How to Make Your Own Yoghurt

A rave about Yogurt cannot help sounding somewhat like one of those too good to be true commercials where a miracle product claims to do all things with the minimum cost and effort.

What are the benefits of yogurt?

Yogurt’s claim is to be the almost perfect food. The reason? Yogurt contains nearly all of the 60 nutrients required daily by the human body. That’s not a bad effort for one item of food.

The protein that yogurt supplies is both complete and predigested. The lactic acid aids the assimilation of protein, calcium, and iron by the body. If all this sounds too good to be true, wait for the rest.

Yogurt, the wonder food for humans, assists the maintenance of essential bacteria in the digestive tract. This ensures that there are friendly bacteria to fight harmful bacteria and germs that bring disease and illness.

A scientific analysis of yogurt reveals that it has an antibiotic value equivalent to 14 units of penicillin, for every 8oz of yogurt. And that’s not all folks.

Yogurt synthesizes vitamins of the B family. These vitamins are known to be beneficial for hair, nails, skin, the nervous system and mental health.

The ability of commercial Yogurt to meet these requirements is dubious to say the least. This is because added preservatives and artificial flavorings destroy the natural qualities of Yogurt.

If you like to know what you are eating and gain maximum benefits from the Yogurt that you eat, you should make your own. All you have to do is heat 3 cups of low-fat milk with 1 cup of skim milk powder until quite hot, however, do not boil the milk.

Cool milk until lukewarm before blending in 3 tablespoons of commercial yogurt or yogurt culture. Incubate this mixture in a thermos or in jars kept near the pilot light of a gas stove. The yogurt will take about six hours to incubate and should have the texture of the custard when it is finished.

Incubation temperature is the most important aspect of making yogurt successfully. For the best results, a temperature between 105 and 120 degrees F is required.

Temperatures outside this range are either too hot or too cold for the culture to survive and multiply. If using a thermos to incubate the yogurt remember that the milk will retain the temperature of the milk that is put into it; If the milk is once again too hot the bacteria will die and you won’t have any yogurt.

Keeping jars of yogurt incubating beside the pilot light is the most unreliable method of making yogurt. For success every time we recommend the Breville Yogurt Maker. It is well worth the expense if you are serious about manufacturing it yourself.

Always sterilize the equipment before using it. Do this by scalding jars with boiling water, the yogurt tastes best if allowed to refrigerate one day before eating.

So, now that you have made some yogurt what are you going to do with it? Why not throw in some fresh fruit and honey. Or top a baked potato with yogurt and chopped chives. Add some to your marinades; it is a good tenderizer for meat.

Substitute it for milk in your favorite recipes, or use it as a salad dressing: Adding a little lemon juice and curry powder or tomato sauce and chili powder. Do it on your vegetables, raw or cooked, with chopped garlic mustard, pepper and salt. It is particularly nice with curried cucumbers, cooked cabbage or cauliflower, making them more nutritious and satisfying.

If you become bored with the endless variety of natural flavorings that can be added, then turn the yogurt into cheese by tying the yogurt in a piece of cloth and hanging over the tap in the kitchen overnight: Make sure the liquid has room to run out. From this cheese, an endless number of sandwich spreads can be made. The choice is yours.

BASIC YOGURT

  • 2½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons full-cream milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon commercial natural yogurt

Combine milk and powdered milk in a bowl, whisk well until free of lumps. Pour into a saucepan, scald (i.e. heat until ripples form on top of milk); do not boil. Remove from heat, cool to just above lukewarm (50°C or 122°F). Put commercial yogurt in a bowl, gradually add milk, whisk until well combined. The liquid should be lukewarm (41°C or 115°F). Strain liquid. Yogurt can now be set in an electric yogurt maker or vacuum flask.

Electric Yogurt Maker: Fill sink or saucepan with hot. not boiling water. Put in empty yogurt jar, making sure water covers the jar completely; let stand for 5 minutes. Remove from water, dry outside of jar only. Let stand until the jar is completely cold before putting in yogurt – this is important.

Turn on yogurt maker. Put yogurt mixture into the jar without a lid. Put the jar in the yogurt maker, put the cover of yogurt maker firmly in place. Leave without touching 5 to 6 hours or until set. Remove yogurt jar from yogurt maker. Cover with a lid, aluminum foil or plastic food wrap, refrigerate several hours before serving.

Vacuum Flask: Just before putting the yogurt mixture into a vacuum flask, rinse the flask out with hot water so that inside of the flask is still warm when the yogurt mixture is added. Seal firmly with lid. Stand overnight without moving, then refrigerate several hours before serving.

Note: Fruit and nuts can be added to this basic yogurt before eating; cooked pureed dried apricots, lightly mashed strawberries, passionfruit pulp, crushed pineapple, chopped hazelnuts and so on. Sweeten to taste, if necessary, after the fruit has been added.

LOW-CALORIE SKIM MILK YOGURT

  • ¾ cup skim milk powder
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon commercial yogurt (natural or non-fat skim milk yogurt can be used.)

Combine skim milk powder and water in a bowl, whisk until free from lumps, pour into a saucepan, proceed as for basic recipe.

SOUR CREAM YOGHURT

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons full cream milk powder
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon commercial natural yogurt

Combine milk, powdered milk and sour cream, whisk well until free of lumps. Pour into a saucepan, proceed as for basic recipe.

MALTED MILK YOGURT

  • 2¼ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons full cream milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons malt extract
  • 1 tablespoon commercial natural yogurt

Combine milk and powdered milk, whisk well until free of lumps. Pour into a saucepan, scald, remove from heat, cool to 50°C or 122°F. Stir malt over low heat until it becomes liquid (do not allow to boil), remove from heat, cool to lukewarm. Combine malt and milk, stir until well combined. (If malt is too hot, it will curdle milk.)

Put the yogurt in a bowl, gradually add malt liquid, whisk to combine well; the liquid should be lukewarm, 41°C or 115°F. Strain and pour into prepared jar or flask, proceed as for basic recipe.

Note: If you do not like too strong a malt flavor, reduce malt extract to 2 tablespoons only. Sweeten, if desired.

EVAPORATED MILK YOGURT

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons full cream milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon commercial natural yogurt

Combine evaporated milk, milk and powdered milk, whisk well until free of lumps. Pour into a saucepan, proceed as for basic recipe.

SWISS CHERRY MUESLI

  • 1 quantity of yogurt
  • ½ 470g (15oz) can cherries
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • ⅓ cup packaged muesli
  • ¼ cup sultanas
  • 60g (2oz) chopped mixed nuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Drain cherries, reserve ¼ cup of the syrup. Combine yogurt, cherries, reserved syrup and remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Yogurt loses its thickness when all ingredients are added, but re-thickens on standing.

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