I like basics. Or better to say, I like going back to basics. It is like going back home, very grounding. For me, one of the most inspiring 'going back to basics' rituals is making basic , simple and nutritious foods, like sourdough bread and other fermented foods - especially vegetables and yogurt.
I've made homemade yogurt for many times and I can't believe how excited, happy, proud of myself and inspired I am every time I make it.
The benefits of homemade yogurt
The thing I absolutely love about the homemade food preparation is the possibility to choose the ingredients. With homemade yogurt, I always go for local milk from grass-fed cows raised on pastures (these cows usually get more sun than me ...). In this way, I support the local agriculture and I also get the best quality.
The second but not less important thing is how inexpensive the homemade yogurt is. I get 1 liter of yogurt for just 1 euro - is that great or what?
Yields: 3.3 liters of homemade yogurt
3 liters of fresh raw cow's milk
300 g of yogurt from the previous batch or store-brought yogurt with live cultures (I like to buy my yogurt at the farmer's marker where I get one that has been heated at no more than 60°C/140°F)
1. Pour the milk into pot and heat it up to 40°C/104°F. Stir it from time to time to heat it evenly. You can heat your milk up to 90°C, however, in this way the milk will be pasteurized and some useful bacteria and nutritious constituents won't be there for you to their full extent.
2. When heated, pour in your additional yogurt and mix well. With this you will bring the bacteria that feeds with lactose (a sugar naturally present in milk) into milk. The product of the bacteria digestion is called lactic acid which has beneficial effect on our gut. The process where the sugars are converted into lactid acid is called lactic acid fermentation.
If you have any probiotics in capsules (dietary supplements, you can add these too, it will enrich the flavor of the yogurt and lactic acid bacterial diversity (Lactobacillus bulgaricus, lactobacillus acidophilus, ...).
3. Pour the heated milk with bacteria into jars of your choice. I like to use glass jars which I wash well before using them.
4. Cover the jars with lids and place them to a warm place for 7-8 hours (temperature between 38-41°C/100-105°F), whether it is oven, dehydrator or heating chamber. I use dehydrator which I set to 40°C for 8 hours. It that time the lactic acid bacteria will multiply. The bacteria that thrive in the warm environment are called thermophilic.
5. When done, transfer the jars to a fridge and let it cool. In the fridge, the process of fermentation continues. This time, the pyschotrophic bacteria that thrive in cold environment do their job. Yogurt congeals and it also gets its distinctive sour flavor. Enjoy!
Tip: Yogurt gets better in the fridge day after day but keep in mind to use it within 14 days.
To ease the instructions of homemade yogurt, I prepared a short video (delicious bounty yogurt instructions also included!).
Varieties of recipes with yogurt are countless. My absolute favorite two are the yogurt with rye sourdough bread on my gluten days and bounty yogurt on my gluten-free days. In our kitchen, best recipes come from the leftover ingredients. And this is exactly how the bounty yogurt was born. A little bit of cacao powder and desiccated coconut and your healthy snack is ready in a minute.
Serves: 1 person
1 cup homemade yogurt
2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
4-10 tablespoons desiccated coconut (the more the better :))
1 squirt of liquid vanilla stevia (appr. 15 drops or sweeten to your taste)
1. First pour half of your yogurt into cup and mix it with stevia.
2. Add cacao powder and 2 tablespoons of coconut.
3. Pour over the second half of yogurt.
4. Again add cacao and desiccated coconut.
Or simply - mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle the porridge with some cacao nibs. I like to make the porridge in the evening and then leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, it is ready for my breakfast.
Have you ever made yogurt at home? How was it? What is your favorite way of eating yogurt? Tell me about your experience in the comment below.