Make your own Greek yogurt at home!

Earlier this week I published an article highlighting 10 probiotic rich foods and why to eat them. Yogurt is definitely one of those fabulous foods, and YOU can make your own!

I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with traditional cooking techniques and fermentation, including fermented dairy. I’ve dabbled with piima milk, sour cream, and kefir. I’ve even made my own soft cheese, See this video below:

I’ve also made delicious water kefir, such as the concord grape water kefir in the video below. Isn’t it fun!

So far, it’s been fairly easy, as long as you have the patience to wait several days for the product. When it came time to make my own yogurt, I wasn’t worried too much. The process was a bit more complicated than kefir, piima or even sour cream. But I was convinced I could handle it.

I discovered making yogurt, at least for me, wasn’t as much fun as the other fermented foods with which I experimented. Though I used my instapot slow cooker to keep it at the proper temp, I still over fermented the yogurt once before I got it right. See the final result below:

INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT

For one quart jar of yogurt

  • 1 quart of non-homogenized milk (AKA: Cream top) I used THIS brand – You want to use “cream top” milk, as it’s much healthier than ultra pasteurized versions. Do not used the “ultra pasteurized” milk found in most grocery stores. It won’t ferment properly
  • 1 packet of Starter culture or 2-3 tbs yogurt from a previous active batch. I used “Cultures for Health Greek Yogurt Starter Culture” FOUND HERE, for my first batch. Even though I “over fermented” my first batch, the cultures were still good and active for my second and successful batch. You can even use store bought. If you use store bought yogurt, make sure you buy ORGANIC, GRASS-FED YOGURT WITH ACTIVE CULTURES or it won’t work. (the less processed the better)
  • A clean jar. Or a clean Instapot, if that’s what you’re using. I used an instapot. Personally, I don’t think it was any easier with an instapot. I’m planning on using my dehydrator next time.
  • Thermometer
  • 4 cup size liquid Measuring cup
  • A way to incubate the yogurt, if you’re not using an instapot. You’ll need a yogurt maker, dehydrator or other way to keep the yogurt at a constant, 110 degree temp. If you don’t have a yogurt maker, instapot or dehydrator, here’s a tip:

Wrap the slow cooker insert in a large towel and very carefully transfer the slow cooker to your oven. Make sure your rack is placed low enough that the slow cooker or at least the slow cooker insert and lid will fit. You don’t want to be knocking it around. Turn the light on in your oven. This will keep the temperature nice and warm so the milk can make that magical transformation into yogurt….tada

https://www.momontimeout.com/how-to-make-yogurt-in-a-slow-cooker/

Step by step:

(For Instapot: simply follow instructions in the manual)

  1. Heat milk to 160 degrees in a pan on the stovetop
  2. Pour milk into a 4 cup glass measure and allow to cool to 110 degrees
  3. Add starter culture or yogurt previous batch and GENTLY stir
  4. Pour yogurt into yogurt maker, or a 1 quart glass jar and incubate for a minimum of 5 hours and up to 12 hours. Trust me when I say you’ll want to check every 30 minutes after that 5 hour mark to prevent over fermenting the milk. It’s done when the yogurt is thick and “pulls away” from the sides of the jar. You’ll know if you over fermented it if the milk solids separate from the whey. This simply means the probiotics are out of food and hungry. It’s still edible, but may taste bitter. I used my over fermented first batch to make my 2nd batch
  5. Allow to cool for 2 hours, then refrigerate for 6 hours prior to eating.
  6. To make a thick, Greek yogurt consistency, you’ll need to drain off the whey like in the above photo above. To do this, line a mesh strainer with cheese cloth or a cotton dish towel and place over a bowl. Pour finished, chilled yogurt into the lined strainer and allow to sit for 1-2 hours or longer, depending on the consistency you want.

Greek Yogurt Demo

from Cultures for health

Closing thoughts!

Save the liquid whey!

The liquid whey that is a result of the draining process should be saved. It is a probiotic powerhouse and can be used in dressings, mayonnaise, baking, or even probiotic lemonade!

