3.26.2008

Why Make Homemade Yogurt?

If you’re like me, you grew up eating yogurt from the supermarket. It was delicious! It was green, red, blue, or sometimes even orange. Sometimes it had “fruit on the bottom” that you could stir into the yogurt. If it was low or nonfat, you could be especially guilt free eating it. Sometimes, you could find exotic flavors such as cappuccino or black forest cherry. You were happy when you ate it for breakfast because you knew it was such a healthy thing to eat.


Until one day, you started reading the label. You saw a long list of ingredients, including High Fructose Corn Syrup, Red #40, gelatin, and pectin. And you noticed that under the Nutrition Information, your little cup of goodness was boasting over 30 grams of sugar per serving!!!!!! A Snickers bar would have been healthier from that perspective!

So, then you might have had a yogurt “conversion experience” that brought you into the lite, so to speak. You dabbled around with “sugar free versions” only to be left with that bad aspartame experience and thus you decided to search for the Real yogurt—what yogurt was meant to be.

At that point, you might have met a girl named Nancy and discovered that tart, plain goodness of “plain yogurt”. And you got all preachy about how good plain yogurt was and you added your own honey and your own blueberries and were happy…..until you read the ingredients on day, and you realized that your yogurt, while free of dyes and added sugars, still contained something more than just “milk and cultures”. You saw pectin, powdered nonfat milk, perhaps gelatin. And there it was again, that 20+ grams of sugar per serving. What’s the DEAL? You asked!!!

And then, you discovered Cream Top. Delicious, pure, unadulterated and low in sugar Cream Top. And what’s better, you discovered how to make it! Organic, grass-fed, fresh yogurt.

Stay tuned………and this treat can be yours too!

If you want to get ready, here’s what you’ll want to gather to use my ultra easy no-frills, no gagetry yogurt procecure:

A quart size mason jar
A candy thermometer (this is a must)
A warm wool blanket or a towel
A cooler (those Styrofoam kind can be purchased at Grocery Outlet for $1)
1 small carton of PLAIN Brown Cow Whole Milk Yogurt
Organic, grass-fed (or whatever you can get) milk!

You get your gear,and meet me back here for the easiest, de-mystifying procedure ever!

4 comments:

Christina said...

Very interested in how you make yogurt. Pavlos eats greek yogurt from Trader Joe's every day. It has 7 grams sugar (not as bad as 20). I am going to wait until after lent, though, to make yogurt in case he doesn't like it (paul and I will eat it then:)

ps. I have made home made yogurt before but it was very runny.

Katie said...

questions for you ... how big/small of a cooler, and what is a candy thermometer? If you can explain on your next blog, that would be great. Also, if you use Brown Cow yogurt, is that better than Nancy's?

Carrie T said...

Christina,

I will also mention how to make Greek Yogurt in my post! The runniness factor-- I've found-- can be a result of the incubation time and temperature. I'll discuss that.

Katie,

A candy thermometer is a thermometer traditionally used to make candies (candy is a very temp-sensitive process; think high school chemistry when you made peanut brittle or lolipops). Anyway, you need to know when the milk has reached 180 degrees (if you're using raw milk) and when it has cooled down to 110.

I'm sure the ancients just boiled the milk for a certain amount of time (I find it takes about 15 minutes) and you'll know it's cooled enough "when you can put your finger in and count to ten without it hurting". So, if you follow those guidelines, you probably could forego the use of a candy thermometer.

I think ideally you would use a small beverage cooler. I usually only make 1 quart of yogurt at a time, but if you wanted to do more, you'd have to find a larger cooler. Whatever you use, make sure that you find a nice warm blanket (preferably woolen) that you can wrap around your yogurt before you place it in the cooler.

My beef about Nancy's yogurt is that she adds the milk powder to it. Brown cow does not have that. Nancy's--as I recall-- has a vew more strains of different cultures and I find it to be a little more tart than Brown Cow.

Bottom line? Find a yogurt you like the taste of, and use it for your start. I personally love Brown Cow and TJ's Whole Milk Cream Top Yogurt, and so when I used them for starter, I achieved a very similar result!

Thanks for the questions. I'll reiterate them in my next post as well!

Xenia Kathryn said...

Cute new photo! Looks a lot more like you in real life :)

I've got my Brown Cow... now I just need another jar of milk to get goin'. I couldn't find a small carton of Brown Cow, so I had a get a big one. Oh well. :) Now I'll just have LOTS of yogurt. hehehe.