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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flo's Greek Yogurt

There are some days in the kitchen when I think of myself as the mad scientist, mixing various foods together - a little of this, a little of that and then magically I'll have a culinary treat. Yogurt is made by the bacterial fermentation of milk. Cows milk is the most commonly used but it can be also made with goats, sheep, camel or water buffalo (can you imagine milking a buffalo or camel?!!).

Greek Yogurt is my favorite kind of all, it's thick and creamy and when eaten with fruits or honey and nuts can be heavenly. I always start my day with a bowl of yogurt and fruit. It is so much cheaper to make your own if you can. Below is my version of greek yogurt without having to drain it through a cheesecloth. Mostly I use nonfat cow's milk and sometimes I will add a little vanilla or honey to sweeten it.

4 cups milk (any fat content - I use nonfat)
1 cup plain lassi, kefir or yogurt. (I prefer lassi - an Indian based yogurt drink. You have to love that it says it has 15 billion probiotic cultures per serving!)
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
*optional - vanilla (1 tsp), honey (2 tbsp.) or pureed fruit

That's all folks!

Important tools - candy thermometer, wooden spoon and whisk.

Now for the magic!

Pour your milk into a medium saucepan and heat on medium to medium high heat.
I keep an eye on my milk stirring frequently with a wooden spoon so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.

You want to bring the temperature of the milk up to 180 degrees and then shut the heat off and let cool.

Let it cool down between 110 and 115 degrees. I think it's comes out a little thicker when you mix the lassi or kefir in at the slightly higher temperature.

I take one ladle of the warm milk and mix it with the lassi or kefir to temper it. This is when the chemical reaction starts happening. Quickly pour it into the milk and then whisk in the powdered milk. If you want to add flavoring (honey, vanilla or pureed fruit) do it now, then pour the milk mixture through a sieve to make sure there aren't any lumps of powdered milk.

I invested in a yogurt machine which keeps the temperature an even 100 degrees. I Love my Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. It's fully automatic and will shut off after the alloted time.

Pour the milk mixture into individual jars or a bowl. Keep in a warm place overnight - a slightly warmed oven works, just wrap a towel around the bowl or jars. I put mine into my yogurt maker for 8 hours. Take the yogurt out, cover it with lids or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. It's ready to eat when it's cold. It makes 7 six ounce yummy servings of greek style yogurt. Eat it for breakfast or make a dessert by drizzling honey and walnuts over the top.

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