05 Feb Homemade Yogurt
My supermarket infuriates me. I’d just recently given them a brownie point for finally stocking locally grown garlic instead of the ubiquitous, dried out, flavourless bulbs from China.
And now I’m taking it right back again for never having my favourite plain organic yogurt in stock.
Trip after trip, I encounter shelf upon refrigerated shelf of every yogurt imaginable: Mediterranean, zero fat, French vanilla, fruit bottom, Swiss style and — a great big gap where my product of choice should be.
So, I took control of the situation and bought myself a yogurt maker. If I run out of yogurt, I’ll have no one to blame but me, which means the chances are about 50-50 I’ll be hopping mad over fermented dairy by month’s end. But that beats the 80-20 odds at Zehrs.
Man, homemade granola AND homemade organic yogurt? What’s next, a macramé headband and chickens in the backyard?
Fortunately, Omega-3 eggs are readily available. The neighbours and the fashion-sensitive are safe for a while longer.
Now before you go out and buy a maker to thwart the local grocery store, there are a few things you should know. First, ignore the pretty picture on the box with the rainbow of fruit yogurts sitting in the maker. You have to make plain yogurt first. Fruit yogurts require a second step. And that’s too much for me, so I just dump plain yogurt on fresh berries (or at this time of year, frozen berries) and build breakfast from there.
Second, yogurt maker prices vary widely. I looked at high-end makers with plastic jars that cost $85, mid-range versions whose plastic jars come in varying sizes, but ended up buying a $32 Deni that makes 6 perfectly-sized portions in glass jars. I went for glass because heating plastic, even food grade, makes me nervous. The fact this model cost the least is a bonus.
Third, you need to factor in about 24 hours between making your yogurt and eating it. It has to incubate for 10 to 12 hours and then chill. The instruction booklet says to chill 3 to 4 hours, but overnight is best.
Have I scared you off? Come back! Despite the day delay, homemade yogurt takes only about 10 minutes of your time. And, if you follow a few guidelines, the results are just as good, if not better, than store bought. Without any additives.
Ah, but what are those guidelines? Food writer, Stephanie Stiavetti, recently posted a very thorough homemade yogurt how-to on her blog, Wasabimon. In fact, when my first batch was runny (and I followed the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter), her post provided me with the temperature control tips that made the batch pictured here turn out so well.
Great. Now I’m hungry.
Before I go, am I the only one who gets so ticked off at the grocery store they took matters into their own hands? Is there a product you love that you can’t get? If so, what did you do about it?