Every time I go to the supermarket with the kids, I avoid the dairy section and the till because of yogurt and candy respectively. I get so worked up that I would normally ask my husband to take the kids and go ahead or I just ignore all the insistent requests with a pan face.
I am living on a tight budget. Excuse me!
One day a random thought occurred to me; why can’t I just make my own yogurt for once and for all. Unfortunately, I took no notice till when I was in the same dilemma in the supermarket. This time, I placed 6 half liter yogurt containers in the trolley because my dear husband was paying. There is a certain level of Godly wickedness allowed. Ecclesiastes 7:16-17.
Caveat emptor: Don’t try this without counting your costs first. 😉
My girlfriend Mimo makes yogurt and all kinds of soap for her family. So, I called her up and she taught me over the phone how to do it and then the psyche went away as quickly as it came. Then, Mimo came to visit me with her family and asked how my yogurt venture had gone, I was blank.
I promised to follow through but again…..lip service 😦
A few months later which turns out to be 1 month ago, out of the blue, I made up my mind and bought the milk and yogurt and tried it secretly without mentioning it to Mimo.
It flopped so badly, I did not even tell my husband.
It looked like mala (sour milk) even after 24hrs.
After watching several YouTube videos, I convinced myself that I can do this. So purchased 1 liter of milk and 250 ml plain yogurt.
But before I made another attempt, I called Mimo and confessed my sins. Oh, the laughter…Mimo laughed at me and made me feel like a child asking where is my lollipop yet it is in my mouth at that very moment.
We went through all the detail of what could have possibly gone wrong. Luckily all was in check except that the milk was too warm. That was my error.
Mimo asked me to save her a sample of the spoilt yogurt for her review. She never came. I sieved it and used the whey (yellow liquid) on mandazi and the white stuff on bread. Heavenly !!!
Bread recipe will be posted after this one, I promise.
I made it a second time and it worked. My family loved it and I will brag because it is not something I love to do i.e. trying out new recipes, but also it is awesome to have a friend who does not give up on you on the simple things.
So, if you love taking yogurt or your babies are addicted to it so as mine, are using it for your beauty regime, including it in your recipes or are on a diet that needs yogurt once in a while, here is how to make it.
100 ml plain yogurt
1-liter milk or more
Heat milk in a pan till it begins to rise.
Remove immediately. Do not let the milk rise completely.
Let the milk cool down till it is warm to the touch when placed at the back of your hand. Like when you are preparing baby milk..but just a bit warmer than that.
Place the plain yogurt in a container and add a little bit of the warm milk. Mix and ensure that the plain yogurt has blended into the milk.
Then, add the rest of the milk and cover with a lid.
Since I do not have a yogurt maker, I wrapped the milk-yogurt mixture in two blankets and then placed it in a fireless oven.
NB. The cover for my fireless oven was destroyed by rodents a few years back. Long story for another post.
Another option is to place the milk-yogurt mixture into the oven and leave the light on. The Kenya Power tariffs do not afford the majority of Kenyans this luxury.
Third option is if you stay in a warm place like Mombasa, Turkana, Wajir etc, place the milk-yogurt mixture in direct sunlight for 2-3 hours.
Whichever works for you.
Let this stand for 6-12 hours in the fireless oven to allow the active bacteria work through the milk and thicken it.
Once done, when you open the lid you will notice a thick white mass at the bottom and some light yellow liquid at the top (whey). No worries. Just place it in the fridge for the rest of the day to allow the yogurt to thicken a bit more.
Using a whisk, you can now mix the little liquid now left on top and the thick yogurt at the bottom. Check out my Facebook post which has the video of how it looks.
Voila, homemade plain yogurt!!!
Flavor it as desired.
I am trying to figure out why if i add sugar to the yogurt the consistency becomes lighter. If you do, please add it on to the comment section.
Serving suggest; add a little essence for flavor & sugar or honey to taste, food color to match the flavor desired e.g. red food color for strawberry and drinking chocolate for chocolate flavored yogurt for the kids, fruit pieces such as strawberry, bananas, mangoes, kiwi then freeze it to have frozen yogurt or serve it with your Weetabix .
For those who love Greek yogurt, you are in luck.
Get a large sieve and a muslin cloth or kitchen towel on top of a large enough kitchen basin or container. Place in the yogurt and let it stand till all the liquid has drained through to the bottom.
The whey can be used to make pancakes, donuts, mandazi etc. Thick white mass on the muslin cloth or kitchen towel is your Greek yogurt.
Nothing goes to waste.
Serve as desired.
Save a little bit of your yogurt roughly 100 ml to start your next batch. So, you don’t need to buy yogurt at all. Now I just need to own a farm so that I milk my own cow.