How to use homemade yogurt

Sep 12, 2013 1

greek-yogurt-h

(Greek yogurt with diced pineapple)

How to use homemade yogurt

So you just made a batch of fresh, homemade yogurt from our other post here.

“So I made this 1/2 gallon or gallon of yogurt. That’s a lot! What do I do with it?”

What don’t you do with it? I mean this could be a seriously long post, and I don’t think I feel like typing that much really 🙂 Let’s just cover some of the basics and then you can roll with it from there.

Greek yogurt

One of the most popular types of yogurt today is Greek yogurt, and for good reason. Pint for pint it has a lot more protein in it than regular yogurt (about double). It’s also thicker making it a suitable sour cream substitute.

“Well, I just made regular yogurt not Greek yogurt.”

That’s right, but all Greek yogurt is is strained regular yogurt (what you just made here.) With one more step and some extra hours you can take your regular yogurt and make Greek yogurt and have some whey left over!

Here’s what you do. Depending on how much yogurt you want to strain get a sufficiently sized bowl. Rubber band some (about 5-8) layers of cheesecloth to the top of the bowl (with some slack in the cheesecloth). Pour your yogurt onto the cheesecloth and wait. 2-4 hours later (depending on how thick you want it) scrape the yogurt off the cheese cloth into a dish and you’re done. You now have a plain Greek yogurt. Us this anywhere sour cream is called for as a high protein substitute. DON’T throw away the whey! Like buttermilk, yogurt whey is just the byproduct of the process, but whey too is a liquid gold and is very versatile in the kitchen.

Yogurt cheese

Mmmm cheese. Did you know you can turn yogurt into cheese? The process is identical to the process above for making Greek yogurt only let the yogurt strain on the cheesecloth longer. To get a good yogurt cheese, let the yogurt strain for anywhere from  6 to 12 hours depending on how thick you want it. Scrape off the cheesecloth and chill in the fridge. You now have a yogurt based cream cheese substitute! Allow for about 1 cup of yogurt for every 1/3 Cup of yogurt cheese you want to end up with (that’s how much whey we strain out)

Flavored Yogurt

Plain is pretty yummy, but most people aren’t going to sit down to a bowl of plain yogurt. Add some flavor! The limits here are up to your imagination. Puree some strawberries and add a little local raw honey and stir it in. Stir in a tablespoon of organic, no sugar added fruit jams. Put 1 tablespoon of local honey and a splash of vanilla extract. Mash up some blueberries and some banana and stir it in. The point is it’s all just real food you’re adding and it’s awesome! You’re flavoring options are limited to only what ingredients you can find.

Whey!

This probably will become it’s own post shortly and will link to it soon.

UPDATE: Frozen Yogurt! (10/10/2013)

I’m not sure how I left that out of the initial post! Pretty simple on this one if you have a homemade ice cream maker. Add yogurt and flavorings in to the ice cream maker and follow the directions that came with it. Yumm! I healthy treat for the family!

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How To Make Homemade Yogurt

Sep 10, 2013 0

finished-yogurt-h

How to make homemade yogurt

The health benefits of yogurt (some of which we discussed in our post about cultured dairy here) are many. Today it is or already has become one of the new “it” foods. Just look at the grocery store, there’s probably one aisle dedicated to yogurt and cheese. The variety and type of yogurt seem endless;

“Do I buy kefir, or do I buy Greek?”

“What about goat’s milk yogurt?”

“Swedish yogurt? I don’t even know what that is!”

“2%, fat free, whole, ….raw!?”

With that kind of selection why make your own yogurt? Well, maybe you’re just obsessed with knowing how everything is made and trying to make it yourself (or maybe that’s just me.)

Control

Well, the main reason to make your own yogurt is sugar. To a lot of people, plain yogurt just doesn’t taste that good, so how do you sell it? Add sugar! Mmmmm, yummy, “now they’ll buy it!” The problem is depending on type and flavor, there’s quite a bit of sugar in these. A  cup of a major name brand has 26 g of sugar (a 12 oz Coke has 39 g)! The little plain yogurt that I use some of as a starter has 15 g and we don’t even use the whole thing. Plus that little bit of yogurt makes a 1/2 gallon of yogurt. One of the main points of yogurt and that the bacteria eat the lactose (dairy sugar) and convert it to lactic acid (tangy yumminess!). Then we go and add refined sugar back into it so that it “tastes better.”

