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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On the subject of yogurt

 I posted instructions here for making yogurt from a starter.
Usually I make my yogurt using commercial yogurt as a starter. I'll do two batches. One from the original starter and when that's down to a half cup of plain yogurt, I start a second batch. Going too many generations can lead to a manky taste in yogurt. Look for plain yogurt that's milk and cultures only. I get a larger thing of it and package it up into half cup size portions I keep in my freezer for the next batch so out of one thing of yogurt I can culture an awful lot of fresh plain yogurt. I put it reusable containers and always flavor some, we use it in smoothies and make savory yogurts that can be strained to make labneh which is just marvelous as a sandwich spread. In the summer I puree it with fruit and a bit of honey and pop it in frozen pop molds to make frozen pops for my children. Just like my mom used to do for me!  You'd use a half cup of commercial plain yogurt in place of the starter, and increase the powdered milk to 3/4 c. because otherwise it won't get quite as thick. Runny yogurt works well in biscuits, smoothies and bread. If you don't want to buy half cup containers to freeze the starter, just put it in an ice cube tray and after it's frozen put the yogurt cubes in a bag in the freezer, then pull out 2 or 3 to use as a starter. That's how mom did it!
My children are wild for vanilla yogurt sweetened with maple sugar or honey.
If you have a dehydrator, you can make your own yogurt covered raisins. Flavor and sweeten your yogurt then strain it as for labneh which mean line a strainer with a coffee filter or cheese cloth and put in the yogurt. Put that over a bowl and cover it up with a plate and put it some place cool (fridge works) for 24 hours. A lot of the liquid comes out of it making a gorgeous thick cheese. Coat your raisins with that and put them in the dehydrator for a few hours. You'll want to keep these in the fridge because they aren't shelf stable but they do just fine in lunch/bento boxes, snack boxes for long car trips. The store bought kind have waxes and such in them, these taste a whole lot better and are probably better for you.

But you know? I still hate carob.

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