Yogurt and a few foods that can be made from it.

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    Lets start with making yogurt, it’s really simple; nearly any type of whole or fatty milk will work, avoid ultra pasteurization as it will have very few bacteria and may cause problems culturing. Simply heat up milk to about 180ºF while stirring every few minutes to keep from skimming and boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110ºF and while it’s cooling heat enough water to fill some containers like mason jars. Once the yogurt has cooled to 110ºF stir in the starter, which can a packaged starter, some pro-biotic capsules or even store bought yogurt “with live cultures”. The lesser pasteurized and organic milks will offer more bacteria allowing easier cultivation or setting of the yogurt. Then place the hot water jars and yogurt jars “with lids, leaving them semi-loose on the heated water jars” in a microwave, ice chest or some other insulated area to rest around 70-80ºF for about 10 hours. Take it out and it will last in the fridge for about 7-10 days depending where it’s placed.

    Using cheese cloth, voile or a nut bag to hang the yogurt in the fridge over a bowl long enough will make it closer to greek yogurt. If you leave it long enough you will end up with something closer to cream cheese. The left over liquid is called sweet whey and it is loaded with protein and beneficial bacteria. To make a sour cream substitute you simply add in a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the yogurt/cream cheese mix for your desired consistency.

    Once you can make cream cheese and sour cream you will have options for ranch and other dips that are cheap, easy and still have proboitics. There are also some really good deserts that can be made; yogurt pops with a small amount of fruit or chocolate. One of my favorites is a slight variation of this http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013/02/brownie-cheesecake-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html using far less sweeteners “stevia, xylitol” and homemade cream cheese, this is my fall back if I know I’m crashing but don’t want to crash to hard. To be perfectly honest about crashing sometimes I just need sugar, so I tend to use a small amount of brown sugar which I also feed my water kefir and is used to help ferment my vegetables.

    And I’ll add in a couple more we probably shouldn’t have as they have no beneficial bacteria, a cottage cheese substitute; a 1/2 gallon of milk plus 3tbsp of heavy cream “which can be left out” is heated to 180ºF and removed from the heat then add about 1.5tbsp vinegar per 1/2 gallon of milk, cover with a dish cloth and set aside for 2 hours then strain. The left over water is whey high in protein but devoid of the live bacteria. And finally to make ricotta cheese simply add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while the milk is being heated.


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    Awesome, thanks Sanshou!I will try the sour cream for sure.

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