Updated: Feb 15, 2020
One of the daunting things about going green and eliminating packaging is the sense that we can not possibly make the time to prepare home made items. The idea of making things from scratch just feels foreign and impossible. Not to mention that we have grown accustom to store bought favorites. It is really important to remember it was not so long ago that we were indeed managing to make all these delicious foods at home. In fact - everything sold in a store was once a simple recipe scratched out in someones kitchen. But we have grown up in a world of supermarket foods. Change is hard, and change is what is being demanded of us. We need to take on these changes at a manageable rate so that we don't freak out or worse yet, give up.
In our house we started by looking at our worst offences and favorite foods. It was easy to recognize school snacks (IE. granola bars) and yogurt as prime targets. I will post our treasured granola bar recipe one day, but today it's about yogurt. Not only is home made yogurt insanely easy, but useful! Using your yogurt you can make delicious breads, sauces, and baked goods. Talk about bang for your buck. Eliminating plastic waste and adding some new delicious foods to your repertoire.
So without further ado...Yogurt
Insider tip: I find it best to do this on a rain day or in the evening so the oven is free and I can leave it to set over night.
You will need:
Milk (whatever you use)
Plain yogurt (a small carton will do)
A cooking/candy thermometer
1) Pour a few portions of milk into a pot or slow cooker.
*Measuring is not required...I told you EASY just put in enough to meet your yogurt needs for about a week or 10 days.
2) Slowly...very slowly... bring the milk to about 180 Farenheit. You can just leave it on low as you go about your chores and check in on it periodically until you get there.
3) Remove the pot from the heat. Allow to sit long enough to cool back down to 120 Fahrenheit.
4) Turn your oven on for about 1 minute. Just let it begin to heat up. Then turn it back off and turn on the oven light. This creates a gentle incubation environment.
5) Stir into your warm milk, a few good globs or even the full small container of plain yogurt. (Measuring still optional)
6) Place the pot in the oven, leave the light on and walk away. Do not disturb for at least 8 hours. As mentioned I prefer over night.
7) Once set you can strain the water (whey) off the top (your yogurt will be thicker) or stir it in for a thinner texture.
8) Scoop into clean storage containers and refrigerate. Serve with a little honey, maple syrup, fruit puree, or granola. Use it to make bread, cheese sauce, Alfredo sauce, tzatziki, even home made frozen yogurt. You will be amazed and delighted. Honestly, I started making larger and larger batches as time went on because I use it for so many things.
The best part! Save a few spoonfuls of your home made yogurt to use for your next batch and never need by plastic yogurt container again!
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