This picture lets you know where I stand today: unedited, a bit unruly and messy, less than thrilled and quite behind on everything (Winter?! That's so last month). There's yogurt there though, so let's focus on that. It would be quite spoiled if we were to eat it since this picture was snapped LAST SEASON, but what's the difference? You are all stuck out there in Bloggyland anyway.
(a plain version)
I have a Euro Cuisine yogurt machine with those nifty glass cups which makes everything so very portable and cute! I've tried the Mason jar way and the crockpot way, but this little pot system is my favorite because of it's ease and really, a simple yogurt maker like I have pays for itself in no time flat.
Seven jars fit in there at a time and I have a second set, so sometimes I do one round and then another and have a fridge full of yogurt. These jars are deceiving- they seem small in the photos, but boy you can pack a lot of yogurt in there, so seven tend to last more than 7 days.
My supplies:- 1 carton of milk (You won't use it all and I don't use raw milk because it gets to runny)
- about 1/4 C cream or half and half
- 1 small container of store bought yogurt, flavored to your liking
- sugar (optional, but honey or maple syrup tend to make it runny)
- fruit (optional)
I use one of the glass jars to measure out 5 and 1/4 jar fulls into a bowl. I then add in one jar full of cream. After that, the container of yogurt is added and 1/4 C of sugar or so if I'm using it in the batch. I stir everything up and when it is mixed, I divide it into each of the yogurt cups and turn the machine on for 8-12 hours. Usually that means overnight and on into a bit of the morning. The headspace left in the jars leaves room for me to add in the toppings later.
Once the space pod (as Bear calls it) looks like this and the yogurt seems to have set, I top them off with whatever fruit I've made, screw on their lids, and toss them in the fridge.
The fruit is assembled while the yogurt is cooking. I gather a handful or two of berries and then cook them down with a little honey or maple syrup (those sweeteners work ok here because they are cooked with the berries). The berries are cooked to get some of the excess water out because water=soupy yogurt. The mixture is cooled and then dolloped over each yogurt . If I made a bit too much, we just pour it over some oatmeal.
That's all I do. There's no prewarming of the milk and I don't strain it after it's cooked because we like the consistency just as it is. I'm telling you easiest.yogurt.ever. And you can get so creative! We've added crushed pineapple, toasted coconut, and cinnamon apple bits as flavors before and I typically add vanilla extract or bits from the bean itself to the initial mixture. The possibilities are endlessly yummy and we ruminate on future combinations as we slurp these concoctions down.
*edited to add the proper yogurt maker name and a link