Monday, July 12, 2010

Yum Yum Yogurt

On average, our family can put away over a quart of yogurt on any given day. It was one of the first solids that we introduced to all of our kids (after the customary veggies, fruits, and the like), and they all enjoy it. What I don't enjoy is the cost and the additives, or the additional cost for natural/organic. I had heard that making your own yogurt was not that difficult, but I was a bit skeptical because I have struggled with things like sourdough starter in the past (although I am going to attempt it again thanks to Granola Mom 4 God). However, with the chance to increase our grocery budget by $15-20 per week, I was willing to take the chance.

Step One...Find someone else who knows how to do it. Quite conveniently the first website that popped up on my search was one of the best. It had easy to follow instructions and pictures; it also included hints on what you should think about doing while completing the step at hand. You can find it here.

Step Two...Follow this wise person's instructions. Essentially to make my own yogurt I took milk, equal to the amount of yogurt I desired, heated it, cooled it, added yogurt cultures (Brand X All Natural Organic Plain Yogurt), and let it rest for seven hours. Here are the tools:

That really is a heating pad, and it is an ingenious use for it! Essentially you use two large pots to create a warm water bath/double boiler type cooking device. Heat the milk, stick it in an ice bath to cool it quickly, add the yogurt cultures and let it hibernate...

Of course it is wise to check the time _before_ you begin the hibernating process, so you don't end up staying up until 1:38 am. *grin* Hopefully, if all goes well, you will refrigerate your yogurt and find it creamy and delicious in 8 or so hours. It will be a bit runnier because it lacks pectin and the like, but it is really tasty. With such luxuries as fresh berries and honey, it can be quite a treat!
I figure if I will keep plugging away at one half gallon batch per week to start and build it up from there. I am thankful for a chance to feed my family another healthy homemade food sans additives. I very thankful that all of them find it tasty too. Bye Bye store bought yogurt!

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