Also, as is the case with all do-it-yourself recipes, there’s ingredient control. Want to know what quality of milk your yogurt started out as? Want to know how many (or few) live active cultures are in your yogurt? How about which and how much of those sweeteners are used? Well, we should want to know all of this, and making it at home you get to decide what does and does not go in.

But really, it’s cheap, it’s EASY, and it’s amazingly good! Maybe it’s even a little fun doing the process right in your own kitchen that is THOUSANDS of years old (if you’re a history buff and/or love geeking out on useless info check out this history of yogurt on dairygoodness.ca)!

There’s many ways to make yogurt (the variety is in the details), but the science is simple. Heat the milk to prepare the whey proteins. Cool the milk a bit to not kill the incoming bacteria. Add bacteria. Let it sit while bacteria multiply. Stop bacteria from multiplying. That’s it, easy right?

Here’s the method and tools I use.

To start, put your half gallon of milk in a sauce pan on low heat (we’re trying to heat the milk without scalding it). Using a thermometer like this one we use, heat the milk to 190°.

 

Heat milk

(the fat floats to the surface when the milk is not homogenized.)

 

Once at 190°, we need to quickly cool it down to 120°. I do this by “floating” the 3qt pot in a 8qt pot will some ice water in it and whisk until cooled to 120°.

 

Float to cool

 

Whisk the yogurt and the pectin in well and then divide the yogurt into the two 1qt jars.

 

whisk it in

yogurt jars

Place the jars in an igloo style lunch box and fill with HOT tap water (tap water needs to reach temp of about 120° and mine sits right at 120° on full heat). Once filled with water up to the line on the jar where the top of the yogurt reaches, cover the lunch box and let sit for 4-8 hours.

 

in igloo

 

The longer it sits, the stronger the tangy yogurt flavor will be. When it’s ready, take the jars out, dry them off, and whisk the yogurt in the jar (the whisking helps stop the culturing process). Put the jars in the fridge and let cool. When cooled, you have 1/2 gallon of awesome yogurt!

Great! Now what do I do with it? This post was for the why and the how. See our post here for what to do with it.

Homemade organic plain yogurt
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This yogurt is probiotic rich full of live active culture. When made with non-homogenized milk it's even extra creamy. It's delicious and great for you! This recipe uses yogurt as the starter. You can use a starter culture but follow the recipe on the box if it varies from this recipe. Additional yogurt and/or a little powdered milk can be used to make this even thicker, but this is how we like it as is.
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Homemade organic plain yogurt
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This yogurt is probiotic rich full of live active culture. When made with non-homogenized milk it's even extra creamy. It's delicious and great for you! This recipe uses yogurt as the starter. You can use a starter culture but follow the recipe on the box if it varies from this recipe. Additional yogurt and/or a little powdered milk can be used to make this even thicker, but this is how we like it as is.
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Gallon milk 2% or Whole (organic, non-homogenized, low-pastuerized at best)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Yogurt organic (must be plain)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Pectin Liquid
Servings: 1 Cup
Units:
Instructions
  1. Heat milk over medium to medium-low heat to 190 F. Stirring frequently so as not to scald the milk.
  2. While milk is coming up to temperature prepare a cold water bath in a larger pot that you can float the pot with the milk in it.
  3. When milk is at temperature float it in the cold water bath and whisk milk until it has cooled to 120 F
  4. Once at 120 F whisk in the yogurt and pectin and divide into two 1 qt jars.
  5. Place the jars in the igloo type lunchbox and will to top of yogurt with 120 F water. My tap water, at it's hottest, is right around 120 F and yours probably is too. If so just use your hottest tap water.
  6. Close the lunchbox and let it rest for 4-8 hours. Yogurt will become tangier the longer it incubates.
  7. When done incubating, remove jars and whisk the yogurt to begin to stopping of the culturing process and then refrigerate. Yogurt is ready to eat when chilled.
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Homemade Cultured Butter and Buttermilk

Sep 3, 2013 1

finished-butter-h

Homemade cultured butter and buttermilk

The joys of real buttermilk. Sometimes I make butter just because we’re out of buttermilk (joking, but I have been tempted.) When I first realized that buttermilk was just the liquid that separates from the fat when you make butter I ran out and got a couple pints of the common brand name cream that is available here and ran home and (after a little research for instructions) made butter. I chilled the buttermilk and made my usual pancake recipe with it……epic fail! Total disaster. They were so salty we couldn’t eat them. What!? Isn’t buttermilk supposed to make pancakes and waffles insanely better? Now I was on a mission to figure this out. Turns out, there’s A LOT to it.

