Yogurt

a-to-z-letters-y I love this subject.  Not saying I didn’t like the others, but this post is one that I enjoy the most.  It’s perfect for all meals, even desserts, and can make some creamy sauces.  (e.g. Tzatziki)  We have all heard many things about Yogurt through the media, neighbors and friends.  Even those commercials for Activia give it a positive spin that, yes, it is good for you and your gut.

Unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant to the extreme.  Then it isn’t so good.

You don’t have to get the special kind that has extra bacteria to help your body.  Regular does fine on its own.  There are scientific findings that say eating yogurt regularly cuts down on yeast infections in women, helps prevent bacterial infections overall, and boosts your immune system in general.  Your digestion improves with a little lactobacillus each day.

No, I wasn’t showing off what I know.  I have read about the different cultures used to make yogurt and one of the most common is a form of lactobacillus.

There are different kinds of yogurt, not just in flavor.  Greek yogurt is strained two or more times which makes it richer and more thick than normal yogurt.  Labneh is a strained yogurt used for sandwiches popular in Arab countries.   Other countries boil it in vats which give a new and different texture.

Yogurt, is also used in drinks, such as Borhani in Bangladesh.  It’s a spicy drink that is served at weddings and special feasts.  Sounds interesting to me.  Lassi from India tends to be sweet or salty and is flavored with chilies or cumin which can give it a nice kick.  There are so many different kinds of drinks from all over, I wouldn’t be able to name them all.

I can’t forget about what we Americans have fallen in love with.  Regular yogurt sweetened with sugar or honey is always good then you can add in fruit for that added zing of flavor.  I prefer strawberries, freshly sliced into mine, or even some banana.  Better yet, a bit of chocolate drizzled over the fruit in the yogurt.  It has been taken a step further and is also frozen into a delectable treat we can find almost everywhere.  Who hasn’t enjoyed a frozen yogurt cone?

You’re missing something good if you haven’t.

On to the recipe!

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What You’ll Need

What You'll Need

Despite the proliferation of yogurt makers on the market, everything you need to make homemade yogurt is probably already in your kitchen, with the possible exception of the thermometer. Specifically, you will need:

  • 1 Half gallon of milk
  • 2-3 Tbs of plain yogurt (as a starter or you can buy freeze-dried yogurt culture)
  • 1 8-10 Qt stock pot
  • 1 4-5 Qt pot with lid
  • 1 Metal or plastic spoon
  • 1 Dial thermometer with clip
  • 1 Heating pad

Make a double boiler (water jacket) out of the two pots.  Fill the larger pot to half way up the side of the smaller pot.  Use your hand to hold the smaller pot down for an accurate measure.  Leave the milk and plain yogurt out at room temperature.  With thermometer clipped to the side of the larger pot, bring water to boil.  Using tongs, sterilize the smaller pot lid in the boiling water.  Dry pot and lid with towels.  Place smaller pot back into the larger pot and clip the thermometer to the inside of the small pot.  Carefully pour milk into the small pot, making sure that the milk doesn’t go above the level of the water outside the pot. (You can heat milk directly but it must be constantly stirred)  Heat milk to 185 degrees.  (If there is no thermometer, milk froths at 185)  While waiting for milk to heat, fill sink a quarter of the way with cold water and add ice.  Carefully move milk pot to the ice bath and let cool to 110 degrees, stirring occasionally.  Pour in the plain yogurt and stir gently. Place heating pad set to medium on cutting board and set pot on the heating pad.  Cover lid with towel.  Wait seven hours.  Remove pot from the heating pad.  Stir the yogurt to mix any curds into the liquid.  It’s okay if there’s a cheesy odor and a green liquid on top.  Pour into containers with tight fitting lids.  Chill overnight in the coldest part of your refrigerator.  Serve and enjoy!

http://www.makeyourownyogurt.com/

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