I made this. If I can do it, so can you (I am not known for my technical expertise). It tastes wonderfully-different from anything I can buy in a plastic pot. And ’tis joy-supreme not to be adding to the plastic-pot recycling mountain in my hallway.
I stopped making yogurt after being diagnosed as lactose-intolerant last autumn, but I missed all those zillions of friendly bacteria in my gut. I know I could have made it with soya milk, which I do love (in tea and on oats) but somehow could not bring myself to embrace in yogurt.
So I figured I would experiment with my lactose-intolerant boundaries. For surely my fellow lactose-intolerant eastern-european/middle-eastern ancestors ate yogurt? As a fermented food, yogurt is pre-digested so must be easier to tolerate. Is there a nutritionist in the house? What do you think?
Anyway, on a gut level (so to speak) all I know is my intestines smile when yogurt comes its way, saying hi in a welcoming way. Unlike with milk, which feels too viscous and hard work for my sensitive insides.
Now let me introduce you to my friend, the yogurt-maker. This fairly low-tech device that costs about £20 to buy and pennies to run has enabled me to become yogurt-literate.
You can’t see from my pic but the plastic yogurt-maker has a plug. That’s how it works: switch it on and the yogurt-maker keeps the warmed-milk-that-will-be-yogurt at an even.
Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall says a wide-mouthed warmed flask does the trick and ditto, a towel to wrap it up in and a radiator – but it’s the nifty yogurt-maker for me.
I say low-tech because it does not switch itself off after the regulatory eight-hours. So it does take planning. I have to ask myself before starting: will I be here in eight-hours to turn off the device?
Here are the ingredients you need to make longevity-boosting yogurt:
1.5 pints (850 mls) of organic milk
2 teaspoons of of natural, bio-live, organic yogurt (or from your last yogurt batch)
You have to boil the milk until it bubbles to get rid of bad bacteria and then let it cool down to blood-temperature i.e. I stick a clean finger into the cooled-down milk and it feels pleasant and warm – not scalding-hot or, at the other extreme, brrrrr on the chilly side.
I found this operation the most taxing because after the novelty of testing too-hot milk wore off, I then forgot all about the cooling milk and by the time I remembered, it wasagain. So my top tip is: try to keep conscious of time as the milk cools.
Once the boiled milk has cooled to blood-temperature, I put it in the yogurt-maker (that I’ve switched on five minutes beforehand to warm up). Then I stir in two teaspoons of yogurt, which always seems too measly to do the job but that’s all it takes to start the fermentation process. Amazing.
I find yogurt very acceptable first thing in the morning because it is non-demanding and soothing. And I add freshly-ground health-giving spices, such as cinammon, cardammon and cloves for extra zing.
Now for my yogurt-award acceptance speech. Thank you, Danescombe Valley Hotel, who demystified yogurt-making; my guru, Mallika, who has inspired me to use freshly-ground from scratch; Maninas, for adding cinammon bark and whole cloves to my repertoire. And finally thanks to Beccy and Hannah at the Spark for explaining how to use the grinder-attachment on my blender…, ex-propriétaire of
Who would you thank in your oscar-award speech?
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- From The Kitchn: What Is Lactose Intolerance? (apartmenttherapy.com)