Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A little culture around here

There is something about not working, and having one child in school and the other the kind of child that (quite often) will entertain himself for a few hours with 4 lego blocks that is conducive to thought. I've had several thoughts recently that have actually turned into actions, which is fairly unusual for me (I typically have many, many thoughts and very few actions). One of these has been yoghurt.

I'm at the supermarket, and I see an EasyYo machine (really, its just a fancy thermos). It cost less than $20AUD and I'd just put about $10 of yoghurt tubs in my trolly, so it was a no brainer. You buy little sachets to make the yoghurt with, and I diligently made a sachet, and it was nice. But kinda sweet, and I didn't really feel like I was making it - I was just adding water and shaking and leaving. Which is great, if that's what you want, but I didn't. Also, it seemed odd to make yoghurt from powdered stuff when I really wanted more control over what was in it, and cheaper production given how much we eat. So, after a few minutes on Google, I gave it a go.

Its miraculous. Every time, I get thick, creamy, yummy yoghurt. Stick some topping on it, and the kids love it. Stick some sprinkles on that, and they go beserk. The other day, my eldest had yoghurt with strawberry & caramel topping and sprinkles. Blergh. Given there is only 2 tablespoons of sugar per litre of yoghurt, I'm happy to add a little topping every now and then, but it goes down just as well with fruit puree or berry coulis or passionfruit or honey.

So here's how I make yoghurt in my EasyYo!
  • Bring 900ml of milk to the boil, then turn it off. Once its cool enough to go in the fridge, chill it. You need to bring the milk to the boil to do something to the proteins (don't ask me what, but if you don't then it doesn't turn into yoghurt, it turns into nasty slop). But you also need to chill it so the temperature is right in the machine.
  • Tip your milk into the EasyYo container. Add 1/4c of your previous yoghurt (or any yoghurt really), 1/2c milk powder (or more - the milk powder makes the yoghurt thicker), and 2 - 3 tablespoons sugar. None is a bit sharp for us, 4 is too sweet. 2-3 makes something I can sweeten for the kids or use in cooking (although if I'm deliberately making it for cooking I'll use less). Shake it all up in the container.  Fill up your EasyYo with boiling water as it says, chuck your container in and seal it up.
  • I think our best yoghurt is when I leave it for 8-9 hours. It is fine left up to 12 hours, but tastes stronger. Once its finished, put the whole container in the fridge and leave it - ideally for a day. It needs to set in the container - its much creamier and thicker if you do.
You could easily do this with another set up - the EasyYo just keeps it at the right temperature for the right period of time with no fuss.  I'm guestimating a little, but with the cost of milk here (I can get full cream at $3 for 2 litres), a litre of yoghurt is costing me around $1.75, I think, a little more for skim milk, and then whatever else I put on top.

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