One thing I don't like about the blog format is that it's difficult to find previously written content. So, I've decided to occasionally re-post a few things from the first couple of months when I started this blog, back when there were, maybe, 35 people who bothered to stop by. Unless you are a die-hard Crunchy reader, it's unlikely that you've read all the way back to the beginning. If you are, well, I love you!
However, if you want to read some fresh Crunchy writing, mosey on over to Hen & Harvest for my latest post, Saving Scarlet Runner Beans to read about my latest shenanigans.
Otherwise, on to the yogurt (BTW: I've made a few additions and changes to the original):
We eat a serious amount of yogurt in this house. Being mostly vegetarian, it's a big source of protein for us. Between the four of us eating almost a serving each per day, it adds up. It comes to probably 20+ containers of yogurt a week. I always joke about the "wall of yogurt" travelling down the conveyor belt at the grocery store. The number of plastic containers going in the recycling was starting to unnerve me, as well as the cost (Brown Cow is not the cheapest brand but I love it).
Well, inspired by my fabulous sister-in-law, I decided to start making my own yogurt. I've been tinkering with the recipes to get it to a consistency that we like, and I think I've finally figured it out. I started out making plain and strawberry, but now I'm hooked on making coffee yogurt. So, for your reading enjoyment here's how I go about it.
First of all, you don't really need a yogurt maker, but keeping a steady temperature for 6 - 8 hours is difficult to say the least, and I'm too lazy to watch my yogurt grow all day. After doing some research I decided to go with the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. It comes with individual glass (reusable!) jars that double as serving containers so you don't need to dig it out of a quart size container. Plus you can mix up different flavors if you want in one batch. I highly recommend it.
The recipe I've been using for the coffee yogurt is as follows:
1 quart of whole milk (heat on the stovetop to about 200 degrees F)
2 T sugar (you can use honey or maple syrup instead)
2 T instant espresso (I use Medaglia D'Oro)
Mix the above three ingredients together after you take the milk off the stove. When it cools to room temperature (or about 95 degrees F), blend in:
6 oz plain yogurt (whole, lowfat or nonfat -- depending on how much fat you like)
This last step is critical. You need a yogurt "starter" to grow more yogurt.
You can use whatever percentage milkfat you want, we like ours creamy so we go with the whole milk. If you want to go nuts, mix in some half and half or heavy whipping cream. After mixing this all together, pour it into your yogurt maker and, depending on manufacturer's directions, "heat" the yogurt. 8 hours works best in ours.
So, not only do you have total control over the ingredients, the flavoring and the consistency, it ends up being dirt cheap. Compared to $1.20 for a serving from the store, homemade yogurt ends up being more like $.25 per serving if you use the more expensive, local, organic milk (if you use inexpensive, conventional milk it's more like $.12 per serving).
And there you have it! Who knew making yogurt was so damn easy?
Do you need to try no knead bread?
Holy cow! I made my own butter