Friday, June 8, 2012

Homemade Greek Yogurt

I am back after taking a bit of a break.  It seems that I can be too busy.  I have had time to do some projects just not time enough to post.  This week is my Algebra final, so my brain may again function normally.  My next set of college courses are much more artistic, to my relief. Now that I am home with my children I have time to spend on our family health and improve our eating habits.  One thing I decided to try is making my own Yogurt.  Once you have made yogurt there are several things you can make from it. 

I started with my favorite milk in a glass jar.  I made sure it was not Homogenized, which is a process to make sure it does not separate.  I wanted as little processing as possible for the best nutritional value.  You certainly can use your favorite milk you have always used.
One gallon of milk
1/2 cup of Whey or plain yogurt store bought, or yogurt starter.
Yes it is that simple.

 Put your milk in to a pan and heat to 115 degrees.  I used a candy thermometer but your wrist can give you a good indication of temperature. {You don't want it to boil, heat slowly}  Let it cool to just above body temp at 105.  Then add in your starter of choice.  I have made it from all three and it has always turned out.  I mix the yogurt starter in some milk and add it in. Or just add in your plain yogurt.  Whey can be made when you drip yogurt to make Greek yogurt or cream cheese.{ shown below}  Once you add in your starter and mix it. You will want to cover it and set in a heater place.  Using a towel to cover on a heat pad over night or in a lightly heated oven.  I heated my oven and turned it off then placed the crock in.  By morning I had a gallon of yogurt.
Here is how you make Greek yogurt.  Once your yogurt is made use a coffee filter in a strainer, cover with wrap and place in the fridge all day.  It drips off whey that can be saved in a glass jar for some time.  It can also be frozen for use later.  Whey is a pro biotic food and is great to add over foods your family eats.  I put a spoon full over vegetables and in soups.  It can also be used for Lac to Fermenting foods. It is a way of saving money on buying pro-biotic pills, use whey in drinks or over foods instead.  

Why Probiotic foods?
Pro-biotics are beneficial gut flora that breaks down your food and feeds the cells.  This bacteria is very important in the digestive system to utilize nutrients from your foods.  Adding in fermented (pro-biotic) Foods helps your digestive system work more smoothly. {I am sure you have seen the yogurt commercials}  I wanted to make my own yogurt to ensure it had only healthy ingredients.  It is easy to add fruit and honey to it.  
Here is a resource on Probiotic foods.

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