Friday, October 19, 2012

Homemade yogurt

Since my last post about being sick I've been looking for ways to try to feel better.  Claritin helps sometimes but it's not fully allergies making me feel so horrible. Now that it's fall and I spend more time inside, I'm really trying to cook more whole foods,  oh and do it on a budget. One of the things I was spending a lot of money on was Greek yogurt. More than I am willing to admit! 

I then went on a mission to figure out how to make it. It goes against all I know of dairy to leave milk sitting out all night but I figured I'd give it a try. I ended up taking a combination of a few different sites (will include links later) and have created my own method. 

 I began using the crockpot method but I didn't like making it in the crock since I have hot spots. Turns out, in my experience, that making it on the stove produces a better yogurt.  I heat the milk on the stove over very low heat. To kill the boredom I usually watch a movie on the iPad.  Takes about 30 -45 minutes to heat 2qts to 180 degrees. Don't scorch milk or let it boil.  Then cool to around 105-110 and stir in 2 teaspoons of yogurt. I use a little of the last batch or you can use plain store bought yogurt as starter.  Wrap the whole thing up in a towel and put in an oven overnight. I give it about 12 hours. Leave the oven light on so the environment stays around 100 degrees. Then check it in AM and if it's thick, its done. (hope to add some pictures next time I make it) I strain mine through a strainer lined with very fine cheesecloth. Eventually I will get a chinois but the cost is preventing me for now. After I strain the yogurt for 30 minutes or so I put it in a large bowl, whip it with a whisk till nice and smooth and refrigerate it. My hubby won't eat it till it's cooled down but I actually like before it's cooled down. Try all sorts of different toppings. I have found that I can eat the homemade yogurt even plain, which I used to hate. My favorite is with some raw honey. 

 I like to save the whey and use it in my bread. Soon I'll also try to make ricotta cheese from the whey.