Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Do You Make Your Own Yogurt?

I know there are a number of cruisers (and land-lubbers) who make their own yogurt but I had not had a chance to connect with one for a lesson - until Antigua.  Thanks to Lann on Barefoot Life, I had a lesson, purchased some (cheap) equipment and we are now happily eating our own yogurt onboard Mowzer.

Don't get me wrong - we've always been able to find store-bought yogurt on all the islands, but sometimes the choice is pretty slim for some rather pedestrian brands.  This homemade yogurt makes a delicious greek-style yogurt that you can flavour as you like.

Below is the method that Lann taught me, if you'd like more info on this there is an excellent post on The Boat Galley by Carolyn Shearlock.

Gather your tools and supplies:

  • A thermos - I like a wide mouth one
  • Whole milk powder
  • A thermometer
  • Yoghurt starter (more on that below)
  • A measuring cup
  • Water

Boil up enough water to fill your thermos.  Cover it and set aside for a few minutes to warm the thermos.

 Meanwhile, mix together 1 1/4 cups of milk powder with 1 1/4 cups (or less) of cold water.

Once the thermos is warm remove the water to another container - you will use it in just a moment.

Pour the milk into the warm thermos.

Now add the hot water back to the milk, carefully measuring the temperature to reach 120 degrees F.

Add about 2 tablespoons of your starter yogurt to the mix and stir to blend it all together.

Cover the thermos and place it in a warm place for about 5 hours.  I wrap mine up in a towel as well since the lid is not well insulated.

After about 5 hours check your yogurt to see if it's thickened and set.  You can leave it a bit longer but if you leave it too long it will become bitter.  I find 5 hours works well for me but it will depend on how well you keep the temperature nice and warm for it to develop.

Et voila!  This batch makes two 35cl containers of delicious plain yogurt - all ready for some fresh fruit flavouring.

A note on starter:
Lann gave me a couple of tablespoons of starter on my first batch and now I just use the last couple of tablespoons from each batch to start the next.  If you loose your starter or are starting out fresh, you can use store bought yogurt to get you going but you do need to make sure that it has a live culture and no gelatine in it.  Fage is a brand recommended to me and the article referenced above on The Boat Galley has other suggestions as well.

Now if only we had freezer space for a frozen treat!