Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt - garnished with fruitTo make homemade yogurt all you need is a half gallon of whole fat pastured fed milk and about a half cup of organic yogurt or a yogurt starter. We used the latter. If you do decide to use yogurt as your starter, avoid any flavorings and stick to plain, unflavored yogurts.

We are so amazed that we could do this. Why you may ask? Because we did not make it with a yogurt maker incubator. It was made with a crock-pot and the oven. Here is how it is done.

crockpot with fresh homemade yogurtUsing a crock-pot able to hold 4 cups of milk (1/2 gallon) pour milk into the ceramic bowel and place crock on low for 2 to 3 1/2 hours or until the milk reaches 180 degrees. Our crock-pot warmed the milk to 180 in about an hour and forty minutes.

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, this heating step is necessary to change the protein structure in the milk so it sets as a solid instead of separating.

Next, remove one cup of the warm milk, and incorporate the yogurt starter into the milk then add it back into the crock-pot and mix in well.

Heat the oven to about 200 degrees for about 5 to 10 minutes and turn the oven off. Remove the ceramic pot insert from the crock-pot heating element and with the lid on wrap the pot in a large towel. Place a cookie sheet on the center rack of the oven, and put the towel wrapped pot onto the cookie sheet.

comparing store bought Greek yogurt to homemade yogurtClose the oven door and turn inside oven light on (if your stove is electric – if gas, it is not necessary) and let the milk and starter incubate for up to 12 hours.

The towel will help hold the heat in, and turning on the incandescent light bulb will help maintain warmth in the oven. If your oven is gas, the small flame that is always lit will help maintain heat. 

jar of Homemade YogurtTo stop the process or the fermentation of the milk, remove the pot and unwrap it, putting the pot into the refrigerator for up to six hours and then transfer to a clean sterile jar.

The yogurt has a thin consistency like Yoplait or Dannon yogurtBut to get a thicker yogurt like Greek yogurt or possibly Bulgarian style yogurt, you need to put the yogurt into a clean cheesecloth and let the whey drip off.

In the dairy farm community, some farmers take the whey, which is mostly water with some lactose or milk sugars, protein, and yogurt cultures, and mixes it up with the cows’ feed.

Some dairy farms are now adding the whey to their anaerobic digesters, which is a septic tank for cow poo. By adding the whey to the manure and letting it brew to the point of releasing a stinky gas that is then converted into electricity.

One upstate New York farmer’s digester produces enough electricity to run the farm and sell some back to the grid (Consumerist).

Homemade YogurtThe whey from strained yogurt and even cottage cheese is an acid whey, also referred to as sour whey, and there is the sweet whey from cheese making. They two types of whey are used for many things, with two just mentioned.

Link here to a recipe using whey to make Lacto-fermented Applesauce.

Enjoy your homemade probiotic or cultured yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. We tried a little real maple syrup, and oh boy what a treat.

What Others Are Reading:

Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Norma has joined us again here at Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) to share more with us about the Tastes of Mexico (link here for previous post with Norma: Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference? ).

SRandM: So Norma, welcome again to Splendid Recipes and More.

Norma: Thank you. I am glad to be here again.

SRandM: I am really excited to get started, so tell us what you have for us today from Mexico.

Norma: I will be sharing a recipe on how to make Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa.

First I would like to tell you a little about the avocado, if I can?

SRandM: Sure Norma, I would like to know and I am sure our readers would too.

Norma: The avocado tree is native to Mexico. The avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America. The avocados that are sold in the markets are from California, but also from Mexico. The name of the fruit is Persea Americana, and yes the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Also the avocado oil that is now being sold at the markets in the U.S. is from Mexico as well.

OK, so let’s get with the recipe. Here is what you will need.

2 ripe Haas Avocados or Avocados from Mexico

1 medium ripe fresh tomato, seeded and diced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Juice from a fresh Lime

1 tablespoon (+ extra for garnish) fresh cilantro leaves only, and stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

So with a sharp knife, slice the avocado from top to bottom, cutting all the way around the fruit.  Place the avocado in the palm of your non-dominant hand and gently starting at the top slice down to the bottom of the fruit and up the other side until it easily separates into two pieces.

SRandM: If you don’t mind Norma here is an image I got from theamazingavocado.com.

Norma: No, please share it. Yes, as the image is illustrating remove the seed with a fork or spoon. Or as I do just whack the seed with the sharp knife your using so the blade sticks into it. Then gently turn the knife until the seed pops out.

How to cut an Avocado

Image Credit: Avocados from Mexico http://www.theamazingavocado.com

diced avocadoNow to dice the avocado, score the flesh while still in its skin but cutting equally sized slices from top to bottom. Then, rotate 90 degrees and do the same thing going side to side. This combination of horizontal and vertical cuts will give you equal sized chunks of diced avocado.

To remove the diced fruit from the skin, take yourself a spoon and gently scrape all on the bottom of the flesh where it meets the skin until all your diced chunks are removed. While you are removing the chunks place them in a medium bowl.

Next we will add the diced tomato, minced garlic, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the bowl and combine with a fork. If you want season with salt, pepper and additional lime juice to your liking.

Now you have Homemade Guacamole to serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or on its own with corn tortilla chips.Homemade Guacamole

SRandM: Wow this looks great Norma, now what about my favorite, Mexican Salsa. Yummy.

Norma: The traditional Mexican Salsa is made with an authentic Mexican Molcajete Mortar and Pestle.

SRandM: The molcajete is made from stone?

Norma: Yes, mostly from Granite. But I am sure most of your readers do not own one, so we will be using a food processor or blender to make our Mexican Salsa.

SRandM: If someone wanted to purchase one, where could they get a stone mortar?

Norma: Will at your local Latina Market or on-line at Ebay or Amazon. OK here is what you will need for the salsa. Oh, first I would like to say the best time to make this recipe is at the height of summer when there are plenty of fresh tomatoes available. If you have your own vegetable garden, that’s even better.

fresh ingredients for Mexican Salsa4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and seeded

2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled

Juice from 1 fresh lime (about ¼ cup)

1 – 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

SRandM: Wow I can already taste it.

Norma: OK hold on we’re not done yet. Now cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them into a blender or food processor.  Next add the garlic cloves and half the lime juice. Pulse until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Dice the remaining tomato into evenly sized small pieces. Stir into the tomato mixture so it creates a chunkier texture. If that is something you don’t like, don’t add the extra tomato. Next stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro and you can adjust this according to your personal preference or taste.

Mexican SalsaAdd the remaining lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

SRandM: What if you want a spicy or hot salsa?

Norma: You can add one to two Serrano chilies without the seeds and stem, along with the tomatoes before pulsing. Now serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or by itself with tortilla chips.

SRandM: Wow this was great Norma. What will you share with us next time?

Norma: How about Chicken Quesadillas to go with the Guacamole and Mexican Salsa?

SRandM: That sounds good, looking forward to it Norma. So to our readers we hope you enjoy the recipes Norma shared with us, Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa. Return tomorrow for her Chicken Quesadillas.

 Link to: Chicken Quesadillas

What Others are Saying About Guacamole and Salsa:

Enhanced by Zemanta