This is a wonderful way to get reluctant family members to eat probiotic food.
☑️In a 1/2 gallon mason jar add 1/2 cup sugar, and a bit of hot water to dissolve the sugar.
☑️ Add 1/2 cup lemon juice and fill the jar 3/4 way with clean filtered water.
☑️ add 1/2 cup of liquid whey.
☑️ let sit covered for about 3 days. Taste after 2 days. It’ll be done when most of the sweetness is gone.
I recommend 1/2 cup a day.

For more ideas on what to do with the whey, follow this link to the article: 43 Surprising Everyday Uses for Whey That Will Blow Your Mind

Let me know if you try it! Bon Appetit! Namaste my friends!

43 Surprising Everyday Uses for Whey That Will Blow Your Mind

I’ve been taking cooking classes with the Traditional Cooking School by Gnowfglins. So, along with delicious sourdough, I’m making my own cheese and yogurt, which leaves me with wonderful liquid whey, as seen below. Isn’t it gorgeous? So today, I looked for things to do with this liquid gold, as I now have 3 quarts.

I wanted something besides adding it to baked goods, bread or smoothies. I wanted unique ideas such as LIQUID WHEY PIE, GJETOST/MYSOST (Sweet cheese), or LACTO-FERMENTED APPLE SAUCE. This article contains the usual suggestions, such as soaking, baking and fermenting, but it also contains some unique ideas as well. I hope you enjoy this article I’m sharing with you today. I’ve got my eye on the Mysost cheese recipe. I’ll let you know if I make it!

Healthy Probiotic “Soda”

Do you love soda? Are you addicted to it and can’t get enough? I am absolutely addicted to soda! I crave it. It is definitely my Achilles heal. I tell myself I can have just a little, just like an alcoholic would talk him/herself into a “small drink”. One small drink won’t hurt, right? Wrong! Sugar and corn syrup are as addictive as cocaine and heroin, maybe more so. We all know, in order to give up alcohol or drugs, there is no in between. The same goes for soda/sugar. I’ve given up soda dozens of time, for weeks, only to talk myself into “just a small glass. This turns into two, then three. Before you know it, I can’t make it through my day without a soda. The rest goes down hill, my diet, along with my weight and my health.



Well, no more! This time is the last time. That’s why this soda recipe is so important for me. It is changing my life. It tastes amazing! I use organic sour cherry juice concentrate. Tart cherries are amazing. They are known to tame inflammation. Tart cherries are scientifically proven to lesson inflammation and boost melatonin in the body. They are also high in melatonin, a super-hormone that plays many important roles in the body, not just for sleep! One thing you need to know is not to drink too much at once. I only drink it twice a day, with my lunch and dinner, as a tasty way to get my probiotics at each meal.

Here are links to two scientific articles researching the benefits of tart cherry juice:

I also use stevia extract (liquid), not pictured


This recipe for a healthy soda will build your microbiome instead of destroying it! The combination of organic juice concentrate, kefir, stevia and mineral water bring you sweetness, flavor and even the bubbles needed to imitate a tasty soda!

How to Ferment Vegetables

Yesterday I posted some fermented food recipes. Here’s an article from Cultures for Health highlighting everything you need to know about fermenting veggies!


Fermented vegetables begin with lacto-fermentation, a method of food preservation that also enhances the nutrient content of the food. The action of the bacteria makes the minerals in cultured foods more readily available to the body. The bacteria also produce vitamins and enzymes that are beneficial for digestion.

www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/natural-fermentation/how-to-ferment-vegetables/

50 Immune Boosting Vegetarian Recipes And Foods

In my oh so humble opinion, you can NEVER have enough vegetable recipes!! A plant based diet is key to a healthy body and long life. Here’s are 50 vegetarian recipes from Veg Recipes from India!

1000+ images about Healthy Quotes on Pinterest | Fitspo ...

“In this critical time, it is essential to have food that your body needs. You can make a conscious decision to move into healthy eating habits and choices.

