Thursday, 17 November 2011

How to make yoghurt, yogurt or even yoghurt! No Easi-yo? Still Easi-as!

I like yogurt (no matter how you spell it) I just think its awfully expensive for what it is and I never know what to do with the containers when you ahve fininshed it. If you go through a litre a week, that's 52 containers a year to find a project for... I tried a few times to make it but ended up with a bacterial soup that I wasn't game to eat. Then I stumbled upon Easi-yo. Its a yogurt making system with a flask and containers that you buy and then use their powdered yogurt mix to make up cheap yogurt in various flavors. My issue was that when Aldi opened down the road they were selling a litre of Yogurt for the same price as the mixes - ready to go!

So the flask and containers were relegated to the back of the cupboard until last year, when I discovered a recipe that is really easy, cheap and gets me the results that I want!

Here's what I did...

I used Aldi's full cream milk powder (about $6 a kilo and I get about 5 lots of yogurt of of a bag) with a tub of cheap "what ever I feel like" yogurt (as long as it has LIVE cultures in it, it should work - if you use a flavored one, you will get a residual flavour in your yogurt.) and the Easio-Yo flask (white in the background) and the 1 litre container (with the red writing on it) that comes with it. Easi-yo units are about $20 and of course as soon as I bought mine I found one at a second hand shop for $5 - shop around they are available. 

I sterilize my container in the microwave by boiling about 2cm of waterin it for 2 minutes on full power. Since I am trying to cultivate bacteria, I want to make sure that its bacteria that I want to eat. This should kill the rest!! I also pop some water in the lid and zap that as well.

In the meantime, boil just over a lite of water in the jug to fill the flask with.


Tip the boiled water into the sink and fill the container up to about 1/3 with cool filtered water. Then add 2 cups of milk powder.

Put the lid on and shake to mix the milk powder with the water. Make sure there are no lumps in it.

Fill the container to within a centimeter of the top and add 2 tablespoons of the yogurt to the mix and stir or shake it in. The better distributed it is, the better your yogurt is going to be.

When the jug has boiled, pour the water into the flask so that it is level with the top of the red part of the inside of the flask. Too high and it will overflow. Too low and you wont have enough heat to make your yogurt.

Make sure the lid is on properly and gently lower the container into the flask being careful not to splash boiling water on yourself.

Pop the lid on the flask and leave it for 8-12 hours depending on how thick you like your yogurt.
Once it has reached the consistency you like, place the container (without the white flask part) of yogurt in the fridge to cool.
Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey and add fruit, syrups, muesli etc.

Some suggestions:
Vanilla: Add 1tsp vanilla essence, 1tbspn vanilla ice-cream flavouring and 2 tsp sugar. Mix well.
Strawberry: Add 2tbspn strawberry topping and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
Honey: Add 1tsp vanilla essence and 1 tbsp honey. Mix well.
*If you use skim milk powder the end result will be a thinner yogurt, more like the commercial product.
*For thicker yogurt use a good Greek yogurt as the starter, full cream milk powder and let it set for 18 - 24 hours.
*You can leave your yogurt to set for up to 24 hours before removing from the thermos and refrigerating.
*The longer you let your yogurt set, the more tart it will become.
*Use a couple of spoons of this yougart for your next batch. I find I need fresh yougart every 3rd batch as my yogart gets "stringy." Tastes great, just has a weird texture which freaks out my family!


Score card:
Green-ness:  3/5 Pretty green but not the greenest thing you can do to save the planet!
Frugal-ness: 4/5 Good frugal living - once you have the Easi-yo flask that is...
Time cost: Nice and quick - probably the same amount of time as to make a cupp a once you've dont it a few times!
Skill level: Super easy! Give it a go!
Fun-ness: Always fun to make things you can eat!!! 

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