Some notes:

  1. You want to start with cream from grass-fed or mostly grass-fed cows (see here for why).
  2. You want to start with cultured cream (see here for why).
  3. Try to find an organic cream that is ideally low pasteurized, else pasteurized, if not, then ultra pasteurized in that order. The lower the temps used in the pasteurization process the better for dairy proteins.
  4. If you have awesome grass-fed organic raw cream then you’ve got a whole different process to follow. This post deals with pasteurized cream and inoculating it with yogurt. Your raw cream should culture on its own.

Once you have the right kind of cream and have it prepped, you’re ready to churn.

 

 

“Chuuurn baby, churn!” No? That could be your new theme song that you play while making butter…just a thought. You can just leave that playing while you finish reading (you know you want to.)

Give it some culture!

Let the cream sit until room temperature. In a very clean mixing bowl lightly whisk the yogurt and cream together. Cover air tight and leave on the counter for 12-24 hours. I tend to lean towards the 12 hour mark. The longer it cultures the more “soured” the flavor comes out to be. If you’re new to cultured butter, 12 hours might even be a little strong for you. After about 12 hours your cream will look similar to this when lightly sloshed:

 

cultured-cream

 

Once cultured, put the cream in the fridge for 3-5 hours and chill to stop the culturing process. If you have an electric mixer with a metal bowl put it in the freezer for an hour before beginning. Your mixer might also have a cold water bath accessory you can use. Keeping the cream chilled will aid in keeping the butter firm while kneading it later.

Time to make the butter

Remove cream from fridge and whisk it to blend it back together and pour it into the chilled mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on to a low speed (I set my lift bowl stand mixer to speed 2). You’ll prefer a slow churn. Your butter comes out silkier, softer, and easier to spread. Churning at high speed seems to toughen the butter up a bit. Let it sit churning, for a long time, churning away at low speed (you can introduce churning theme song here)(this can be 45 minutes to an hour churning)(at about 30 minutes start checking regularly) once the cream is ready to start separating it will happen quickly and can potentially make a mess of your kitchen if you don’t have a splatter guard set up (at speed 2 mine doesn’t make a mess, so no splatter guard in the pictures.) The following are pictures just before separation and after separation and a video of that whole stage.

 

whip-cream

butter-buttermilk

(notice the yellow color of the fat)

 

 

Once the buttermilk and butter have separated, pour through a Fine Mesh Strainer over a bowl to catch the buttermilk. Knead butter in the strainer with a spoon or spatula to squeeze out the buttermilk. I love these silicone spatulas as it’s very easy to scrape butter off of them. Try to get every last drop of buttermilk (it’s liquid gold! (culinarily speaking that is)). Pour buttermilk into a mason jar and put it in the fridge.

 

drain-buttermilk

buttermilk

jar-buttermilk

Don’t forget to rinse it!

Now you need to rinse the butter. If you leave any of that buttermilk in the butter it will spoil quickly. To rinse, put the butter back in the mixer bowl and add some ice water (ice included is OK) back into the bowl and mix it at speed 1; this will knead the butter and rinse out the buttermilk. I cover the mixer bowl with something similar to this stainless steel splatter screen and pour the water out.
Repeat this step 2-4 times until the water remains fairly clear. You can also just put the butter and ice water in a bowl and get your hands down in there and knead it yourself.

 

rinse-butter

rinse-water

(water is mostly clean though the butter on bottom of bowl makes it look less clear)

 

When it’s finally rinsed I like to put the butter in a cheesecloth and wring it out compressing the butter and forcing the remaining liquid out.

 

wringout-butter

 

You can leave the butter unsalted, or at this stage you can knead in some salt by hand. You can also put it in your butter dish and let it warm up a bit and then mix some salt into the butter with a fork. Just a pinch or two of salt will be enough to enhance the flavor.

