Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘Yogurt making tips’

Homemade Yogurt Instructions

Posted by terrepruitt on July 25, 2013

Homemade Yogurt instructions

You will need:
—1/2 gallon milk (I use Organic Valley 1%)
—Pot large enough to heat ½ gallon of milk
—Two bowls – one large enough to hold the milk, and one large enough to let the milk bowl nest in ice (or you can just use your sink)
—2 Tbsp plain yogurt as a starter
—An extra canning jar for blending the culture – or you can use a bowl and whisk it together
—A ladle
—A spoon (to stir the milk)
—A measuring spoon to measure the starter
—A thermometer (one that has a range of 100°-180° F)
—A suitable number of canning jars/lids/bands to ferment your yogurt in (for ½ gallon I have about 11, plus one 8 oz jars)
—Couple of jars of warm water – to maintain the fermenting environment
—A cooler big enough to hold all of the jars. This is your fermentation environment
—A couple of towels – to help insulate your fermentation environment
—A canning funnel (optional)

This is a multi-step process.

—Before you begin refer to the tips regarding sterilizing all equipment. (click here)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo—Heat the the milk slowly to 170°/180° F. Stir occasionally and before testing the temperature. (I use medium heat. About 20 minutes.) Stirring prior to taking the temperature makes for a more accurate reading on your thermometer. When the correct temperature is reached your milk will be steaming and you will be able to smell it. It will be a pleasant sweet smell not burned.)

—While your milk heats up, prepare the cooling bath by filling one bowl with ice & water and nesting the other bowl on top of the ice-water. I fill one side of my sink with water and ice then I put my pot in the ice/water.

—After the milk has reached 170°/180° F, pour the milk into the bowl sitting in the ice water or put your pot in the ice water. Cool the milk to 110° F. Stir frequently to distribute the cooling milk from the sides of the bowl/pot with the warm milk in the interior. This will help speed the process and help you get an accurate reading from your thermometer.

—While the milk cools, fill your jars that are going to sit with the yogurt with warm water. Arrange them in the cooler.

—While the milk cools, warm your canning jars with warm water. Just fill them up with hot water and empty them when you are ready to fill the jars with milk. This helps maintain the temperature for fermentation. Alternatively, if you have run your jars through the dishwasher and they are still hot from the cycle, leave them in the dishwasher until they are needed.

—When the milk has reached 110° F remove the bowl/pot from the ice bath. This keeps the milk from cooling even further.

—Ladle a small amount of the cooled milk into the extra canning jar. Add the 2 tbls of yogurt and shake. Then add the mixture back into the bowl of cooled milk, mixing well to make sure that the yogurt culture is distributed throughout the milk.

—Ladle the milk into your jars. Here is where you use the canning funnel if you have one. Wipe any spilled milk off the top of the jar rims and seal the jars tightly with a lid and band. Label the jars with the date the yogurt was made.

—Place the jars into the cooler, interspersed with the jars of warm water. Snug the jars up with a couple of towels. The idea is to maintain ideal heat conditions for fermentation. Close the cooler and put it in an out of the way place for 8-12 hours.

—Leave it alone for the entire 8-12 hours. While the yogurt is growing its good stuff it does not want to be disturbed.

—After the 8-12 hour period, open up the cooler and check the yogurt. It should have set up and become firm.

— Refrigerate and enjoy within two weeks of the “made on” date and remember to reserve two tablespoons for your next batch.

If you have doubts as to the safety of the product (doesn’t smell right, color/texture is wrong), don’t take any chances. Just throw it out and start over.

Remember this is an unstrained yogurt so it is going to be much more “runny” than the average store bought yogurt.

These original instructions I received were taken, but not directly quoted, from, “Canning for a New Generation” by Liana Krissoff and Rinne Allen. If you are interested in sharing this with anyone, please also refer them to this book. I have adjusted and added to it to document the process I have used.

So are you ready? Let me know how your yogurt turns out!

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Yogurt Starter

Posted by terrepruitt on July 6, 2013

Six weeks ago I met a friend after teaching Nia and she mentioned making yogurt.  I love yogurt.  I get frustrated because all that I can find in the store is either non-fat or full fat.  I want either 1% or 2%, but I can’t find it.  Plus I am not a fan of most of the flavors of yogurt.  I don’t care for berries and that is a HUGE portion of the flavors out there; strawberry, cherry, raspberry, etc.  Not my thing.  What I sometimes do is I buy plain non-fat yogurt and I mix it a full fat flavored kind, but lately I have not been able to find a flavor that I like.  I love the Greek yogurt, but again I run into the same flavor and fat issue as non-Greek yogurt.  So anyway, when she said she makes yogurt, I know my eyes got big because I think that is difficult.  I also thought it required a yogurt MAKER.  But nope, she uses a two pots and a cooler.  So she invited me over to make it with her.  It was super easy.  I can honestly say the most difficult part is filling the jars without spilling — so I gave up on that.  So the part that is actually most difficult is washing the equipment.  Yeah, really, the “hardest” part of making yogurt is washing everything you are going to need to make the yogurt.  Doesn’t that tell you how easy making yogurt is?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo the very first time I made yogurt I did it with my friend.  Actually she did it and I just assisted.  But, again, it really is so easy there is not much to do.  The second time I made yogurt I did it on my own.  One thing you need to make yogurt is a thermometer.  See with yogurt you are heating the milk up to kill off the bad bacteria, then cooling it down to a nice cozy temperature to allow the good bacteria to grow.  So it helps to have a thermometer.  It actually seems wise to have one.  Although when I made my second batch, the one I did all by myself, I didn’t have a thermometer.  Well, I did, it just didn’t work.  It is not calibrated.  It started off at 180° (I got is down to 160° prior to using it).  It registered that the milk did heat up but I am not certain exactly how hot it actually got.  The instructions I have state that slowly heating the milk shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.  So I heated the milk for almost 20 minutes.  Then I began to smell it.  I remembered when I made it with my friend I smelled it too.  So I figured I was doing ok.  At 20 minutes I took it of the burner and put it in the ice bath and even though my thermometer was not registering the CORRECT temperature, I watched it go down the 60 or 70° needed.

Two things I had wanted to do different with my second batch was heat it higher than the first batch and let it ferment longer.  Well, I don’t think I heated it higher because I didn’t have a good thermometer, but I did let it sit longer.  And that is the second most difficult part of making yogurt.  Letting it set without bothering it.  Without checking it.  Just leaving it alone.

As far as I can tell it came out fine.  It didn’t seem as tart as the first batch, but it seemed a tad bit thicker.  A half gallon of milk made 11 canning jars.  I have one and a half left and today I made my third batch.  Second on my own.  This time I had a thermometer.  I heated the milk to the temperature I wanted and I will let the yogurt ferment for 12 hours.

I started to write up the instructions, but I thought I had better make sure this batch comes out before I claim the recipe with the changes I have made a success.  After making the first batch I started looking up things and there is so much information out there I kind of was able to pick and choose.  After my second batch, I chose to believe the woman who said she never uses a thermometer and goes by steam and smell.  I hadn’t remembered it steaming so I was a bit worried, but it was fine.  I am working off of the people who want thicker yogurt and they heat it higher and let it sit longer.  I have not yet strained any yogurt, so my product is very runny.  But I like it.  It is good.

Here is to future posts about yogurt!  Can’t wait!  (Yogurt Making Tips post – 07.23.13 / Yogurt Instructions post 07.25.13)

Do you like yogurt?  What brand?  What flavor?

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