Learning I was lactose intolerant several years ago meant an end to consuming on of my favorite treats: yogurt. It’s active cultures are good for the belly, it’s an easily portable snack, and it’s versatile enough to never be boring. There are alternative milk yogurts available, but when I work to stretch each dollar it seems incredibly indulgent to spent more than $1 (on sale!) for a 5oz snack item.
The addition of goats to the farm meant a steady supply of milk, more than two people could consume in one day. One goat still has her baby, but he’s getting weaned this weekend or next so we’re about to double production. I’ve been reading up on ways to preserve the milk and knew I wanted to try my hand at yogurt making.
I found this cute little yogurt maker on Amazon and snapped it up. At less than $20 it will pay for itself in just three batches. It holds seven 6-ounce jars and comes with a recipe book for sweetening the batch with fresh fruit, jelly, etc. Making jellies means I can control sweetness and the lack of preservatives (eat within 7 days!) ensures good food goes into my body.
I made the first batch by the book and it turned out pretty great. I used apple jam I made a few seasons back and enjoyed one of my favorite treats for the first time in years. I learned that I need to up the quantity when using my jellies – it needed just a bit more sweetness. I put fresh fruit in the second batch and, well, it was sort of a disaster. The pineapple pieces released a ton of liquid through the bacteria growing process and the yogurt developed a cottage cheese like texture. It’s edible…but its not great. I used one serving to make a smoothie and that was good.
For this week’s batch I used vanilla and honey. I have yet to taste it but the roommate tells me its great – she says that about pretty much everything I make but I still choose to believe her! One jar was a little low so I threw in a few fresh strawberries and its texture looks good. I think I’ll hold off using pineapple in batches and just add it before eating the yogurt.
Food preservation takes place year round – it’s about more than canning vegetable, preparing sauces, and creating jellies. I’m thrilled with the yogurt making process – takes about an hour to prepare a batch then it sits on the counter all day developing bacteria. I bought a set of replacement jars so I can have a second batch working before we run out of yogurts. I’m so thankful to have this lovely food back in my life!