Any recipe for pancakes, cornbread, or waffles…etc that calls for milk you can now substitute 1 for 1 with your new cultured buttermilk and taste the amazing difference. Also, you’re getting the added bonus that this buttermilk is probiotic and full of healthy for your gut bacteria…awesome.

 

finished-butter

 

Again, don’t make this a staple of your diet. Real, traditional, healthy butter is good for you, when eaten in the correct amounts.

Enjoy!

Homemade Cultured Butter and Buttermilk
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This is our method for making tangy homemade cultured butter and buttermilk. However much cream you start with, you will end up with roughly half of it in butter and the other half in buttermilk. In this case our 2 pints of cream become 1 pint of butter and 1 pint of buttermilk.
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Homemade Cultured Butter and Buttermilk
  • 1
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Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
This is our method for making tangy homemade cultured butter and buttermilk. However much cream you start with, you will end up with roughly half of it in butter and the other half in buttermilk. In this case our 2 pints of cream become 1 pint of butter and 1 pint of buttermilk.
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Pint of butter
Units:
Instructions
  1. Let cream sit on counter until at room temperature.
  2. In a very clean mixing bowl whisk the yogurt into the cream.
  3. Cover air tight and let cream sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  4. When finished with the culturing process, but the bowl for your mixer in the freezer and the bowl of cream in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  5. Attach mixer bowl to mixer and pour the cream in.
  6. Begin churning the cream on low speed (2).
  7. Churn the cream for about 45-60 minutes, but after 30 minutes check it regularly as once the cream is ready to separate it happens quickly.
  8. When butter and buttermilk have separated, pour both into a fine mesh strainer over a clean bowl to catch the buttermilk.
  9. Knead the butter in the strainer a little bit and pour out (into the bowl) any buttermilk on the surface of the butter.
  10. Pour buttermilk into a mason jar and chill in the refrigerator as the buttermilk is done at this point.
  11. Put butter back in stand mixer along with plenty of ice water and run at low speed for about 30 seconds. Using a fine mesh splatter guard (or something else you have) pour out the water. Add in more clean ice water and repeat. This will rinse the remaining buttermilk out of the butter.
  12. Once completely rinsed, put butter in a cheesecloth and wring out as much of the water as you can. You can also knead it with wooden or silicone spatulas to knead out the water.
  13. Once all the water is removed store your butter in a butter jar or mold and let it chill in the refrigerator (to set the mold if using one). Now the butter is done.
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Homemade Basic Mayonnaise

Aug 20, 2013 0

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Homemade basic mayonnaise

First I would start by getting a food processor if you don’t have one yet. I have and love this one: 12-Cup Food Processor

This isn’t the most healthy hippie mayonnaise (that’ll get posted later though) due to the oil of choice. While processed and depending on the brand, potentially having vegetable oils added to it extra light olive oil is essentially flavorless. That mild flavor is what make this taste not like oil, but citrusy and bright.

If you’re a fan of mayonnaise (or even if you’re not a fan, but are tired of being made fun of) and would like to taste how amazingly rich and bright real homemade fresh mayonnaise can be this is a great recipe to begin with. My wife is usually a “mayo avoider”, but this one even she will eat.

There are better oils to use, but the flavor will not be exactly the same. That’s not to say they’ll taste worse, but just different. Avocado and coconut oils are favorites to experiment with.Many (most?) mayonnaise recipes call for adding mustard. I prefer my mayo without any mustard though. If I also want a mustard flavor in my dish I’d add some separate. It’d be hard to make a blue cheese dressing with mustard flavored mayo.

You can also add herbs, spices, even chopped pickles (if you’re disgusting and like pickles that is) no offence)). You can also get crazy and experiment with using different oils or combinations of oils. Do not use all of any oil that will solidify in the fridge or your mayo will become plastic until it reaches room temperature again. Using mayo as a base you can get into making all sorts of different remoulades and aiolis.

