Friday, April 29, 2016

Luna's gift... Yogurt

I have long admired people who make at home what most people buy at the grocery store.  When my friend Marion mentioned that she was making a batch of yogurt she had my rapt attention.  "It's not hard," she told me. I didn't believe her.

Yogurt is the Turkish word for milk that has been curdled with a lactic starter. It can be made from any kind of milk; cow, sheep, goat or even soy milk. Here in the U.S. we are used to eating yogurt made from cows milk, which is then thickened with things like modified food starch, gelatin, or carrageean. Yogurt made at home, without those thickening agents, may not have the same texture as what you are used to, but it is delicious and so good for you!

And it turns out that Marion was right, as usual.  I did some research on making yogurt with goat milk and gave it a whirl. It wasn't hard!

First I heated the fresh milk up to 185 degrees.  Then I chilled it back down to around 110 degrees.  Next I stirred some yogurt cultures (alternately I could have  used some plain yogurt from the grocery store) to a bit of the milk. This was stirred up well, then mixed  in to the rest of the warm milk.  Next it went into my marvelous yogurt maker, which keeps the mix at a nice even temperature. The magic number is around 110-115 degrees. The yogurt then incubates for 8-10 hours.

After that I popped it in the fridge. And then I tried it.

Mixed in with some fresh fruit... tangy, a little sweet, and just delicious.  I make yogurt myself all the time now.  I whip up amazing fruit smoothies, or I have it in a little bowl with a droozle of honey and a handful of walnuts.  Yogurt is full of beneficial bacterial called probiotics that are known to boost the immune system and aid in digestive health.

And it tastes great. 

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