Jun 16, 2010

cha-cha-cha-chia!!!! (plus making yogurt)

okay…this stuff that looks like bird feed. its not. they're chia seeds.
(btw…that link will tell you MORE than you ever wanted to know about chia seeds. basically thought, they contain LOADS of omega-3's & are a huge energy booster. agh. thats not saying enough. just skim the article)
i will be buying these on amazon next month. i need to start with a fresh food budget before i do. but the link is to the bag i'm thiiinking about getting. 2 pounds for now is plenty. oh gosh. what would be do with FIVE pounds of chia seeds! ack. unless someone(s) wanted to divvy some of them up. i have some fun recipes i want to use them in too! (think popsicles & yum summer drinks…)

*updated my recipe. this one is much MUCH better, & easier to make. i tried to hard to avoid powder milk, but what the heck…*

You will need:
3 1/2 cups of milk (whole is ideal. you could maybe get away with 2% though...)
1/4 cup dry or powder milk
2 tablespoons (about) of plain yogurt (for your starter)
1 quart-sized ball jars
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla*
1/4 cup of honey or sugar*
no. 1
Place a pan over medium heat. Combine your milk and dry milk {*add vanilla & honey at this point, too if you want more french vanilla tasting yogurt, daniel likes it better that way, so thats what we've been doing…} 
no. 2
Now go ahead & put your two tablespoons of yogurt in your ball jar. I used plain stonyfield organic yogurt because it has lots of good-for-you probiotics. & if you're going to bother making your own yogurt…i say why not :)
no. 3
Continue to stir your milk every so often until its about at 180 degrees - so its ALMOST boiling. I used my little candy thermometor at first, but now I actually just wait until you can tell its JUST about to boil. It really doesn't spoil your yougurt if a few bubbles appear. Just remove from heat & let cool at that point until its lukewarm.  (letting it cool takes FORever. at least for me. if you place your pan in a larger pan or bowl with ice & cold water, it will cool a thousand times faster.)
no. 4
Pour half of your milk in your container, screw on the lids & give it a good shake. Okay, now take the lids off again & pour in your remaining milk into the jars. Shake well again.
no. 5
Now the yogurt needs to 'incubate'  between 90-110 degrees to get the cultures going. It will take between 6 to 12 hours. If you have a yogurt maker…lucky you. If not, this is what has worked for me…
Preheat your oven to 170 - you should do this anyways to sterilize your jars. whoops. i don't think i said that earlier. sooo…make sure you do that. then turn the oven OFF. & turn your oven light on. Place jars inside. Check after about 6 hours. Mine seems to be taking about that amount of time lately.
no. 6
After all that is done - & your yogurt is lookin goood, put it in your fridge to cool for a few more hours (or overnight).

ALSO: if you really want to try something fun - i've heard you can replace 1-2 cups of milk with coconut milk. I reaaally want to try it soon!

Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
Each batch of yogurt (maybe i'm silly because i like to know this) costs me $.80. Thats with organic heavy cream & milk, too! So its super cheap. Click here for stonyfield yogurt coupons. here for organic valley coupons. Harris Teeter & Lowe's Food has had organic milk on sale the past two weeks for $4 a gallon. We have majorly stocked up. & it doesn't expire for several weeks. I don't know why that is? But its great for me!

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