You know how I had said earlier that I wanted to learn how to make my own yogurt, cuz I hate the #5 plastic containers?
Well, here's one instance where I'm really glad that I created an email for this blog... because a wonderful reader, Theresa, sent me an email with her awesome recipe! Also, Jen at Funemployment DIY had recently made some yogurt with success, so I felt emboldened. Also, I know that Yoga Spy has asked previously about how to have yogurt sans plastic... so maybe there are others :)
(ps, head on over there, she's having a really cool bloggy giveaway!! go enter!)
First- preface: I am not really a fan of yogurt... even flavoured yogurt. The texture always made me nauseous and well, it's not so great on my digestive system. However, who knew that walking 70-80 minutes a day (to and from work) and keeping up a regular yoga practice would result in weight loss. Which, if you know me isn't a good thing. At all. I also am not a fan of breakfast (due to digestive issues) but since it's the only meal I can reasonably increase, I started eating yogurt and homemade granola. A lot.
Now I have accustomed myself to regular-fruity yogurt. How I thought I'd be alright with homemade I have no idea. (there's some foreshadowing for you!).
Anyhoo, Theresa was so kind to not only send me her recipe, but it's a SLOW COOKER recipe. Ouuuuu! This means low maintenance. It does take longer in some ways than regular recipes (or what Mr. Alton Brown from Good Eats did- don't know who that is?? Seriously best cooking show ever), but it requires less babysitting.
Theresa's Slow Cooker Yogurt RecipeYogurt creation:
- 2L of homogenized milk (organic would be best, less chemicals and hormones added to the milk. And yes Homogenized is best since the yogurt needs that much fat, not 1 or 2% but 3.25%)
- half cup of plain yogurt with active live cultures (make sure to check for the active live cultures part- it's the source of those yummy bacteria!)
- probe thermometer (my addition... if you don't have one follow the times)
Post Yogurt creation:
Frozen fruit (local farmers market may have some local frozen fruit)
Maple Syrup or honeyVanilla extract (I forgot to use this)
Chia seeds (optional.. I forgot these too)
- Pour the milk into slow cooker, set to low for 2 and a half hours
- Unplug slow cooker and let cool for 3 hours (or until milk has reached between 115 or 120F, bacteria dies above 120, optimal growing is between 115-120).
- While the milk is cooling, take your yogurt starter out of the fridge so it can slowly reach room temperature.
- Once the milk has reached optimum bacteria time, scoop out 2 cups of warm milk and slowly mix in the yogurt starter.
- Add the mix to the milk in the slow cooker and stir.
- Cover the slow cooker with several blankets from top to bottom (seriously, several!) to keep the heat in, and let sit (unplugged) over night. 8-12 hours.
- In the morning it should have thickened.
- Scoop into jars or containers and place into the fridge where it should continue to thicken.
It made four jars worth (two mason jars and two washed 650grams yogurt containers). Which is a lot (for us). Theresa indicates that it should last two weeks. (poorly wrapped slow cooker)
She recommended scooping your amount of yogurt into the container-bowl, adding a bit of honey and a bunch of frozen fruit.
A few notes on the experience:
I LOVE that this is so low maintenance. We left the milk in the slow cooker and went apartment hunting- no worries! Unlike other methods where you kinda have to be there if it's cooking.
Having a probe thermometer is actually pretty darn handy!
- Confession, Andrew had to scoop out the yogurt in the morning cuz the visual sight of the weird texture was making me gag. I am a wimp.
- Our yogurt is now the weird consistency of a Yop, pretty runny. Most likely because: a) we probably waited too long to add the starter yogurt, b) we may not have wrapped it enough
- Ways we'll try next time to thicken it: a) using skim milk powder (which weirds me out, but we have some here) b) Theresa highly recommends using chia seeds and husks to help thicken their yogurt.
- Next time we are halving the recipe, we don't eat a lot of yogurt!
Final verdict: the yogurt itself, once I got past my weirdness with consistency, actually tastes really good! And I think the consistency was more an issue with us and less with the recipe. Especially when I put a bit of honey and a whole bunch of fruit and let it mingle for a few hours in the fridge pre-eating, it was YUM. (note the lady doing a yoga pose on the Liberté Yogurt... not Yoplait Asana... but pretty close!)
Also, it was extremely low cost and low labour... and no plastic!! YES.
Anyone have some yogurt-using recipes??
Article and photograph copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com