My latest fun item in the kitchen is a yogurt maker. Why a yogurt maker? Well... it's a new year. My pants don't fit like they did anymore. ORrrr I can blame it on my age, but then again, I'm not *that* old. So eating healthier seemed the best and since I have a 6 year old yogurt monster, I figured it would just be easier to make it at home.
I won't tell you the machine I purchased since I don't get props from the company but I will say it has these cute little glass jars and a blue lid.
Now I've been making yogurt for the past few days with just 100% organic 100% full fat cow milk, and I have to say, it has come out great! No complaints from the 6 year old yogurt monster, especially if it's served in one of those "cute glass jars."
Then I remembered a fun thing I did a few years ago... make yogurt cheese! Hey, if I can make cow yogurt in 8 hours, the goat version is just as easy! The only problem is that my yogurt maker only makes 1 liter at a time. For decent cheese, you need at least 3.
Onwards to the... wait for it... goatyurt! It's EASY!! Especially if you have a machine!* If you don't have a machine, it sucks. Get a machine.
You will need 1 liter of organic goat milk. Ok, Ok... if you can't get organic, get the closest possible! Go to a farm stand (ours aren't open right now in the winter... so BOO on my end!) If all else fails, Trader Joe's, FTW! [And the husband doesn't get to protest that the parking lot is full of snow -- ed]
In a stainless steel or other NON REACTIVE pot, heat the milk to a boil. Remember to stir the milk frequently or even better... keep it moving with a slotted wooden spoon or spatula. NO hot spots in the milk. EVAR.
I bring my yogurt milk up to a boil... never a full boil, just to a boil. Remove from heat and put into a glass or plastic pitcher that you have CLEANED with soap and rinsed with boiled water.**
Cool the milk in the pitcher with a thermometer in it to 100 degrees. Yes, you must cool the milk or you will kill the live cultures you will add. 100 degrees is nice and cozy for lactobacilicus!
When you've hit your appropriate temperature you'll add 1/2 cup live cultured yogurt (non sweetened, not flavored etc., preferably organic) to your warm milk. Mix gently with your slotted spoon or spatula.
Then, using your handy dandy pitcher, fill those cute little cups to the edge and place in the incubator and incubate it for a minimum of 8 hours.
Remember, the longer you incubate it, the more tart the yogurt. The less fat milk you use, the thinner the yogurt.
After your set amount of time, you MUST refrigerate your yogurt for a minimum of 3 hours before enjoying. This gives the cultures time to slow down and the yogurt to 'gel' to the correct consistency.
NEXT ISSUE! CHEESE!
** Why boiled water? Because you are minimizing ANY microorganisms that will contaminate your yogurt and cheese. Remember, yogurt and cheese are living foods. Don't make your foods sick. You will only make yourself sick with them.