It’s there anyone in the civilized world who hasn’t eaten yogurt? A quick snack or a breakfast mainstay, yogurt has been a “go-to” health food for decades. Or so we thought. It’s anything but if you’re a diabetic, or if you’re simply trying to eat a healthier diet.
Fruit-flavored yogurts are the most popular, and least healthy for diabetics. Not only is the lactose in yogurt a form of milk sugar, but fruit-flavored yogurts can contain over 46 grams of added sugar.
Even the sugar-free variety contains added ingredients, artificial sweeteners that taste sweet but add zero nutritional value. Many of us can’t fully digest such additives well, and then there’s the whole issue of eating anything artificial.
Which leads us, thankfully, with plain yogurt. Being plain, you have the opportunity to sweeten it with a whole host of options, and top it with even more. If you make a small investment and a bit of time, you can now easily and inexpensively, make your own plain yogurt.
Using the thermometer, heat 5C of milk (the instructions say 4C…we found we could easily push this to 5 for a slightly larger portion) to about 180F. While this is happening, fill your sink with ice water. When you’ve reached the right temperature, transfer the milk to a big metal bowl and float it in the ice water to cool it quickly. Again, using the thermometer, bring the temperature down to about 110F…this spot is clearly marked for you on the thermometer.
Transfer 2-3T of the milk into one of the yogurt containers. Add about 2t of plain yogurt you already have on hand. Put the lid on the container and shake it really well. Take the lid off and empty the contents into the cooled milk, and stir well (I use a whisk for this).
At this point, I like to pour the milk into a large Pyrex measuring class to distribute the milk evenly amongst the 8 containers. Put the tops on the containers, pressing down to get a good seal. Cover the container, and set the timer. We’ve found that 10 1/2 hours gives us the consistency and flavor we find most appealing. When ready, pop the caps, pour off any extra water and recap. Chill for a couple of hours and you’re good to go.
Note: the longer you let the yogurt “cook”, the firmer and more tangy it will be. To make a “greek sytle” yogurt, simply put a paper coffee filter in a small colander over a bowl, empty one to two containers into it, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Smoooooth…
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2013