Friday, February 4, 2011

I Put the Yo in Yogurt

I am never am more dissatisfied than when standing in front of the yogurt section of the grocery store.  I really like yogurt, but I'm just less and less satisfied by the selection.  There was a brand we got for a few years that was really good.  It had live active cultures, lower amounts of sugar and only 3 natural fruit flavored varieties.  But eventually the product was moved out to make way for new product.  All that's left are "kid's" yogurts full of sugar, artificial colors and, stabilizers, or the "health" yogurt full of artificial sweeteners, unnatural fiber and whatever else is the "in" ingredient this month in health magazines.

So I've gotten increasingly more curious in making my own yogurt.  I've read the different techniques for jury rigged yogurt makers using crock pots or heating pads, but when I came across a thermostat-controlled yogurt-maker at the thrift store for $8.50 I had to get it.  I'm the type that will often try and "make do" with what I already have when trying something new--but when things go wrong you are left wondering if it was the makeshift parts that were wrong or the project itself was a bad idea.

Also, at a price of $8.50 if I don't like it I can just give it away again, and since I bought it used there's no consumer guilt. For the price of one movie ticket I can get my fill of kitchen experimentation and if I decide it's not for me--then no big loss.  

Luckily, it's been working out really well.   I've tried using store bought plain yogurt as a starter, and I ordered some powdered starter when I bought Jeremy's cheesemaking kit. (I picked up some buttermilk starter as well--might as well while I was already paying for shipping.)

Owen particularly loves the whole process--including choosing which kind of jam he wants to stir into his yogurt for extra flavoring. 

My homemade peach syrup is delicious in it as well (though next time I make that syrup I will be altering the recipe to add less vanilla--I think the canning intensifies the flavor).

Like a lot of other products--the consistency of homemade yogurt is different from that of store bought.  Most of the time we go through a transition period with change (no matter what kind) but then find that the change becomes the new "normal."  I'm waiting for Jonas to warm up to the yogurt a bit more.   He usually has a few bites and that's all, but Jeremy and I love it.  Jeremy says it reminds him of the yogurt in France. 

Europe also had delicious drinkable yogurt. We were wondering recently what we might do to produce some of that delicacy.  I love that Jeremy is and always has been a willing partner in crime within our kitchen.  It makes food a whole lot of fun. 

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Have you tried any new real food recently?  I love to get new recipes.  Leave a comment here to share your real food recipes.

Real food is just what it sounds like: real ingredients, fruits, vegetables, milled grains, basic dairy products, things in forms close to the way they can be found in nature. (We don't  take ourselves too seriously --if a recipe is made from combining the  ingredients from six tin cans--we are probably not interested--but if  you have an ingredient here or there that is typically on the "do not  invite" list we'll still be your friends-- 'cause we do it too.)

If you've blogged your recipe grab a "Real Food Friday" badge for you post or sidebar and leave us a link in the comments.  If you don't blog.  Link to an online source of the recipe and leave a comment telling us about it.  See you back for the next Real Food Friday in a fortnight.

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