Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For...Yogurt?

I think I mentioned earlier that I got a yogurt maker on ebay. Well, yesterday, I decided that I would try to make homemade yogurt.

I had to get a yogurt starter. The directions say you can use a starter from another batch of yogurt (like commercially made) as long as neither it nor the milk is ultra pasteurized. Well, since I didn't know if Yoplait was ultra pasteurized, I called a health food store to see if they had yogurt starter. My luck, they did. I found Yogurmet starter at my health food store.

At any rate, the yogurt was pretty simple to make. You heat a quart (4 cups) of milk on med low heat. You can use either whole or low fat milk. If you lose low fat, you'll have to add about 1/3 cu. of powdered milk--I don't think that you can use skim milk, however.

You heat the milk slowly until it just comes to a boil. Then you let the milk cool until the temperature is cool enough to add the starter. My yogurt maker came with a thermometer that shows when the temperature is right. Unfortunately, it doesn't give you a degree reading, it only has markings. I also have another thermometer, and decided to use it, also. The cool temperature was between 115-120 degrees.

Anyway, you put 1-2 tbs of starter in one of the the jars. Add some of the warm milk to the jar and stir well. Then take the mixture and add it to the milk. Next, pour the milk evenly into all of the jars (actually, mine didn't end up so evenly. I have 5 jars and had enough for 4.5). You then place the jars in the machine, put on the lid and plug in the machine. You let it heat for 10 hours, and then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

When you're ready to use, you can add your sweetner and fruit. I added a bit of agave and strawberries. I did make a mistake, though. I should've just coarsely chopped the strawberries, but I pureed them. When I added this to the yogurt, it made it super soupy.

I used agave as my sweetner. It's sweet as sugar, but has a low glycemic incident.

I really enjoyed making the yogurt, and already have ideas for my next batch.

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