I make my own yogurt. It’s easy. My 5-year-old and I eat some every day, usually for breakfast. I also use yogurt frequently in baking. Most of the time you can replace buttermilk with yogurt in recipes. Making my own saves money and allows me to use whichever milk I choose. Go local, go organic, make fat-free, full fat or anything in between. I haven’t tried alternative milks but check out this site for info on making soy yogurt. I use Yogourmet starter and the best price I’ve found is Whole Foods at $3.98 for a six pack. You can use a portion of a previous batch, instead of starter, (about 1/2 cup for a quart) to make a new batch but eventually you’ll need to refresh your stock with some starter.
I use a Salton 1 quart yogurt maker and I’ve never actually seen one at the thrift stores. Frequently you can find yogurt makers there that make several small containers of yogurt although I prefer to brew an entire quart. I purchased mine online for about $15 (Amazon) and it paid for itself in just a couple of weeks.
If you dig yogurt, make your own. And if you dig sour cream you can make a yogurt version! I usually use ½-n-½. Whatever dairy liquid you choose, do it the easy way: heat the milk up in the microwave. Pour the milk into a 1 quart Pyrex measuring cup and program the microwave for 222 seconds. Pour the heated liquid into a clean bowl and sprinkle the starter over the surface. Go pick up the baby and come back to stir in the starter. Next pour the milk into a clean 1 quart yogurt container and set it into the yogurt maker. That’s all! I usually go for about a 24 hour yogurt. Experiment to find your preference.
If you’ve made a batch of “sour cream” try this recipe:
- 4 ounces (1 cup) organic white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/16 ounces (30 grams is easier for me to measure OR 1/4 cup) organic all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder–I use Rumford aluminum free
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly. Use your WF whole deal coupon for $1 off Organic Valley.
- 3 1/2 ounce (100 grams or 1/2 cup) sugar. I use a little more than half granulated (Wholesome Sweeteners 10# bag at Costco is the best buy) and a little less than half light brown (CM Organics for the best deal).
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed Texas orange juice
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) sour cream
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- turbinado sugar, optional—the bulk turbinado at Central Market is gorgeous right now and the best deal at $1.49 a pound. The bag actually says it’s demerara (a similar, but darker and more flavorful coarse, less refined sugar) from Wholesome Sweeteners.
Preheat your toaster oven to 400°. Lube up your 6 cavity muffin tin however you choose. Whisk together your dry ingredients through the allspice. In a separate bowl whisk together your wet ingredients through the sour cream. Pour the dry ingredients onto the wet and sprinkle on the pecans. Quickly, gently and thoroughly stir everything together just until well combined. Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for up to an hour if you can. Fill your muffin cups (use an ice cream scoop!), they’ll be full. Sprinkle with the turdinado, as much as you’d like, and bake about 12 minutes, reversing the pan halfway through, until the muffins test done.
These muffins are not too sweet, delicious warm with local honey—I love Good Flow’s wildflower, and some top notch butter such as Texas’ own Lucky Layla or Organic Valley Pasture butter.