UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE RECIPE AT THE END. PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE “HOW-TO”
Yogurt. I’m a fan. I have this weird yeast imbalance thing that I’ve been dealing with off and on for years, and so for me, that means three important rules in my diet: don’t eat tons of yeast, don’t eat tons of sugar (sugar feeds the yeast) and restock the good bacteria. Most yogurt contains “good” bacteria, or probiotics, like acidophilus. This stuff helps to keep you.. ahem… regular, but it also supports your immune system. I’ve managed to remain relatively cold-free by dosing myself regularly with probiotics.
I like yogurt for breakfast, usually with granola and honey. I also like a spoonful or two in my smoothie every day to boost up the protein, add the probiotics, and make it creamy. But I’m not a huge fan of commercial yogurt. Many of the fat-free or lower-fat varieties have tons of additives–like aspartame or one of those other fake sweeteners which I generally avoid, or they have to add in thickeners to make up for the fat they’ve taken out. I’m more concerned about additives than I am about naturally-occurring fats, so I decided I’d try making my own yogurt.
Meet the Cuisinart Yogurt Maker. Now, I own several Cuisinart kitchen appliances already, and I gotta say, I’m a fan. It promises to be really simple: you put in the three ingredients, set it, and 8 hours later, you have yogurt! What I love about this appliance is how slim it is. Probably many of you, like me, have a bit of an appliance obsession, but lack the space to store them. This is so small–I could easily store it away in the cupboard, and pull it out once a week or so to make up a fresh batch. In addition, it was so easy to use–literally, you whisk up the three ingredients, pour them in, turn it on, and 8 hours later, you have fresh yogurt. Oh–and did I mention how quiet it was? You wouldn’t even know it was there. The best thing about it, though is the built-in cooling feature. I started my batch of yogurt in the late evening, and it would have been finished sometime in the middle of the night while I was asleep. But it refrigerates the finished yogurt until you can get to it and put it in the fridge. How brilliant is that??
I wasn’t 100% happy with the yogurt I made on my first try, but that didn’t have anything to do with the yogurt maker, but rather to do with the ingredients I chose. I used a lower-fat milk (because it was what I had on hand), and the result was runnier and waterier than what I’d like it to be. When I was in Greece, every day for breakfast, we had this beautiful, thick yogurt, sweetened with honey. I need to experiment with more recipes and figure out how to get it to that consistency. My guess is, I need to use a higher-fat milk. It also has the ability to make non-diary yogurt with soy or rice milk, and I definitely want to try doing that as well. I will experiment some more and get back to you, but I gotta say, I’m really happy with how the Cuisinart Yogurt Maker performed. Now, if I could just figure out how to spell ‘yogurt…’
UPDATE: turns out increasing the amount of fat in your milk does in fact make a thicker, creamier yogurt. Try using coffee cream (10% milk fat) or light cream (6%), and it makes for a perfect Greek Yogurt with no thickeners or straining.
Disclaimer: I received the Cuisinart in exchange for this review thanks to London Drugs. All opinions and recipes are my own.
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup skim milk powder
- 1 package yogourt starter (I use Yogourmet–available at Whole Foods)
Watch the video above. Times and procedures may vary slightly if you don’t have the Cuisinart Yogurt Maker.