*Raw eggs

OK, so I personally don’t make my mayo with raw eggs. There’s a need in my house at the time to cook them so I just avoid it at the moment. If you have the right kind of eggs this would be perfectly safe to use a raw egg in this recipe. Raw eggs have higher nutritional content than cooked eggs. There’s a good in depth look at the nutrition information in raw/cooked eggs on this article at www.whfoods.org. I get my eggs from Farmer Goose here locally in Phoenix. To find fresh pastured eggs near you you can use either of these internet resources www.localharvest.org and www.eatwild.com

If you don’t have safer eggs to use and/or just want to avoid them raw altogether you can still make mayo at home by simply tempering the egg. This brings the egg to just hot enough to kill the potential threat, but leaves the eggs still runny and not yet scrambled (have a couple extra eggs available if this is your first attempt at tempering eggs as you may end up with a scrambled egg or two at first.)(have a tortilla ready for breakfast burritos just in case.)

*If you’re going to make this recipe with raw eggs then you MUST have all ingredients at room temperature.

If you’re going to temper your egg as I do then I recommend using a double boiler like this Sauce Pan with Double Boiler. If you do not have one you can improvise with holding a mixing bowl over a pot of hot steaming water on the stove (be careful of the hot stream and your hand holding the bowl)

Put 1/4 Cup olive oil in a food processor and add the tsp of salt. If using the egg raw add it and your acid here as well and skip the next step.

Combine the egg and acid in the double boiler and whisk together until egg is just thickened (there is a fine line here between just thickened and scrambled.) Once thickened remove quickly from double boiler and pour into food processor that already has salt and oil measured into it. Your egg may scramble if this isn’t done quick enough.

 

whisk-egg

 

Put food processor lid on and mix the oil, salt, acid, and egg together for about 30 seconds.

 

process-egg

process-mayo

 

If you have a Kitchen Aid food processor, or your processor has a pusher that has a small hole on the bottom of the pusher (shown below) this must have been designed to make mayonnaise.

 

pour-hole

 

Slowly pour the remaining 1 C olive oil into the top of the pusher and that hole will allow the oil to stream/drip out just slow enough to make mayonnaise. If yours doesn’t have the hole in the pusher then you must pour the slowest steady stream of oil into the processor as it is running as you can (it should take 3-4 minutes). If the stream is too fast the mayo will not emulsify. I don’t believe there is such a thing as too slow.

 

pour-oil

 

Once the 1 C of oil is incorporated let food processor run another 5-10 seconds and stop. All done!

 

processed-mayo

 

Put your mayo in a Wide Mouth Mason Jar 1 pint. If you typically go through your mayo quickly then just let chill in the fridge and enjoy.

 

finished-mayo

 

If you’re a slow mayo user like me then I use my Vacuum Sealer (mine’s an older model, but I’d get that today.) with the Wide-Mouth Jar Adapter and vacuum seal the mayo to increase it’s fridge life.

 

seal-mayo

 

You can also try adding in some whey to increase it’s fridge life (especially if you don’t have the vacuum sealer). The good bacteria in the whey will fight off the bad bacteria that would cause the mayo to spoil. I’ve heard you can also lacto-ferment the mayo by adding the whey and leaving it out on the counter for several hours resulting in a probiotic enzyme rich mayo.

 

Done. Enjoy!

Homemade Basic Mayonnaise
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This is our homemade basic mayonnaise. It has a fresh and bright flavor especially due to the lemon juice and the virtually flavorless oil. This is a great mayonnaise to try to transition off of store bought mayonnaise. It is very close to store bought flavor and consistency, yet on a whole new level at the same time.
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Homemade Basic Mayonnaise
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This is our homemade basic mayonnaise. It has a fresh and bright flavor especially due to the lemon juice and the virtually flavorless oil. This is a great mayonnaise to try to transition off of store bought mayonnaise. It is very close to store bought flavor and consistency, yet on a whole new level at the same time.
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 1 Tbsp (aprox)
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler whisk together the egg and lemon juice.
  2. On low to medium low heat temper the egg with the lemon juice until it just starts to thicken. If it starts to scramble it's over done. Skip this step if you intend to use a raw egg.
  3. In a food processor ad the 1/4 cup of oil, the lemon juice and egg mixture, and the salt and mix together well for about 30 seconds.
  4. Keep the processor running and drizzle in the remaining 1 cup of oil. Do this with the slowest steady stream of oil you can. 1 cup should take about 2-3 minutes to drizzle in.
  5. Once all the oil is added the mayo should be complete and you'll have a beautiful emulsion. Chill this in a glass jar in the refrigerator and enjoy when chilled.
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