6 June 2008

Making yoghurt

I noticed in the delicatessen the other day that quark is now selling for $19.50 a kilo. Naturally I didn't buy any as I make my own but nevertheless, I was shocked by the price. Of course, any food linked to cattle - beef, milk and cheese - has increased a lot recently. I heard on the news the other day that food prices have doubled in the past couple of years. The price of the quark drove that fact home dramatically.

When my sons were little they drank a lot of milk and I wonder now how young families manage to supply milk to their children. I think if I had young children now, I'd mix powdered milk in with fresh milk to make a saving while still giving the kids a healthy drink. I noticed in Aldi last week their 3 litre (quart) milk is $3.19 - $1.06 a litre. Their UDL milk is $1.09 a litre, so there is not much of a saving there. Aldi powdered milk is $5.99 for 1 kg and you will get 7 litres of milk from 1 kg. That makes each litre 85 cents.

I buy milk from our local diary so I can support local business. Their milk is far superior to Aldi milk in taste and freshness and I usually buy 2 litres a week. It is from guernsey cows and is A2 milk. Last week I bought their 3 litre non-homogenised milk for $4.90 ($1.63 a litre), it's about 70 cents cheaper buying at the diary. We drink this milk, I have a glass occasionally, Hanno has a regular hot chocolate at night. I use powdered milk for everything else - in cooking, to make yoghurt and quark cheese and in all my baking. Using the powdered milk saves me 78 cents for every litre I use.

Last week I made yoghurt using powdered milk and a small tub of natural yoghurt I bought from the diary for $1. So 1 litre or 1 kg of yoghurt cost $1.85 to make. I've just checked online an the equivalent amount of Dairy Farmers traditional yoghurt cost $5.38 at Woolworths, a saving of $3.53.

I've written before about making yoghurt but it's timely now so here I am again trying to convince my younger and newer readers to try this. I've modified the way I make yoghurt and it's REALLY easy. All I did was make a litre - 4 cups - of powdered milk up according to the instructions on the milk packet. Heat this milk up until you see little bubbles appearing on the side of the saucepan, then take it off the heat and allow it to cool. When it's lukewarm add about 100 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of natural yoghurt and stir it in well. Put a lid on your container and put it in a warm oven. I used the oven about an hour after the bread had baked. Don't open the oven door again until the next morning. Then it should look like the photo below. If it's too runny, warm the oven up again and put it in for another eight hours.

The yoghurt may be eaten at this point. To sweeten it, add a little honey or jam. Adding plain yoghurt to your cakes and pancakes will give them a fabulous moistness and texture.

I am making this into quark cheese so I need to remove as much of the whey from the yoghurt as I can. Whey is the liquid part of milk. When the whey is removed, I use it in my baking. To remove the whey, place a strainer over a jug and line the strainer with a piece of moist cotton cloth.

Add the yoghurt to the strainer and cover it with the side pieces of cloth.

Put a small plate or saucer over the top and add a heavy jar or tin to press it down.

Place this in the fridge and leave for 3 or 4 days. When mine is ready, I'll take more photos. Toria has just posted another way to make yoghurt at home, here is her link.

And finally, this is what we had for dinner last night - vegetarian tacos. I also make this with flour tortillas but I needed to use these taco shells.

Take one tin of baked beans and one tin of borlotti beans - or any combination of beans - and mash them with a potato masher. If your beans have no tomato sauce on them, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and a little water. In a saucepan, gently fry one chopped onion, half a capsicum (sweet pepper) and some chilli. Add the beans, salt and pepper to taste, mix well and simmer for five minutes.

Add the bean mix to the shell or tortilla, then add whatever your heart desires. I added tomato and lettuce from our garden and a chopped avocado from a local tree (at work), with some homemade tomato relish and a dollop of light sour cream. Delish!
Blogger Template by pipdig