I’ve got a holiday present for you! One of my favorite bloggers, Winnie Abramson, ND, has written the excellent book One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life. Winnie is the writer behind Healthy Green Kitchen, and the book expands on the inspiring ideas for healthy living that Winnie writes about online. I like it so much that I want to share it, so I’ve got one copy to send out to my readers.
The book contains fourteen easy recipes for improving your diet, and amongst them I was happy to find Homemade Yogurt! Yogurt is an essential part of Iranian cuisine, and lots of Iranians make their own from scratch. It sounds intimidating, but making yogurt is quite simple, as you’ll see from Winnie’s recipe. As she points out, yogurt is full of good bacteria that helps keep your tummy in tip-top shape.
Post a comment and let me know why you’d be happy to get this book—whether you want it for yourself or a loved one–and I’ll go ahead and send it to you. I’ll announce the winner on Friday December 20 at 5 pm EST, feel free to enter your comment any time time until then. Here is Winnie’s yogurt recipe, enjoy!
Post-script, December 20: Thanks everyone for entering, the winner is Lia in San Francisco. I wish you all a wonderful holiday, thanks for participating!
Makes 1 qt / 960 ml
Yogurt made with live cultures is high in protein, calcium, and probiotics, which aid the digestive system. I’m a big fan of low-tech yogurt making; you don’t need any fancy equipment to make wholesome plain yogurt.
Herbalist Susun Weed recommends consuming 1 qt/960 ml of organic yogurt each week to strengthen the immune system and prevent cancer. I eat my yogurt plain or with nuts and dried fruit or a few spoonfuls of homemade granola. And I also add it to smoothies.
You can use any kind of milk, but for the most healthful yogurt, use the most healthful milk you can find. I suggest organic, preferably raw cow’s milk, or goat’s or sheep’s milk. Full-fat milk will make the richest, thickest yogurt; the fat in yogurt helps your body assimilate the calcium and other nutrients it contains.
4 cups/960 ml milk
1 tbsp plain, live-culture yogurt
One 1-qt/960-ml glass canning jar with a screw-top lid, metal or BPA-free plastic
1. Clean the glass jar and lid in hot, soapy water, or use the hottest setting on your dishwasher.
2. In a small pot, heat the milk over medium heat to a temperature of 180°F/82°C.If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, heat the milk until it is just starting to boil; don’t let it come to a rolling boil as this will be too hot. Make sure you don’t walk away from the milk and allow it to boil over, because it makes a big mess (trust me). Use a slotted spoon to remove any skin that forms on the surface of the hot milk.
3. Remove from the heat and let the milk cool to 110°F/45°C, about 25 minutes. (You should be able to put a fingertip in the milk and hold it there for 10 seconds.) Put the pot into a bowlful of ice water to speed the cooling, if you’d like. Don’t let the milk cool below 110°F/45°C; it needs to be at this temperature to culture properly.
4. Pour the milk into the canning jar and gently mix in the yogurt. Cap the jar tightly. Preheat your oven to 110°F/45°C. Once it reaches this temperature, turn it off. If you can’t set your oven to 110°F/45°C, preheat it to the lowest setting possible (in many ovens, this is 200°F/95°C), and then turn it off and give it time to cool down until approximately 110°F/45°C.
5. Wrap your jar in a thick towel (I use a big bath towel) and place it in the oven on its side (remove racks as necessary so that it fits). Turn the light of your oven on (to keep it warm) and close the door.
6. The towel will insulate the jar, ensuring that the milk stays warm during the culturing process. Leave it there for about 12 hours (or at least overnight). Unwrap the jar and place it in the refrigerator to cool for several hours. You now have homemade yogurt!
7. If you end up with liquid (the whey) floating atop your yogurt, mix it in or, for thicker yogurt, pour it off. Don’t discard the whey, though; it contains water-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, and can be added to soups or used in other recipes. Homemade live-culture yogurt will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator; you can use 1 tbsp of your homemade yogurt to make another batch.