I am sharing vegetarian plant-based foods and recipes which I am personally going to focus on and prepare at home. I am not going to overboard as an excess of everything is not good. Balance is the key. But I would like to include more of these immune-boosting food in our diets than earlier.”

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW FOR THE MAIN ARTICLE AND ACCESS TO THE 50 RECIPES

feedproxy.google.com/~r/vegrecipesofindia/~3/PPBMtsYb4M8/

10 One-Pot Dinners for When You Don’t Feel Like Doing the Dishes

I HATE doing dishes!! If you’re like me, there’s nothing better or easier than a one dish dinner. The article below lists 10 dinners made in ONE POT! YEAH!

Quotes About Washing Dishes. QuotesGram

Dirty dishes are generally unavoidable when you’re cooking, but there is no rule that says you can’t use fewer dishes when life calls for it. And I would say life most definitely calls for it right now.”

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW FOR THE MAIN ARTICLE

www.thekitchn.com/one-pot-dinners-267642

Kale quinoa salad

Here is a healthy and colorful addition to your meal prep arsenal!

Follow the link below for the recipe:

feedproxy.google.com/~r/ACoupleCooks/~3/QaacpEWgyvc/

5 Recipe search sites to help use up pantry ingredients (with 10 recipes)

Are you sheltering in place or stuck at home? Are you tired of the same boring recipes? I’ve found 5 different websites that offer a recipe search by ingredients. The basic idea with these sites is you tell the site what you have on hand and it spits out recipes you can cook using those ingredients. I tried them all out and some are better than others. But you should be able to find something at one of these five sites. Step out of your routine and get creative! I’ve also included 10 recipes I found while searching these sites. I hope you enjoy!

Super Cook

Inputting chicken, butter and rice, I came up with the following recipes:

Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

From; Just a Pinch Recipes
Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

Persian Rice with Golden Crust

From: Epicurious

Recipe Puppy

On this site, I input tuna and rice. and, eventually, came up with this recipe. This site was a bit more frustrating to use. Many of the recipes I wanted, led to a general site and not the actual recipe. I had to sift through a lot of “tuna salad” and “tuna casserole” recipes before finding this one.

Tuna and Brown Rice Salad

From: Food.com

Recipe Land

On this site, I began by inputting salmon and pasta. This, however, only retrieved 4 recipes. So, I simply put in salmon and came up with five pages of recipes, including the ones below:

Creamy Salmon and New Potato Salad

From Recipe Land

Cheddar Salmon Cakes

From: Recipe Land

Old Fashioned Salmon Loaf

From: Recipe Land

Food Combo

This site was quite different than the others. It has a “pantry” function. I was able to put in 15 different items. You can unlock premium features and put in more for a one time fee of $9.99.
Here’s the recipe I found after figuring out how the site worked. I was a bit frustrated at first. It seems unnecessarily complex. However, once I figured out how it worked, I realized this site is jam packed with recipes. I believe it may be worth the one time fee of $10. The pantry function is nice. The ability to put in more than 15 items would be wonderful. You could fill the pantry with everything you have on hand and find just the right recipe.

Meatloaf Potato Casserole

From: Food.com

Slow Cooker Creole Chicken Stew

From: The Gracious Pantry

Brown Sugar Salmon

From: Slender Kitchen

My Fridge Food

This site was just okay. I don’t think it was quite up to the quality of the other sites. On the main page, you select ingredients from a limited list and search. Unlike the other sites, which link to other recipe sites on the internet, the recipes here appear to all be submitted by other users and limited to just this site. This is fine, but limits the number of recipes available. Here’s what I found:

Chicken Stuffed Peppers

From My Fridge Food

Closing thoughts:

Life and food doesn’t have to be boring, even when you’re stuck at home. Think of it as a challenge…you have 5 random ingredients and get creative…or use one of the five sites I’ve highlighted here. Go ahead…let out your inner chef!

The healing benefits of broth with 2 recipes (vegan option)

The last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about ways to prevent illness by boosting the immune system with natural foods such as camu camu, elderberry or oil of oregano. Well, what happens if you’ve done everything you can to prevent it, but you still get sick? You, or someone you love, can make some bone broth of course.

