Monday, September 27, 2010

Making Yogurt

We are big yogurt eaters in the Gambel family...especially me; I eat it at least once a day and now that I have my fancy dancy Blendtec (post coming soon) we use it for smoothies in the morning.  I have a yogurt maker but it only makes six small containers at a time and takes forever!  I have read about making yogurt online and it was an intimidating process....heating the milk to a certain point and then letting it cool to 110 careful adding the starter cause if you add it too soon, it kills it but too late and it won't work.  I don't even own a cooking thermometer so that didn't work for me.  However, I came across some yogurt directions that seemed to easy (despite my yogurt making intimidation) I tried it and it worked like a charm.  Lots of yummy yogurt for the price of a gallon of milk!  
This is how it is done!

Heat quart of whole milk until it is barely bubbling
 and forms rich looking "scum".  
I tried this with 2% too, and it tasted and looked 
better with the whole milk.  

After milk is good and hot, bubbling but not boiling, 
turn off burner and skim the 
fatty goodness off and put in a bowl to the side.

Here is the part of directions that I loved as it doesn't involve a
 thermometer and takes the stress out of yogurt making. 
 Let milk cool and when you can place your pinkie tip into the milk and it is warm (not hot)
 add a cup of store bought yogurt with active cultures.  
The online directions did say unflavored. 
 (I used vanilla because I had it) 
and  it also said not to stir but I had to divide the yogurt into 
two containers so mine was not unstirred.

Take the milk you skimmed off when it was hot and top your yogurt off with it. Place yogurt in warm place.  This is my contribution to recipe....I turned on empty oven and heated for a few minutes (just slightly warm) and then turned oven off.  Oven should be just slightly heated as if it is too warm you will kill cultures (don't let that stress you out); just follow my directions and it will work.  You can just put the pot you cooked yogurt in the oven but I put it into my plastic containers
and it worked great.  Leave it in oven for six to eight hours.  About half way through, I turned oven back on at 200 degrees for a few minutes, then turned it off. 

And here it is!  Keep in mind that it is unflavored!  
I put honey and vanilla in it and it is better than any yogurt
 I can buy here! I am wondering how long it will 
keep in the far it has been a week.

My other new passion is rooting herbs!  I have been clipping and placing bunches in water.

In about five days, roots should appear.  A few secrets that help to root herbs better are
to strip the leaves to the water line (do as I say not as I did in the picture) and freshen water every other day.  After about a week to a week and a half, you should have a good root system and it is time to plant them.  I have a pot outside so I transfer them and water several times a day.  It has really worked well and I have a mountain of basil due to my diligent rooting this summer.  So far I have rooted a lot of basil and rosemary but I want to see if it works with other herbs.  

These are all from clippings.  My bed in the country is 
completely full of basil and I have made some awesome pesto in my "Blendtec" with all the basil. 
 I hope to make enough and freeze it for the winter.  
We use it on everything...sandwiches, pasta, and sauces.  
Blendtec post is coming soon but right now I have to finish my taxes...yuck!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! That looks delicious! I'm always looking for healthy alternatives to what the stores sell for kids--- so full of preservatives. I will definitely try this out! And maybe puree some strawberries/peaches/etc to stir in afterwards? Yum. Thanks for sharing! --Julie


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