Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Making yogurt on a sailboat (or anywhere else)

For the past several weeks we have been enjoying the yogurt I make on Interabang.  The homemade yogurt is so good that I wanted to pass it on.   A big thank you goes to Lori on Camelot for sharing the recipe with me.   Homemade yogurt will be nice to have this summer when we are in the Sea of Cortez and won’t always have access to fresh dairy products. 

The supplies needed:  powered milk (NIDO is recommended for Mexico but elsewhere make sure it is full fat and not low or nonfat), water, yogurt starter, a thermos (or insulated container with a secure lid), measuring cup and a thermometer (optional). 
1 cup water (temperature from the tap, not chilled from the fridge)
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup hot water (I use approx. 125 degrees fahrenheit) but not boiling
3 tablespoons yogurt starter*
*Use yogurt starter (plain yogurt, not sweetened or flavored) for the first batch.  After the first batch, save yogurt from the previous batch to use for starter.  As you get down the line of batches, less yogurt starter is needed as the yogurt cultures become more concentrated. 
Add the tap water and the powdered milk to your container and mix well (all lumps removed).   Add the hot water and mix well.  Add the yogurt starter and mix well.  

Close the container and place it where the temperature will remain constant (i.e. not the direct sunlight).   Let it sit between 6 to 12 hours.  How long you let it sit determines how thick and sour the yogurt will be (longer for thicker and sourer). 

When you open the container, it should be appear thick and set with yellowish whey floating around the sides.  Give it a stir to see if it’s the consistency you like.  When it’s done, place in the fridge to chill and stop the cultures from cultivating.  If using a “hot” thermos, you will need to trasfer it to a different container to chill it.  It will keep 7 to 10 days in the fridge.

NOTES:  The key to success is keeping the temperature constant while it sits, so the cultures have a chance to grow.  The container is important and I use a wide mouth thermos (made by Coleman) meant for keeping things cold, rather than hot (it is all plastic, the hot thermos has a glass or metal lining).  I wrap a small fleece blanket around the thermos to aid in keeping the temperature constant.  I don’t have a thermometer to measure the water temperature but we have Paloma on-demand water heater on the boat and it is set to the highest temperature and that’s what I use for my hot water so I know it is always approximately the same temp.  Thanks to Mizzy on Alegria for loaning me her thermometer, I was able to determine the temperature of the water I use as 125 degrees.  Another important step is take be sure you clean the container well and allow it to air dry between batches.

Yogurt with mango, strawberry and granola

Happy yogurting!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to you and Lori for the yogurt making tips - I look forward to giving it a try. I miss yogurt when we are at sea!