NOTE: If you are a vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I have an extra special vegetable broth recipe for you so no worries!

bone-broth-isnt-just-broth-and-isnt-just-soup-its-concentrated-healting-kellianne-petrucci

So, let’s talk about bone broth. Using bones to make broth has become rather trendy, but it’s not a new concept by any means. In fact, this is something that has been done since prehistoric times, when no part of the animal was wasted (2). In Chinese medicine, which dates back more than 2500 years, bone broth is used to improve the health of the digestive system,  bones, and kidneys (1). Chicken soup was used in 12th century Egypt for colds and asthma. (1)

Bone broth is incredibly healthy. In fact, when I talk about food as medicine, bone broth is right up there on the list of things you should be eating. Our prehistoric ancestors knew what they were doing. Let’s take a look at just why it’s so healthy. Here are 18 benefits, according to an article published by louisehay.com.

  1. Immunity boost-due to the amino acid content, such as arginine, glutamine, and cysteine.
  2. Relieves the common cold & Bronchitis– A study published in The Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, studied the affect of chicken soup (chicken bone broth) on the common cold. Researchers found that chicken soup, did indeed alleviate symptoms, including clearing mucus, open respiratory pathways and provide easy-to-digest nutrition
  3. Diminish inflammation-The amino acid content, for example cystine, histidine, and glycine, reduce inflammation, while L-glutamine reduces gut inflammation. Studies indicate the anti-inflammatory affect of bone broth may be the reason behind helpfulness in relation to the common cold.
  4. Strong bones and teeth-What do you need to build bones and teeth? If you said calcium, you are only partially correct. In order to adequately build bone, the human body requires the following nutrients: calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins. Bone broth, made with meat and vegetables, is a good source of ALL of these vitamins
  5. Weight loss-There are 2 aspects to the benefits of bone broth on weight loss. 1) many overweight people have what’s called Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in gut bacteria. Bone broth has high levels of the amino acid L-glutamine, which relieves inflammation, rebuilds gut lining and balances the gut bacteria. 2) Studies show that eating soup or drinking bone broth before meals reduces caloric intake during the next meal.
  6. Better Hydration-If you are dehydrated, drinking bone broth is an excellent way to rehydrate. Bone broth, with vegetables, has high levels of electrolytes and carbohydrates.
  7. Improve exercise capacity-Some studies show that liquids with electrolytes and carbohydrates outperform water in restorative capacity. Bone broth, a much healthier alternative than Gatorade, contains  these qualities.
  8. Build muscle-Once again, the all important amino acids come into play. The amino acid content of bone broth stimulates “muscle protein synthesis”.
  9. Improved mood-The digestive system is sometimes called “The Second Brain”. Your gut and your brain are, invariably, linked. What affects one affects the other. When gut bacteria, aka micro-biome, become imbalanced, this influences your brain. When the micro-biome is healthy, the brain receives “happy” signals from the brain. The opposite is also true. Neuroscientists are now studying the treatment of mood disorders, such as depression,  by managing the micro-biome.
  10. Gelatin-No, I’m not talking about Jell-o, which is filled with chemicals! Actually, Jell-o comes from gelatin made, most likely, from pigskin, but can be made from any other type of bone. (3) The gelatin I’m talking about, is gelatin in it’s pure form. Have you ever made soup, and taken it out of the fridge to find that the broth has turned into a “jelly” like substance? That is what good bone broth is supposed to do. The prevalence of degenerative and inflammatory disease in our society could be corrected with gelatin rich foods, such as bone broth. Here are 9 additional benefits of the gelatin contained within bone-broth.
  • Stronger, healthier nails
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-tumor
  • Arthritis and joint-pain relief
  • Cell-protecting
  • Can alleviate diabetes and lower blood sugar; supports insulin regulation
  • Can improve sleep
  • Helps regulate bleeding
  • Helps normalize stomach acid

For the full article: 18 Amazing Health Benefits Of Bone Broth

Now that you know the benefits of bone broth, just how do you make it? Well it’s actually a very easy, though lengthy process.  However, I can assure you, it’s worth your time. Here’s a short video (:52) showing how to make beef bone broth. Don’t have beef bones? Don’t worry! The process is the same with other bones as well. Don’t be intimidated by bone broth! It is SOOOO easy! Really! The hardest part is waiting 2 days for it to be done!

