17 Sep

A New Kitchen Gadget

In order to support the new “Eating Plan”(EP) I have acquired a new kitchen gadget.  I am now the proud owner of … a yogurt maker!

I tend to take my breakfast in to work with me as I get up early and don’t want to eat immediately.  One cup of black tea (gave up milk in it at the age of 19) and I’m on my way.  So breakfast needs not only to fit the EP but be portable and office friendly too.  Yogurt and fruit neatly fit these criteria and as I have a fridge in the office, I have somewhere to park it until I’m ready.

Lately I have been buying Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Yogurt which is beautifully creamy and has a great, set texture.  However, when you need a good several spoonfuls each day, the costs do mount up so I wondered about making my own as it’s rumoured to be pretty straightforward.

So on a recent trip to the Lake District, a certain kitchenware store was visited (yes, you’re right, it was Lakeland Ltd) and their own brand yogurt maker purchased.  Another, branded, type of yogurt maker was being promoted in store but from reading the blurb on the back, it appears that you have to buy their own “starter” sachets which means the yogurt works out at “no more than £3 per litre”, so not really a great saving.

According to the maker instruction leaflet, yogurt can be made from various types of milk including full fat, skimmed or semi-skimmed cow’s milk, UHT milk, sheep’s, goat’s or even tinned evaporated milk.  The disadvantage of using standard pasteurized cow’s milk is that it has to be heated to almost boiling point, then cooled down to a specific temperature before being put in the maker.  Anyway, the first attempt by my co-conspirator used full cream, pasteurized milk.  Which was allowed to boil over, necessitating a major clean of the hob.  Still, that’s one way of getting the housework moving.  Results-wise the end product was OK, although a bit thin and grainy.  But as we fancied greek style yoghurt, we strained it through a J-cloth (muslin being absent) and crystal clear whey drained off really quickly.  The final yogurt was perfectly acceptable if not quite as creamy and silkily textured as commercial products but, hey, it was only the first attempt.

Next time we plan to try it with some UHT milk which means not having to pre-heat it first.  Sounds quicker and easier but how will the results pan out?  Report to follow.