The Weston A. Price Way

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What to do When Your Yogurt...Isn't

It happens to the best of us. Well, maybe not to the best of us, but a few times, it has happened to me. And honestly, it's not because of my being or not being 'the best of us', but it is because I am too often in a hurry. And when I'm in a hurry, I try to hurry other things and I just have to tell you, that technique almost always ends up causing me to have to take more time than if I hadn't tried to hurry in the first place.

I bet you know what I mean.

Because of the hurry flaw in my nature, which I  am working on, I sometimes try to hurry my yogurt. If you make yogurt at home, you know that hurrying it isn't a good all. I have used the sink cooling method, but after I lost two whole jars of costly raw milk that way, I stopped. Others do it all the time without a problem, but I decided waiting it out was a better option for me. Only sometimes when I'm in a hurry, (and honestly, it might just be because I want to get to bed before 11p.m.), I see that the temp is at 100, (my favorite temp for adding the culture), then add the culture without remembering to stir the milk first to be sure the temp is uniform throughout the jar. I have found that stirring at this time is essential because often, the temp that shows before stirring is lower than than the temp that shows after stirring, which means I need to be patient and wait a bit longer before adding the culture.

(Lesson to note here: If the milk is too warm, it will not culture as well because high temps kill those precious beneficial bacteria! This gives an inferior yogurt with an inferior texture. In my case, I have never killed them all off because I have waited until the thermometer reads 100. But that can be a faulty reading if there are hot pockets or layers in the milk. The only way to know for sure is by gently stirring the milk and re-reading the thermometer to see if a little more time is needed.)

IF you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, you may want to stop and go back to THIS POST about how to make your own yogurt. In the post, I wrote that I always cool my yogurt the fast way...True no more as I had 2 mishaps with broken vessels.

So, maybe like me, you have had less than perfect results with your yogurt every now and then. To me, if my yogurt doesn't have the right texture, it isn't yogurt. But the great thing is, it really is yogurt, just not the way I like it. The beneficial bacteria are all still there, if in a lesser quantity. But first the stuff in the jar has to make it past my mouth and when my yogurt texture isn't my idea of the right yogurt texture...well, then we have a problem. And I'm surely not going to hand it off to the kids or my hubby if I find it too disagreeable to consume.

But I hate waste, so I make lemonade fom my lemon by turning my failed yogurt into yogurt smoothies. Here's my method:

Cut up 2 or 3 bananas.

Pour the whole failed (1/2 Gal.) jar into a large bowl.

Get out the mixer or immersion blender (my choice)...OR you can divide the yogurt and add-ins into a blender.

Add the bananas.

Add other flavors as desired...Maple Syrup or Honey are good sweeteners, vanilla is a great flavor, and peanut butter adds protein and a whole new dimension of flavor. (Please use an organic/low sugar/home-made as possible.) If you understand the benefits of coconut and like the taste, you may like adding a little whole coconut milk, too.

Blend until smooth.

Pour back into the 1/2 Gal. jar plus a quart jar and store in fridge.

When ready for your smoothie, just pour into the blender with ice (I fill about 1/4 of the blender w/ice and pour the yogurt blend over the top before blending.)

Yummy and a great breakfast replacement. You know...for those times when you're, a hurry.

Oh...and an added bonus: If you don't have a loud tantrum when you realize you messed up your yogurt and instead just go ahead and make the smoothie blend as above, everyone will think you made it that way on purpose. ;0)

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