Yogurt the all powerful…
Yogurt the magnificent…
Have I lost you yet?
If you missed this “Spaceballs” reference, you’re either much younger than I am or have much better cinematic taste.
“Please, please, don’t make a fuss. I’m just plain Yogurt.”
Ok, I’m done. It’s out of my system. Maybe.
Just plain yogurt. Not my favorite way to enjoy cultured dairy. I love my cultured dairy products, this is for sure, but I definitely need some flavor added into my yogurt in order to enjoy it.
Did you know that you can make a half gallon of organic yogurt for five dollars or less? Let me show you how to do that first, then I’m going to give you some ideas for flavoring your yummy creation.
Here is what you will need:
1/2 gallon organic FULL FAT milk. I LOVE Straus Farms for yogurt. So creamy and delicious.
1 cup of plain organic yogurt, either store-bought (if this is your first batch) or a cup reserved from your previous batch.
A crock pot.
The steps could not be easier:
Start this in the early afternoon so that the final step is done at an appropriate time.
1.) pour milk into crock pot
2.) set crock pot to LOW, put lid on, set the timer for 2.5 hours and walk away.
3.) make sure you set the timer, because believe me, you will forget.
4.) when timer goes off, come back to crock pot, unplug it, set timer for 3 hours and walk away.
5.) repeat step 3.
6.) when timer goes off, come back to crock pot, add yogurt to warm milk, whisk gently, put lid back on, and put a large folded towel over the top of the crock to insulate. Leave overnight on the counter, unplugged.
In the morning, you will have an entire crock of organic yogurt! I love that it is full fat as well, which is really hard to find in large quantities. Especially this cheap. 😉
Put the yogurt in a glass container (The Straus bottle works really well) and pop it in the fridge. The process is NOT complete until the yogurt has dropped to fridge temp.
So now that you have your amazing and all-powerful yogurt, what do you do with it? The possibilities are endless. (ok, maybe not ENDLESS.) Just make sure you flavor your yogurt in small batches so that you still have plenty of plain to use for your semi-endless possibilities. You also need to set aside a cup for your next batch.
Here are a few ideas for you, inspired by the amazing produce in my CSA box. 🙂
1.) Fruity yogurt: Blend whatever fruit you love…berries, stone fruit, etc…and fold into your yogurt. Do not blend them together as homemade yogurt tends to get runny when mixed too much. 🙂 A bit of honey mixed with your fruit may be needed depending on how sweet you like your yogurt.
This week, I used white flesh peaches from my box, blended them with a bit of cinnamon and honey and folded it into my yogurt. So yummy.
2.) Tzatziki (Greek yogurt/cucumber/mint sauce):
Take one cucumber, peel, seed, and grate. Set in a strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and let it drain for about 20 minutes.
Prepare two cups of plain yogurt. If you want a thicker sauce, Strain your yogurt in a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a tea towel, set on a bowl, for several hours. Save the whey (the yellow liquid that drains into the bowl) for later and use the resulting greek yogurt for this recipe. 🙂
Mince 2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on your preferences.
Chop up some fresh mint…about 1/4 cup.
Blend all ingredients together, seasoning with sea salt at the end.
SO yummy over burger patties or grilled chicken!
3.) Use the yogurt to make anything that normally calls for buttermilk: Pancakes, waffles, cakes, breads. You get the idea. Top with pears, peaches, plums or any other in-season fruit you have access to.
The pears in my box this week would be awesome stewed down in a bit of water, butter, and cinnamon until tender, then poured over something starchy and amazing that I totally can’t eat.
4.) Smoothies! My go-to food. I guess you know that by now. Puree that yogurt up with whatever amazing stuff you’ve got and drink up. Don’t forget veggies too. There are so many veggies that “hide” well in smoothies.
Give it a go, guys. It’s too easy not to! Save money, eat well, and maybe try something new.
May the Schwartz be with you. (Hey, I said “maybe”.)