Communal Living And Making Your Own Greek Yoghurt
Communal living is not always easy, especially when you’re expected to share each other’s spaces. Since I’ve had to move around quite a bit recently, from house to house, I’ve had to share other people’s kitchens. Before I had done this, I never realized just how lovely it is to have your own kitchen. However, it’s taught me to improvise with cooking and meal preparation.
Instead of darting in and out of the kitchen, I prefer to make bigger batches of food so that I can get more meals out of them. I am a big fan of Greek yogurt and as a Pescatarian, it is a major breakfast staple. In fact, I can easily polish off two tubs of yogurt in a week. That’s because it’s high in protein, very satisfying and gives my breakfast volume. The only issue is that it’s super expensive if you keep having to stock up. In addition, when you’re sharing a kitchen with people, it’s annoying trying to make space for a bunch of yogurt tubs in the fridge. That’s why it helps to make bigger batches yourself and keep it in one big Tupperware.
And if you’re living on your own, your reason to make it yourself would be to save money! Trust me, every purchase adds up.
Communal Living Secrets
Now I know not all of you are in this situation, but it does help to prepare food in advance. Especially if you’re a busy person. It is also a lot better for your health. Most ‘plain’ yogurt that you buy at the store doesn’t contain any live bacteria or probiotics. The only ingredients it contains is thickeners and preservatives. That’s no good at all. We need to consume live bacteria for regulating our gut health, which is why Greek yoghurt is so beneficial for our bodies.
If you are Vegan, there are also homemade Vegan yogurt recipes available to you. However, I enjoy the classic Greek yogurt style as it is both delicious and nutritious. Better yet, if you are living in a place where you need to share the fridge – this yogurt recipe might help you. Yes, it will take some of your time but it’s better than missioning to the shops every three days.
And it’s so easy too! The process is magical. You basically use some of your favorite leftover Greek yogurt, add it to milk and wait for it to expand and grow. It turns into yogurt all on its own. How amazing? I also can’t get over how good it tastes, too! The flavor of homemade yogurt is mild and creamy. The only downside is that you need to set aside some time to make it. Not really hands-on time – just a little patience. This is because you will need to let the mixture incubate and set for approximately 22 hours.
It does take an entire day, but you hardly have to do anything. The yogurt basically makes itself and just sits there.
How The Magic Happens
If you’re in some kind of communal living situation at the moment like me, you might want to book your slot to use the stove and oven beforehand. While the oven is optional, you will definitely require a stove top. Secondly, you must ensure you’ve got the two most imperative ingredients for the recipe to work. You will need any kind of milk. 1%, 2% or whole. I used 2% skim milk and poured it into a large pot.
You can turn your stove top to high and slowly bring your milk to a light simmer and and then to a boil. Once the milk reaches this point you will need to remove it from the heat. Now it is time for the cooling phase.
To speed this process up a little, fill up a sink with cold water and a few ice blocks and plonk your pot into the water to let it cool down. The milk must cool until the temperature reaches 100 degrees. If you own a thermometer you can use it, if not, then use the finger test. All you do is stick your figure into the middle of the milk mixture and if you can hold it there for 10 seconds the milk is cool enough for the next step. You must now remove the film on the top.
In a communal kitchen setting, you will want to speed processes up so that you don’t have to use up space for too long. I’d recommend the ice water solution. While that is cooling, mix together 1/4 cup of your favorite Greek yoghurt. You must also take 1/2 cup of the warm milk into a separate jug and whisk in your Greek yogurt. Ensure that your yogurt starter contains important live bacteria and cultures and no preservatives.
The Final Process
You’re close to the end of the most hands-on part of the yogurt-making process.
When the milk has reached a cool temperature of about 100 degrees, you can stir in your yogurt/milk mixture. Then, once you have mixed it in you will need to cover it with a lid.
This brings us to the incubation stage. You have two options, depending on what you have access to in your communal living situation. You can either wrap your pot up in a towel and place it in the oven with the light bulb on for warmth and leave overnight. Alternatively, you can simply decant the mixture into a container and wrap it up in multiple towels and let is sit in a warm area for 6 to 12 hours/overnight. Either option will give the yogurt the opportunity to ferment and grow.
Once you’ve left your mixture overnight, place the pot or container into the refrigerator for another 4 hours. This will allow it to ferment into a tangier and creamier yogurt.
The next step is entirely up to you depending on whether or not you enjoy a thicker or thinner consistency. You can stop right here and you will end up with regular yogurt. But, if you want to achieve a creamier, thicker Greek-style yogurt then straining it further will help you achieve this.
Straining Is Key
By all means, if you’re in a hurry due to communal living constraints or you’re just super excited to eat your homemade yogurt, then, go ahead and tuck in. But if you really want to surprise yourself at how amazingly easy it is to make your very own restaurant material Greek yogurt, then I would suggest straining it further.
That’s it! Now you are free to enjoy your yogurt fully. It takes about 6 hours extra to achieve the nice thick Greek yogurt you’re thinking of. Personally, I prefer it when my yogurt is medium thickness. If it’s too thin it’s like water and if it’s too thick I feel as if it goes nowhere. It takes a bit of practice and experimenting to get it just the way you like it. But once you perfect the recipe it’s totally worth the money saves, time spent in a kitchen and a hassle-free communal living situation.
Trust me, this mixture is AMAZING. It is super rich, creamy and incredibly mild compared to regular plain yogurt. It’s not as tart.
You can even add in some berries, honey and nuts. If you’ve got some fresh fruit then add it in too.
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