Monday, October 29, 2007
Why You Should Make Yogurt
Have you seen this video of Alton Brown on the David Letterman show? In this video Alton shows David how to make yogurt using a heating pad and a trash can. He tells Letterman that after you mix up your ingredients, wrap it in the heating pad, place it in a trash can, you can have yogurt in 12 hours. Letterman, of course, finds it ridiculous that you would want to wait 12 hours to get yogurt, when you can simply run to the corner store and have it in 5 minutes. Well, yes, but that's not the point. The point is, is that with minimal effort, you can have lots of fresh homemade yogurt from a little store bought yogurt. That's the point, David.
Making your own yogurt is really easy. There are lots of ways to do it, but for under $20 dollars, I purchased this Salton YM9 1-Quart Yogurt Maker and have been happily making yogurt ever since. It's really nothing more than an incubator with a steady temperature. It came with some cheap plastic container for inside it, with a lid that would never stay on, but a quart wide-mouthed canning jar fits perfectly and is what I use instead.
3 cups milk (lowfat, nonfat, or whole, your choice)
1/2 cup yogurt (again, lowfat, nonfat, or whole, your choice)
1/2 cup dried powdered milk
In a mixing bowl with a spout, mix the yogurt and dried milk into the milk and stir until the powdered milk dissolves and there are no more big lumps of yogurt. Pour into glass canning jar and place in the yogurt maker. Plug in. Come back in 10-12 hours and eat some fresh, homemade yogurt!
If you like yogurt, and I know there are some of you that do, you really owe it to yourself to make your own. It tastes wonderfully fresh, well, as fresh as something that sort of tastes like soured milk can taste. The beauty of this is that you can turn an 8 oz container of yogurt into 2 quarts of yogurt! You may have seen instructions that call for you to heat the milk first, and I've tried it both ways, heating and non heating, and I haven't noticed any difference, so I just eliminated that step. Ahhh...the power. Also, some instructions tell you that you can just keep using a 1/2 cup of yogurt from the yogurt you made, sort of like a sourdough starter. I've done that and have gotten about 4-5 batches of yogurt before I had to buy new yogurt, but usually I forget, eat all the yogurt, and then go buy more to make more. You can experiment with different milks (2%, lowfat, 1%, etc) and different yogurts, though I'm sure that I don't have to tell you that whole milk with full fat yogurt makes an incredibly sublime yogurt.
One of my favorite ways to eat yogurt is as a dessert with a little honey and some nuts sprinkled on top. The sad picture above depicts my attempts at showing you how yummy honey and yogurt is. Don't believe me, do you? Well, go here to Closet Cooking, where Kevin (who can make even eggplant look good, the man is a genius, I tell you), shows you how honey and yogurt should look. Now, you want to make some, don't you?