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!

The Wellness Mindset ~ Recipes: Creamy Cilantro Avocado Dressing

Today, on my main blog, I discussed the benefits of 1 daily avocado in relation to dementia prevention. So, I thought it only right to include at least one avocado recipe here.

I love avocado, but my better half does not. I’d like to try and incorporate this healthy fruit into our daily diet, but I’ll have to get creative. Why do I want to incorporate it? There are many proven health benefits. Each day this week, I’ll list 2 different health benefits AND, post a video, showcasing a different way to use this amazing plant.

Health Benefits of avocados (1)

  • AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS
    • Keeps you full longer
    • Eat fewer calories
  • MORE POTASSIUM THAN BANANAS
    • most people don’t get nearly enough potassium and many may be deficient. Avocados are high in potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

Source:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado

Until next time, Namaste my friends.

Tamara

10 Delicious & Healthy Chocolate Desserts to Share with the Ones you Love

Middle-Age Wisdom Recipes…I decided to search the internet for delicious chocolate recipes, but that are still on the healthy side. Many of these are vegan and/or gluten free. I hope you enjoy!

I first posted this article on February 13, 2020 in honor of Valentines day. I decided to repost it as today’s recipe article, due to my wellness tip of the day for my MAIN BLOG.

So, in honor of this wellness tip, I present these 10 “healthy” chocolate recipes!


Here’s the original article:

Normally, I’d be sharing insomnia recipes with you all today. However, since tomorrow is Valentines day, I decided to search the internet for delicious chocolate recipes, but that are still on the healthy side. Many of these are vegan and/or gluten free. I hope you enjoy!

Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters

(Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy-Free)

Beaming Baker

4 Ingredient Peppermint Chocolate Crunch Bars

(Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free)

Beaming Baker

Coconut Chai Chocolate Cake

Clean Eating

Chocolate Raspberry Macaroon Tart

Clean Eating

Chocolate Banana Freezer Pie

Clean Eating

Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Minimalist Baker

Instant Chocolate Almond Ice Cream

(Vegan)

Super Healthy Kids

No-Bake French Silk Pie

(Vegan)

Blissful Basil

Almond Joy Bites

(Vegan)

My Real Food Family

Chef John’s Chocolate Chia Pudding

Food Wishes

(If you are sensitive to high fiber foods, this one is best avoided)

Closing thoughts…

As I always say, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. You just need to be a bit creative with the ingredients. I hope you enjoy time with your loved ones tomorrow.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE!

Happy Valentine's Day Flashing Hearts Gif Pictures, Photos ...

Until next time…namaste my friends

Tamara

6 Super Healthy Diabetic Friendly Recipes

Earlier today, on my main site, Purple Almond Wellness, I featured an article about managing blood sugar for diabetes. Here is a list of 6 super healthy diabetes friendly recipes to help do just that! Each recipe uses at least one of the foods on THIS LIST of diabetes friendly foods. In some cases, more than one food is in the recipe. ENJOY!

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Sardine and Lemongrass Salad

From: Saveur.com

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Spinach, Beef and Egg Hash

From: Saveur.com

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LIGHT BERRY FROZEN YOGURT

From: Sugar Free Mom

Broccoli with Parmesan and Walnuts

From: Martha Stewart

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Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup

From: The Hungry Hounds

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Raw Zucchini and Flaxseed Wraps

From: The Full Helping

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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/

5 Fermented Food Recipes to Improve Gut (& brain) Health

Did you know that a 80% of the immune system is in the gut? Did you also know that most neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and melatonin largely made in the gut? Scientific research now proves a direct link between gut health and brain health. When the gut is healthy, the brain is healthy…and vice versa! We now know that the key to a healthy gut is a healthy microbiome. How do we get a healthy microbiome? It really is quite simple, and delicious. Eliminate sugar and processed foods. Then eat a plant-based whole food diet which includes homemade fermented foods, that are teaming with healthy probiotic bacteria.

Below, I’ve listed links to 5 simple fermented food recipes. You may need to get culture starter. Here are some sources:

The Importance of Probiotic Foods & The Top 10 to Choose ...

Ginger Orange Fermented Beets

From: Body Ecology

Fermented Vegetables

From: DIY Natural

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

From: Fermentation Recipes

Coconut Water Kefir

From: Real Life of Pie

FULL RES KEFIR WATER-Photographer Jordan Pie-3 (1).jpg

Fermented Berries

From: Oh Lardy

Lacto-fermenting fruit - Oh Lardy

Until next time, Namaste my friends.

Tamara

Simple Batch Cooking Meal Plan — The Wellness Mama

If you’ve wanted to try meal planning this post from The Wellness Mama is for you. In this article, she explains batch cooking and includes a 7-day meal plan. She also breaks down the cooking procedure into a step-by-step process. It couldn’t be easier!

For the main article and full meal plan, follow the link below.

wellnessmama.com/1106/batch-cooking-meal-plan/

Featured photo source: The Wellness Mama

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