Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fermenting Part 3

 This post we will discuss making homemade yogurt.  It's a simple process and a great way to have unique fermented cultures, as each different kind of yogurt you make at home will have different healthy bacteria.  I am currently using Bulgarian Yogurt, the cultured being purchased from Cultures for Health. You can click on my link on the right side bar to explore all the various yogurt cultures they sell.  The nice thing about this culture is that it is an heirloom variety and perpetuates from one batch to the next, making it very economical.  I have been using this one for almost 2 years.

The first step is heating your milk to 170 degrees.  I like making big batches, so I heat enough milk to fill a six cup canning jar.
 I like to use organic non-homogenized milk, as I avoid homogenized products due to their health risks (you can read more HERE).  Once the milk has been heated to 170 degrees, I then let it cool to about 100 degrees and add about 1 tsp (or a little more) of my previous yogurt for each cup of milk I use.  You have to wait until your milk cools before you add the yogurt or you will kill the ability of the yogurt to set.
 I then transfer my covered jar to my Excalibur Food Dehydrator, as it is large enough to hold my canning jar and I set it to 105 degrees for 4-5 hours.  If you do purchase a dehydrator, I recommend buying the one with a timer.  Side note: not only is this dehydrator great for making dried foods, but it makes yogurt making a breeze and is great for bread rising or keeping sourdough cultures going in this cool weather.
Here is my milk getting ready to go into the dehydrator.  Homemade yogurt will not be as thick as store bought (though you can thicken it by substituting cream for some of the milk), but it is delicious!  I often eat it plain, with a bit of fruit, or with maple syrup or one of my herbal simple syrups that I posted about earlier this month.

Homemade yogurt is delicious, easy to make, and full of unique cultures that will boost your immunity!  Have fun trying this recipe and be sure to check out all the yummy yogurt cultures at Cultures for Health.

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