I love starting my day with yogurt. A bowl of natural yogurt with a dollop of Manuka honey and a healthy dose of granola serves as my power breakfast. The familiar creaminess and slight tanginess jolts me up from my slumber and its pack-full of nutrients sets me right for the day ahead . Between J and I, we can finish a 1kg tub in a week! Such yogurt lovers we are!
Over the last week, I decided to make my own yoghurt because:
a) it was getting frustrating when my yogurt isn’t stocked in the supermarket (I only eat Farmer’s Union Greek Style Yogurt);
b) after tasting natural pot-set yogurt during my time in Sydney, I’ve realised that it is way better than the commercial brands that are available. Better in terms of flavour – it’s thicker, smoother, creamier, and more natural tasting. And most importantly, better in terms of nutrients and goodness – it contains live cultures with over hundred million probiotic count, the bacteria that is good for your body, that many commercial brands lack, due to the many additives and heat-treatment.
After doing some research, I found out that making your own natural yoghurt is a breeze, requiring little active time and effort in the kitchen .
Just a quick lowdown on how yogurt is created – a yogurt starter is added to warm milk. The yogurt starter contains active live cultures (good bacteria) that will start feeding on the sugars in the milk. As a result, the milk thickens as it curdles and the lactic acid produced as a by product gives yogurt its tanginess.
My first batch of yogurt was just like how yogurt should be – thick, creamy, tangy. As it is natural yogurt, it isn’t sweetened. Still, I like it in its white, pure and innocent form – it’s charming even on its own. You can also dress it up a little: just this morning, I had my yogurt with a spoonful of leatherwood honey, sweet mandarin orange segments and granola.
Don’t worry about having leftover yogurt, you can never have too much! You can use it to make banana bread or how about some fluffy pancakes for a weekend and if you have an ice-cream maker, you whip up some frozen yogurt.And don’t forget to leave some of your homemade yogurt as a yogurt starter for your next batch of yogurt.
You’ll never have to go back to commercial yogurt ever.
I know I wouldn’t.
Makes 1 litre (Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine)
1 litre full cream milk
65g thick natural yogurt ( I used Farmers Union Greek Style Yogurt)
1. Place milk in a pot and heat over medium fire to 95 degrees celcius. Pour into a sterilised glass jar* and allow to cool to 42 degrees celcius in a water bath.
2. Stir in the yoghurt and cover with the lid. Wrap the jar with a kitchen towel and leave it at room temperature for about 8 to 12 hours, or until yogurt has thickened.
3. Drain any excess liquid from the top of the yogurt.** Store the sealed yogurt in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*To sterilise the glass jar, wash the jar and lid with hot water and soap. Rinse well and place the jar in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 10 minutes or until dry.
**If you prefer a greek style yogurt, line a colander with fine muslin and place over a deep bowl. Spoon yogurt mixture into the colander and let it drain.