Thursday, 29 October 2015
I've been working at making the perfect creamy yogurt for years and have had varying success.
Part of cow ownership makes it necessary to utilize the milk in as many ways possible and to stop the necessity to walk down the Dairy Products aisle at the supermarket. I'm pleased to say that I can now saunter down that aisle and tilt my chin at all of the expensive items there. Or I can choose to avoid that aisle and save shopping time as well as lots of dollars.
So back to yogurt.
There are as many fancy utensils out there for the consumer to buy as there are methods of making yogurt.
The basic method of yogurt is to add some yogurt culture to fresh milk, keep it at body temperature for 8 - 12 hrs, after which the milk should have turned thick.
This is easy, but these days we are all spoiled by those creamy textured yogurts, with added sugars and fruits which really are quite removed from the real principal of yogurt.
I needed to find a compromise so that my family would eat the yogurt that I make with our cow's milk. It's all very well to make all this stuff, but is counter productive if no one will eat it.
I don't want sugars and Frankenstein fruits added to my yogurt. I want my family to eat unprocessed foods made from ingredients that have been grown organically, and preferably, locally.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know what I think of Frankenstein foods and my definition of what they are. They are foods that have been played around with genetically, grown with pesticides and herbicides, filled with sugar and numbers, and have been transported across the world.
Most people know about Easiyo yogurt and love to make their own yogurt from the packets available to buy at the supermarket.
I'm a bit slow at catching on to consumer items, so I only discovered what these things were a couple of years ago. I saw them in op-shops quite often but had no idea what they were used for.
So I was researching the perfect yogurt technique on line late one night and happened upon a forum that was so enlightening. It was a real ahaa moment.
I went back to the op-shop next day and bought the outer canister for $3. Then, from the supermarket I bought the inside container which comes with two small lunch box size containers for just over $20.
With a packet of the yogurt mix and some powdered milk in my basket I headed home to give this idea a try.
The yogurt mixes of various flavors all cost between $4 and $5 which I believe is still rather expensive for a litre/kilo of yogurt. We can buy ready made yogurt off the shelf for that price, without the need to buy the equipment to make it up at home. What's the point of that?
The instructions on the pack are to just add water.
This is my frugal yogurt method.
HALF FILL the 1 litre inside container with whole milk. I use raw milk from our cow, but you could use any milk. When on caravan holidays we use UHT Full Cream milk which works just fine.
Add .. 2 heaped desert spoons of powdered milk,
and 2 heaped desert spoons of yogurt mix from the packet.
** Dip the spoon right into the bottom of the bag of Easiyo powder and stir it around a bit because the culture may have settled on the bottom of the bag. The Esiyo bags contain powdered milk and culture, so you need to make sure you stir it around well to get a consistent end product.
Put the lid on and shake like crazy for about half a minute.
Take the lid off and fill to the top with more milk, leaving approx 2 cms of head space.
Shake well again.
The remaining procedure is as written in the instructions that come with the Easiyo containers but I'll write it here in case you have bought yours second hand without the instructions.
There is a red plastic bit that sits inside the outer canister in order to hold the yogurt container at the correct level. (That sounds confusing, but you will know what I mean when you are looking at it)
Fill the canister with boiling water to the top of the red plastic part.
Put the yogurt container inside the canister and screw the lid on immediately.
Leave it for 12 hours before checking. After that time it should be firm and turned into yogurt.
Take the yogurt container out of the canister and place in the fridge where it will firm up more and be of a creamy texture if you have used full cream milk.
So, we have made delicious yogurt for a fraction of the cost. I can get three litres of yogurt from one packet of Easiyo.
We each take a small re-useable jar of it to work for morning lunches mixed with home grown raspberries and a dribble of honey. I see others eating their purchased pots of yogurt in the little disposable containers. More rubbish for landfill.
We use lots of yogurt here and I like to have two pots in the fridge. Oh no, I didn't buy another Easiyo container, because I found a suitable size plastic container at an op-shop for a few cents.
How do you use your yogurt besides eating it as yogurt? Have you got a great recipe for making your own?
At this time of year we are eating lots of coleslaw and creamy noodle or potato salads in which I use yogurt as the base for the dressings.
In my next blog I'll share my Mum's recipe for boiled Mayonnaise which lasts for months in the fridge, and mixed with yogurt, is a delicious and healthy salad dressing that's versatile and popular in this house.