Yoghurt is a staple in my diet. I often buy yoghurt and muesli for breakfast from the cafe near work or from the supermarket up the road.
I was advised by a nutritionist to eat protein every meal when going through treatment because chemo reduces muscle mass and you need protein to help build it back up. High protein yoghurt was one of the recommendations as well as adding some skim milk powder to meals as an alternative to protein powder.
Bad news is takeaway or supermarket yoghurt comes in little plastic containers that I throw out at the end of the meal. So I started looking for an alternative.
‘My mother has been making her own for years because its cheaper than store bought and has encouraged me to get a special yoghurt maker available in supermarkets along with the sachets of yoghurt starter that compliment it.
Truthfully, I wasn’t keen. My mother makes THE worst coffee in the universe because it’s cheaper and I ain’t going there. Plus milk products don’t seem like something you want to mess with too much in case you get it wrong. Food poisoning sounds like less fun than cancer.
Having done a little research, it turns out it’s REALLY easy to make yoghurt.
On closer inspection I have worked out that the “special yoghurt maker” is basically a thermos that you add boiling water to and stand the mix of ingredients in for 8 hours. If you leave it longer it just turns into something more like ricotta, not poison!
In fact you don’t need special sachets either (which seemed to me just as much plastic as the tubs). They seem to be mostly powdered milk with some powdered yoghurt mixed in.
You just need milk and a little bit of leftover yoghurt to get you started.
Note here that some recipes I have seen talk about heating fresh milk to kill bugs. I don’t know about that, do your own research but I had leftover skim milk power in my cupboard, so I thought I could mix that up and give this a shot.
So there I was considering buying the purpose made thermos when, as often happens, the op shop provided. A brand new brand name thermos at a significantly reduced price. Couldn’t pass that up. Bonus recycling!!This whole experiment will cost me $5 and if it works out it will save me a small fortune as well as a large pile of plastic.
I have had a couple of shots at this now. Actually it all works surprisingly well.
I did end up buying a single sachet of the starter because my leftover yoghurt was a little long in the tooth (do you guys also sometimes leave food in the fridge you aren’t too sure about, not willing to throw it out yet but also not willing to eat it until you are absolutely sure it’s dead).
Instead of using the whole sachet I have used a couple of tablespoons mixed in with the skim milk powder and water. Then I made 2 batches with leftovers of the previous batch. My most recent batch I went back to the sachet because I think I approached ricotta with the last one and thought I would start from scratch again.
I have had mixed results in relation to consistency. A couple have been a little thinner than I would have hoped but tasted delicious and mixed perfectly with muesli or with a smoothie. One turned out a little grainy feeling. I think that might be the ricotta thing (I did leave that one out a long time, but I also ate it, still good, just stronger flavoured) …but the one after that was perfect.
Things to note…
The mixing process itself took about 45 seconds. Water, powder, lid, shake. Then you just leave it in a corner for 8 hours or more. Seriously easy.
Just in case you got inspired to get a bread maker because of my previous post… it turns out my bread maker has a yoghurt setting, so check yours out.
And an additional bonus is that Mum is now also experimenting with starting with leftover yoghurt instead of a new sachet every time. So less plastic from her too. YAY. Every little bit counts.
Want to give it a go? If you do let me know how. I would love to hear about it and get your tips.