Monday, October 27, 2008

Farewell Dannon!

I won't be needing you anymore. You served me well while I kept you around. You satisfied me with many a low-fat breakfast. You showed up in smoothies now and again. Even my husband, daughters & baby love you, bless their hearts. I might invite you back, time and again, if I am in a crunch. The reason I won't need you anymore is because I learned how to make my own homemade yogurt.

Yep. I'm just domestic like that.

{pictured here with homemade granola & berries}

This homemade stuff is thicker, richer, and better for you. Did I mention that it's cheaper too?

Cooking notes: I pretty well followed the instructions found here {I used the crockpot method, although I filled the crockpot about halfway with water}. I scalded my milk to 180° F, then cooled it to 110° F before adding the starter. The linked directions to not instruct this, but I've read that it is necessary for good results. After the yogurt cultured, I added 1/3 cup Splenda. That was the perfect amount of sweetness for me. Without sugar, the yogurt could be used {and tastes a bit} like sour cream. It can also be left to drain in a strainer lined with cheesecloth; you will end up with a cream cheese-like product but much lower in fat. I used Yo-Baby vanilla yogurt as my starter {my local WM did not have plain with live active cultures}. Live active cultures {six are present in the Stonyfield farms brand, as opposed to only 2 in other brands} are like good bacteria for your digestive system. Kinda like all those probiotics that are showing up everywhere. {Get your kids eatin' yogurt with live active cultures. They are great for the immune system!} You can always freeze the store-bought starter in an ice cube tray & then use one cube per starter. I have read that the longer you culture it, the tarter & firmer it gets. If you're not watching the waistline, you can also add heavy cream to your mix for ultra-richness. Try steeping the milk mixture with different ingredients too: vanilla bean, lavender, rosemary, etc. or adding stuff in after culturing. For more reading, a simple google of homemade yogurt will satisfy your curiosities.

Ever had a yogurt making adventure? Let me know if I've gotten you interested!


Anna said...

Very interested! I wish I had the time to follow your lead...although we are scheduled to make yogurt in microbiology next week. Should be a nice add on to our lab-made wine and sauerkraut!

Andrea said...

I am intrigued but also a little scared. Thanks for the info. How do you think it compares pricewise? And taste? Cause I'm really weird about my yogurt.

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Hey you stole my idea! Yep I am planning to do this very soon, after all my pumpking baking!! Can't wait to give it a go! ;0)

Mary said...

I may have to give that a try! It sounds like a great alternative to store bought.

Rebecca said...

@Anna: I actually came across wine-making and such while researching yogurt! It's that whole good bacteria stuff I think :>)

@Andrea: I will be doing a follow-up post, complete with cost break-down & taste "analysis". My response to you was gettin' crazy long!

@Alicia: It took you this long to figure out I could read minds, especially yours?! LOL, LOL.

@Mary: Thanks for stopping by. It actually seems harder than it really is. I wished I had an old heating pad so I could just "fix it & forget it"!