Monday, February 4, 2013

How to Make Homemade Yogurt and Kefir

Cultured dairy products have many health benefits, and they are surprisingly easy and cheap to make in your own kitchen.

Yogurt with fruit and granola

Here is a quick breakdown of what you need to know to make healthy yogurt and kefir.

Yogurt

Ingredients: Milk and pre-existing yogurt. (Simple!)

How to make: First, create a double boiler with two pots. Using a thermometer, heat the milk to 185 F and then let it cool to 110 F. Next, add the starter yogurt to the milk and leave it to sit in a warm environment for about seven hours. You can use a crockpot or heating pad to keep the milk warm. During this time the bacteria in the yogurt will transform the rest of the milk into yogurt. Finally, chill the yogurt and it’s ready to go!

The website Makeyourownyogurt.com has detailed instructions and video on making yogurt.

Kefir

Ingredients: Milk and kefir cultures, often called kefir grains.

How to make: The simplest way to start your own cultures is to buy kefir with active cultures or to purchase cultures/grain online. Simply add milk to a few tablespoons of cultures, stir, and cover with a cloth and rubber band. Letting the jar sit at room temperature for 12 hours will create a thinner liquid that is mild tasting. For a sour taste, let it sit longer. To make a thicker kefir, process it in the refrigerator for 3 to5 days. Once it has cultured, pour the mixture through a strainer, and keep the “grains” that are left behind as your new starter culture. Visit this Momprepares.com page to find full instructions and information.

By Maureen Leonard, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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