I’m very excited to publish my first guest blog post from the fantastic Kay from Brink of Bedlam. It was one of the first blogs I subscribed to and continues to provide a great read from one of the best mummy bloggers.
Kay posted on twitter that she had just received a Yoghurt Maker and I just had to know more about her first experience using it – because, of course, I want one.
I hope you enjoy her yoghurt making episode as much as I did – thanks Kay
My Adventures with a Severin Yoghurt Maker
Firstly, can I just say ‘Yay for Freecycle!’ A very kind lady passed this onto me for absolutely nothing as she’d decided she had no further use for it. Even though this is second hand, it is still in great condition and works perfectly. I think these normally retail at about £17 if you buy them brand spanking new.
You see I have plans for various flavourings of yoghurt for Darlek’s (my daughter’s pseudonym) packed lunch, and different flavoured yoghurt ice lollies too. There’s nothing like the promise of an ice-lolly at home to make kids walk faster. Even on days when it’s freezing outside. You see, I’m sneaky like that!
So off we went to the shop to get some full fat milk (apparently this makes for thicker yoghurt), and some yoghurt with ‘good bacteria’ in so we had a ‘culture’ to start the kick start the yoghurt making process. So if you plan on having a go at this yourself, make sure you get hold of a small tub of ‘live’ yoghurt.
To flavour the yoghurt I used Freeze Dried Strawberry Powder from Healthy Supplies. In the future I plan to get use dried figs, freeze dried banana slices,pineapple cubes, freeze dried raspberries - in fact I might try and get a corner of my cupboards dedicated to yoghurt flavourings. In fact I think this may be my new obsession! I wonder if I can make damson yoghurt? Of course you can use real fresh fruit too, but I suspect that this will be harder to keep fresh, and freeze dried stuff can kept almost ad infinitum, and it rehydrates beautifully from previous experience.
So, off we went on our yoghurt adventure, my youngest and I! I decided to get Sausage (my other child) to help out. Firstly we washed our hands, always important! Then he unscrewed all the tops, dolloped two spoonfuls of live yoghurt into each jar and then poured in the milk to top up the jars. Finally he put the lids back on and shook them to mix the yoghurt and the milk.
This sounds straightforward doesn’t it? Well……I tried to give Sausage as much leeway as possible as he likes his independence and it was easier that way. Consequently there were varying amounts of live yoghurt and varying amounts of milk in each tub which eventually made for slightly varying thicknesses of yoghurt. He also threw a ton of milk and yoghurt all over the place because one of the lids wasn’t screwed on tightly enough. It was quite an impressive lactose explosion, and our cat appreciated it very much. (No he didn’t lick it off the sides, just off the floor, before you call me a scumbag!)
After some muttered ‘Oh for frig’s sakes!’ it was all cleared up and the jars were put back in the base with the lid on. Then the contraption was plugged in and left for nine hours. Apparently you can leave yoghurt for 5 – 6 hours if you use milk that has previously been heated to 90 C and then cooled to 30 C. I had no thermometer so just went for the milk straight from the fridge and therefore 9 hours, approach.
The biggest fault with this yoghurt maker, is that there is no timer! You simply turn the side of the yoghurt maker to indicate the hour that you need to switch it off; ie you may as well just write ’9pm’ on a piece of paper and stick it to the top of the yoghurt maker. It’s that basic! It doesn’t switch off when the time’s reached, it doesn’t beep, it’s just up to you to remember.
Anyway! Once the yoghurt has reached maximum cooking / festering /whatever-it-is-that-it-does time, you take them off the base. Whilst still warm we added the freeze dried strawberry powder (about 2 teaspoonsfull in each) and stirred it in. Then we left it to cool in the fridge. After cooling I potted up some for Darlek’s packed lunch, and bobbed some in ice-lolly moulds. You do have to remember to set some of the unflavoured yoghurt aside to use as a culture for the next batch of yoghurts.
All in all, I’m very impressed! It’s simple to use, the yoghurt is nice, although without sugar it is definitely quite strong and a little tangy. I might add a touch of sugar next time if I’m feeling less health conscious. I think I’m just used to over flavoured, over sugared commercial yoghurts. You could do just as well without the sugar though! My kids have eaten it with just the strawberry flavouring and have loved it.
If anyone has any recipes or suggestions for yoghurt making I’d love it if you could share them, so I can try further experiments! Hopefully without the explosions next time though….
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Please do share your experiences or recipes in the comments below, or you can contact Kay via her own Blog at http://www.brinkofbedlam.co.uk
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