Our dinner the other night was delicious, as usual, being cooked by my budding chef daughter 😘 - but the garlic in the braised spinach was a bit strong. Preparation was somewhat rushed as we always have such busy evenings with our businesses, so she popped the garlic in a little too late and it stayed fairly raw .. and strong!
The wonderful cure for delicate tummies was a plate of Yoghurt!!
Lucky for us we most often have a jar or two of fresh yoghurt in our fridge, so our tummies were saved and everyone felt great again.
Who loves yoghurt? ... even when not curing a delicate tummy? We all do!!
There is nothing more lovely tasting and great for your health than fresh home-made yoghurt.
Did you realise that you can make your own, very simply, using your Excalibur Dehydrator?
Because you can remove trays, the Excalibur allows you to dry BIG items meaning you merely remove all trays and place your jars inside the dehydrator. Gentle, controllable heat lets you make your yoghurt perfectly.
All you need are a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt and some milk - voila!!
We are exceedingly privileged as we have a couple of Jersey cows who provide us with yummy fresh raw milk daily. Maybe you have access to some local raw or organic milk? If not, just buy the healthiest milk available to you.
Here’s why you should eat yoghurt everyday!
It helps in keeping the level of cholesterol balanced and the heart healthy.
Yoghurt is easy to digest and can be consumed by those who are lactose intolerant as lactose is broken down during the fermentation process.
We often don't think of gut health, unless you need to settle a delicate tummy 😁, but it's very important to maintain so as to keep a healthy lifestyle. Your gut is responsible for digesting food and absorbing nutrients, so it's super important to ensure it runs smoothly — Yoghurt; step into the limelight!
Yoghurt can be high in protein, calcium, vitamins, and live culture, or probiotics, which can enhance the gut microbiota. These can offer protection for bones and teeth and help prevent digestive problems.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are used in the yoghurt-making process. By eating yoghurt daily, you supply your gastrointestinal tract with healthy bacteria, which prevent 'bad' bacteria from taking over, leading to improved gut and immune health. A healthy gut microbiome can reduce inflammation.
Yoghurt is packed with the healthiest bacteria, which makes it a brilliant gut healer. Its probiotic nature improves the immunity system, and can potentially help your body fight everything from viral fevers to common cold and infections.
OK ... so, how do I use my Excalibur Dehydrator to make yoghurt, you ask?
All you need to make yoghurt is yoghurt - and milk. Isn't fermenting amazing! What you are doing is transporting some of the beneficial bacteria into a new medium, allowing it to continue multiplying and turning into yummy yoghurt.
Here goes then .....
Yoghurt needs to be kept at 40°-45°C (105°-110°F) for 8-12 hours, hence the Excalibur Dehydrator.
Being in Qld, we have a warm climate for a lot of the year, so wrapping the jars in towels is sufficient in summer, but we need external heat in the colder weather. Not everyone lives in Qld though 😁, so you will more than likely require a heat source. You can use your oven, but be sure it doesn't get too hot and cook the yoghurt ... keep a thermometer handy to monitor the temperature.
Here's how you make Homemade Yoghurt in your Excalibur Dehydrator.....
To make 2 x litre jars of yoghurt (2 quarts), heat a little less than 2 litres (½ gallon) of organic milk in a pot over medium heat until it gets to around 85°C (180°F), or right when it starts to bubble up a
little (but DON'T boil). Then take it off the heat to cool. Meanwhile, preheat 2 x litre (quart) size jars plus their lids in the dehydrator at 45°C (110°F). if the yoghurt is heated too much, the healthy and beneficial bacteria will be killed off and the yoghurt will not be as nutritious or healthy as it is intended to be.
Cool the milk down to 45°C (110°F), stirring it with a clean wooden spoon to help it cool a little faster. When it reaches this temperature, add 1 Tbsp of organic plain, whole milk yoghurt per litre (quart) of milk - so 2 Tbsp. If you have previously made yoghurt, just save the last bit in the jar to use for your next batch. If this is the first batch you are making, buy a good quality organic natural yoghurt for the starter (we started our very first batch with Greek yoghurt). Too little starter makes runny yoghurt, but too much makes everything separate into whey and thick cheese.
Whisk the yoghurt culture in well to distribute all of the beneficial bacteria throughout the milk.
Remove your preheated jars from the dehydrator and fill them up with the yoghurt-infused milk, putting the lids on.
Place jars in the preheated dehydrator.
Keep at 40°-45°C (105°-110°F) for 8-12 hours. Around 10 hours is usually perfect. Don’t stir or move it whilst fermenting, but check it after about 8 hours to see if it has coagulated.
Sometimes over culturing (too long or too warm) can cause the yoghurt to curdle or become lumpy before it fully separates. To bring it back to a smooth consistency, simply whisk it. You may either remove some of the whey if you prefer, or stir it in. Yoghurt can curdle for a few reasons, but the main reason is when it is exposed to too much heat.
It is possible to overcook your yoghurt, at which point it will break, separating into a thicker curd, and lots of whey. Don't confuse a little whey on top (which is normal) with having overcooked the yoghurt. Overcooked yoghurt will be obviously thick and without any custard-like smoothness, even after stirring.
Curdled yoghurt is fine to eat if it has curdled from heat. Yoghurt might even curdle if it is left to sit in the fridge for an extended period of time. You will see a thin layer of liquid sitting on top of the more solid yoghurt - this is the whey. It is fine to stir back into the yoghurt and eat, as long as there is no rancid smell, or clumping like cottage cheese.
I'm sure you've all heard the nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffet:
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
We always make our yoghurt at night, meaning we’ll wake up to some delicious fresh yoghurt for breakfast.
Add a large scoop of yoghurt to a bowl of Muesli or Granola - with maybe a drizzle of honey if you’re so inclined.
Don't forget to save a couple of tablespoons for your next batch though! You might like to keep a few spoonfuls in the freezer so you never run out of Yoghurt Starter.
There are so many other uses for yoghurt, in addition to a morning breakfast .....
Some examples are:
Toppings for your favourite Asian meal, Yoghurt Sauce dribbled over pan-fried Aubergine, Pasta topped with Dollops of Yoghurt, Eggplant laden with Yoghurt and garnished with Coriander and Herbs, Sandwiches spread with Yoghurt and topped with Salad, Fresh Fruit and Yoghurt Icy-poles, Raspberries and Fruit laden with Yoghurt and topped with Seeds, a delicious Bowl of Yoghurt layered with Fresh Fruit, Granola and Seeds .... the list is endless - but all mighty delicious!!
By the way .... how do you spell Yoghurt?
In the United Kingdom, the word is usually spelled yoghurtwhile in the United States the spelling is yogurt. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, both spellings are commonly found.
So, there you have it. No matter how you spell it, you really must try it out. 😁