A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was getting a Yolife yogurt maker from the CSN family of stores and that one of you was going to get to win one, too. Well this is the week - the giveaway will start on Wednesday.
I received my yogurt maker last week and was very excited to try it out. You must remember, however, that I live in Nowhere, AZ, so I had to call quite a few stores and drive a bit to buy some yogurt starter. There are other alternatives; I could have used a store bought yogurt as my starter, but I like options.
The nice thing about this yogurt maker is that it comes with two lids. Can you see them on the box? The small lid fits over the seven 6 ounce jars that come with the maker. The larger lid allows you to make much larger quantities of yogurt using mason jars up to 1 quart in size. I chose to make mine in pint jars.
Here is what I did:
64 ounces milk
1 ounce yogurt starter (or 1/2 cup plain yogurt with active cultures)
Bring the milk to 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer to measure the heat). Allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees. Take 3-4 Tbsp of milk out of the pan and mix it with the starter in a bowl until smooth. Add the starter mixture back into the milk and stir until completely combined. Pour into your clean glass jars and place in the yogurt maker. Leave it in the maker 4-12 hours depending on the size of your jars and the kind of starter. (note to self, do not start at 2pm if it's going to take 12 hours!!).
There is a nifty clock dial on the top of this yogurt maker's lids that allows you to indicate when you started so that you can better keep track of the time.
Now that I had four pints of plain yogurt, what was I to do? Can you see it in the jar? That's the amount I saved to make another batch.
I took one pint and made yogurt cheese by placing it in cheese cloth within a strainer over a bowl.
After a 15 hours, it looked like this. Then I added 1/2 tsp stevia and 1 tsp of strawberry all-fruit jam.
It made a great spread for bagels and french toast.
I tried adding regular jam to another pint. My sons, the Yoplait lovers, thought it was too tart and too flavorless. Then I had an idea. I am a little ashamed to tell you what I added to the rest of the yogurt, but it worked. All five of my kids slurped up the remaining yogurt in 60 seconds flat. I added strawberry jell-o (about 1/3 of a big package to 1 1/2 pints).
Look at that artificially dyed and flavored kid heaven.
I am still working on a healthy concoction that the kids approve. I will let you know.
Now, I know that there is a way to make yogurt in the crockpot. My problem is that the milk has to be kept at a fairly low constant temperature and my crockpot was always too hot. It burned things on the low setting (and has since earned a place in the world's landfills). I know that there is also a way to make yogurt in a towel wrapped cooler. I don't happen to have one small enough.