Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Simple homemade Yogurt and Yogurt Cheese

My very dear Chaminade University sister, Karen came for a quick weekend visit last week. We had so much fun - doing nothing!! Since we both lived in Hawaiʻi, we got to have our Hawaiian food fix. I am so lucky I live in Southern California, there are a few good places! After a couple meals of ono grind, we needed to clean up our act. We went to the farmers market and picked up some vegetable, I made an open face  tomato, basil and avocado on pita sandwich for lunch before we headed off to the beach . Just to give our open face sandwich a little moisture, I put a layer of yogurt cheese on the pita. Karen loved it.

She was quite surprised I made yogurt at home. It is actually very simple. All you need is a pot, an thermometer, and storage container for the yogurt. I usually make 4-6 1/2 cup serving of yogurt that I will have for breakfast in the morning for the week. I  love the freshness of home made yogurt, just a splash of fresh lemon juice and a little of honey, a perfect breakfast for me!

I strain the rest of the yogurt to make yogurt cheese. It is a quick alternative to cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. I use it as spread on bagels, sandwiches and it also make a great base for dips.  I

You will also notice my yogurt is a bit on the thinner side, I am using 1% milk this week. The milk fat do make a difference in the consistence of your yogurt. If you starting your first batch, use a good yogurt with live and active culture - I would recommend using a brand the you like. I started the batch with 6 oz Chobani plain yogurt.

This recipe is for you Ms Karen:

Homemade Yogurt and Yogurt Cheese
1 Qt (4 cups) of Whole milk or low fat milk.
1 6 oz container of plain yogurt
Sterile 1 1 Qt jar or 8 1/2 cup container.  Here is my trick to sterile the jars for the yogurt - wash in it the dishwasher when you are about ready to make yogurt. The heat in the dishwasher will sterile your containers. I am making 5 1/2 cup serving yogurt and the rest will become yogurt cheese.

Pour 4 cups of milk in a medium size pan with a thermometer
Bring the milk to 180  degrees over medium low heat. Do not let the milk boil and do not stir. Let it cook for about 10 mins.
Turn the heat off and let the milk cool down to 120 degrees
Stir in the yogurt culture. I am using 6 ozs of yogurt that I made a week ago
Mix well

At this point, you can pour the yogurt into the jars, or you can leave it in the pot.
Cover and let it sit undisturbed in  a warm place for about 10-12 hours. If you live in the colder climate, I would recommend put the yogurt in the a warm oven.
Yes I left mine in the Microwave. It is a nice draft free spot!
After 10-12 hours, you have fresh yogurt. Transfer the yogurt to the in prepared individual serving jars. Store the yogurt in the fridge. The fresh yogurt may appeal to be a bit thin, it will continue to thicken in the fridge after a day or so.

I strain the rest of the yogurt in a strainer lined with cheese cloth. I use a Donvier yogurt cheese strainer. It is a great tool and well worth the $20 investment.
Simple version:
Place the strainer over a bowl to catch the whey, the liquid. Cover the cheese with a loose plastic wrap.

Let it sit the fridge for about a day or 2 till all the liquid has drained off.
Transfer the cheese to a cover container. Store in the fridge, it will stay fresh for about 2 weeks.
f you are into smoothie, save some of the whey liquid, it is very high in protein and great way to add a little protein to your fruit smoothie. Store the whey in a jar and use it within a few days.
Make 1 Qt yogurt, use with 2 weeks


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