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds beef bones with marrow
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, peel on, sliced in half lengthwise and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5-6 sprigs parsley
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 18-20 cups cold water

For the complete recipe go to: https://draxe.com/recipe/beef-bone-broth/

To learn more about the benefits of Bone Broth, take a look at the article from the Weston A Price Foundation called

Broth is Beautiful


For those vegans and vegetarians, I have

Rebecca Katz’s “Magic Mineral Broth” Recipe

This isn’t just any old vegetable broth recipe. In fact, this is more than just a broth. According to Rebecca, Magic Mineral Broth is packed with potassium and several trace minerals. Rebecca says in her cookbook Nourishing Life One Bite at a Time, that this broth alone could sustain you for quite some time. It’s a great alternative for people who may be too sick to eat solid food. It is very versatile and can be used as your base for any soup. In fact, I use this as a base for my bone broth. You could also simply add your bones to this recipe, which I have done in many cases.

So on with the recipe and I have a special surprise. Who better than to show you how to make this tremendous broth than Rebbecca Katz herself.? Here is a “how to” video, with Rebecca Katz, showing you how to prepare this wonderful, flavorful, healthy broth.

magicmineralbroth

Closing thoughts

You really can’t go wrong with bone broth and magic mineral broth. What can be easier than this process? I mean seriously, if you can chop veggies and boil water, you can make a delicious and nutritious broth that will be the envy of all your friends. In fact, why not bring them a jar of your homemade broth the next time they are under the weather?

Until next time…namaste my friends

Sources:

  1. https://www.barebonesbroth.com/blog/goodness-through-the-ages/
  2. http://blog.kettleandfire.com/the-surprising-history-behind-bone-broth/
  3. http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/j-ello.htm

Middle-age Memoirs~ Cooking edition: Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

My better half recently had a birthday. He requested angel food cake with my homemade frozen custard. I made him and my boys a “normal” cake with wheat flour. I’ll confess, it was from a box. He said he wanted to make things easy for me. 🤣

However, me, being gluten free, can’t eat that type of cake. I’ll share my frozen custard recipe in another post, but know that it requires 8 egg yolks. This means I had 8 egg whites left over. What do you do with them? Well, make gluten-free angel food cake of course!

I began by searching the web for an 8 egg white angel food cake recipe, which I found at Recipe Rascal. The recipe required the following ingredients:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I used these ingredients, swapping the regular flour with an all purpose gluten free flour blend. What you use here is a matter of preference. Some suggestions would be Bob’s Red Mill or Pamela’s. I’ve had good success baking with both brands.

I sifted the flour and salt together 3 times (per recipe instructions) and set them aside in a small bowl.

Next, I added the egg whites to my stand mixer and blended until frothy, then added the cream of tarter. While the mixer was going, I gradually added the sugar and vanilla. I mixed this until the egg whites were stiff peaks.

How do you know if the whites are stiff enough? A good test is to hold the bowl upside down like I did here in this video:

Finally, I very carefully folded in the GF flour and poured the batter into an UNBUTTERED loaf pan (It’s VERY important that the pan is NOT greased). An angel food cake pan would work as well. I baked it at 325 for approximately 40 minutes.

When it’s removed from the oven, an angel food cake needs to be cooled properly or it will collapse. In my case, I set the loaf pan on its side. If an angel food cake pan is used, turn the pan upside down on a glass bottle, if the pan does not have “cooling feet”.

Closing thoughts

This cake was delicious and it really wasn’t that hard! My son said you couldn’t even tell it was gluten free. I will definitely be making it again. My husband also said he loved it and would have been fine with this as his birthday cake. Well, I guess I’ll know for next year. No more box angel food cakes for us!

Until next time…namaste my friends!

Tamara