it for dips or cooking. A cooking K-blog posted a way to make your own yogurt, but because there aren't usually ovens here, they store it in a thermos instead of keeping it in the oven.

GailM. said...

I can't believe you have a Proof button on your new stove. Lucky duck. I'm still on the fence about yoghert. I do like the McDonalds yoghert with fruit and a bit of cereal on top.

Jacklyn Craft said...

That looks really interesting. I might just give it a whirl.

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