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Friday, July 22, 2011

Edible Experiment: Homemade Yogurt

Make yogurt with your kids this summer for a refreshing, fermented, food experiment! Rich in protein and calcium for building strong muscles and bones, this cool, creamy treat makes an excellent snack on an active, summer afternoon. If your kids aren't into plain yogurt try sweetening this reci-pea with a homemade flavored honey (suggestions below).

Homemade Yogurt with Flavored Honey
• 4 cups of whole milk
• 1/2 envelope (5 grams) of freeze-dried yogurt starter such as Yogourment*
• Thermometer

In a pot on the stove, heat the milk to 180F, then remove from the heat. Let the milk cool to about 110F, then stir in the starter culture, whisk to combine.

If you do not have a yogurt maker, no problem. Transfer the milk mixture to a 1 quart mason jar or other glass vessel. Suspend a thermometer in the yogurt and cover with a damp cloth or piece of plastic wrap. Leave in a warm but not hot place (for example, on a sunny counter top or in a warm oven with the heat off). The thermometer in the yogurt should stay between 80-100F until the yogurt gels. This will take about 4 to 8 hours depending on temperature.

Refrigerate for up to 5-7 days.

Infused Honey:
This reci-pea is a great opportunity to use up those half empty jars of crystallized honey. Here are a few flavors that will help sweeten our yogurt reci-pea.

Rosemary Honey:
• 1 cup honey
• 4 sprigs of rosemary

Cardamom Honey:
• 1 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Vanilla Honey:
• 1 cup honey
• 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise

Place the honey and flavoring of choice in a pint sized mason jar and heat in the microwave until it starts to boil. Turn off the microwave and let the honey cool for 30-45 minutes. Screw on the lid and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

*Yogourment can be found in the baking section at Whole Foods, or online

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