My food choice for Y is yogurt. I have been eating a lot of it lately since doing a round of antibiotic. It is made with a lot of active bacterial cultures (good ones) that are naturally found in our intestines and which are a vital part of a healthy immune system and digestive system. Because it is more economical I have developed my own way of making yogurt at home. Here is how I do it.
I start with a gallon of 2% milk. Any milk will do but the fat content will make a difference in your finished product.
On the stovetop I heat the milk to 190-200 degrees F.. I have a thermometer which clips to the side of the pan and I watch it closely. The milk needs to be stirred so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. I don’t let the milk boil.
As soon as the temperature is reached I put the pan in the sink with ice water to cool it down quickly. The thermometer is still on the side of the pan and when it reaches 90-100 degrees F. it is cool enough.
Add 3 tablespoons or more of yogurt that you have bought as your starter. It can be any brand that states it has live, active cultures present. Choose a starter that you like because your yogurt will be similar. Stir the starter into your gallon of prepared milk.
I like to transfer the milk to a heavy bowl (I use the removable bowl from my crock pot) that will hold heat well. Cover it and place in a consistently warm place for 7-8 hours. Suggestions for the place: your oven if it has a light that you can turn on. The light bulb will produce enough heat if you keep the oven door closed. OR if you have a water heater in a closet put a towel on it and set the pot on the towel OR put a heating pad set on low on your counter and the pot on top of that with a towel over the whole thing to keep the heat in.
After 8 hours, the yogurt should have curdled. I like to separate the curd from the whey (which makes Greek yogurt) by taking a large colander which I line with cheesecloth and setting in a container to catch the whey. Pour the yogurt into the colander, wrap the cheese cloth corners over the top, place a plate over it and put something heavy on it to press out the whey and put it in the fridg. Let it set for several hours. The longer you let it drain, the thicker it will be. You can always stir some of the whey back in if it gets thicker wanted.
Enjoy your homemade, unsweetened yogurt with fruit, cereal, or as a spread like cream cheese. It has a milky, soft flavor with just a little tang.