Friday, August 15, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Bean Yogurt

About two years ago, I convinced Richard that if I got a yogurt maker I would definitely, for sure make homemade yogurt every week! I have used it once... and I didn't end up eating any of the yogurt.

Turns out home made yogurt maker is like home exercise equipment, decorative and a place to hang your clothes that you're too lazy to put in the hamper. Well, yesterday I filled the hamper, did my laundry and pulled out the yogurt maker to give it another shot. And boy was I blown away.

Please note: the home exercise bike is still functioning as an expensive clothes hanger. But when I look at it, I do feel skinnier.

Speaking of skinnier, low fat yogurt, especially of the homemade variety is a great, low calorie source of protein that can actually help reduce belly fat... and my version has no added sugar unlike the store bought versions! So here's how you can make it yourself AND make yourself skinnier, without getting on that damn exercise bike.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Yogurt

6 cups of 2% milk (you can use whatever kind of milk you would like.... most recipes call for 1/2 gallon, but then you have leftover cultured milk that you have to throw away. I don't like to waste)
3/4 cup store bought, plain yogurt
1 vanilla bean pod
2 tablespoons powdered milk

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk and the split open vanilla bean pod to a boil (180°F degrees.) Take care not to let the milk scald by stirring it every few minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
Place the end of an instant-read thermometer in the pan of milk. When the milk has cooled to lukewarm (110°F), in a bowl, combine about 1 cup of the milk and the yogurt and stir until smooth. Then, stirring constantly, slowly pour the mixture back into the pan of warm milk. Remove the vanilla bean pod and stir in the powdered milk, which makes the yogurt thicker.

Pour the milk-yogurt mixture into the containers of a home yogurt maker and process overnight or about 8 hours, according to the manufacturers instructions. Serve warm the next morning, or cover and refrigerate before serving. Store the yogurt, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
Top with honey, berries, nuts, cacao nibs... whatever your heart desires!

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