The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

When you make your own yoghurt...

If you could see my house right now...  I am in the bedroom surrounded by piles of boxes of pantry items, there is noise and dust...   I decided to write up a post about the spin offs from making yoghurt as it is so incredibly useful and zero crafts are happening right now!

First of all I discovered that the yoghurt I was eating contained cultures but not live ones! Unless the label says Live culture they probably aren't living.  So this would explain why it never did my any good when taking antibiotics and I ended up having to buy a chemist version.  It was also expensive. Also when I had tried yoghurts with fruit in them I came out in a rash.  Every time!  On closer inspection these contained all kinds of preservatives.

Cath from The Cheapskates Club got me onto making my own yoghurt and I haven't looked back.  There are all kinds of methods and I had been put off by recipes with heating, temperature taking and a lot of fiddling around.  This method needs none of that.  You can find the way recipe here.  I ended up with an Easiyo yoghurt maker with needs no electricity and is really basically a large thermos.
Also I use either real yoghurt as my starter or a couple of spoons of Easiyo starter,  either is fine.

Suddenly yogurt goes from expensive to cheap!  It is very nutritious and yum.  The things you can now make also cheaply are mind boggling! You can also flavour it naturally however you like.

First of all you can make a whole list of things from actual yoghurt.  Frozen ice blocks,  smoothies and shakes, smoothie cubes, parfaits etc.   An easy pizza base is just plain yoghurt mixed with flour to make a dough. This presses out to be a surprisingly good base!  I found that half water and half yoghurt worked just as well.

There are so many muffin recipes that use yoghurt.  The ones I make are my Miracle Muffins that use basically any ingredients you have on hand.  Miracle Muffins.  These are so good for breakfasts and lunch boxes.  And they freeze perfectly.

 I make Naan Bread and that is just my regular bread dough with a few spoons of yoghurt mixed in. This makes it silky smooth.  These are so yum!  You can also make a two ingredient Naan using just 200g Greek Yoghurt and 1 and 3/4 cups Sr flour.  Knead this well, cut into six, roll flat and cooking until lightly charred in a little olive oil in a hot pan. 

I make a mint raita with yoghurt, mint and cumin.  Just blend away!  It is so good with any curry.

With mint in the garden this costs me almost nothing. Yet the girls always ask for containers of it they love it so much! 

Then there are cakes.  So may cakes contain yoghurt.  My main one is my Use it Up recipe that I will add any fruit to.   

That recipe is Economical and Yummy Cake.   Very easy and also freezes.
Then you have pancakes,  french onion dip, Tatziki, yoghurt and bread crumbed dipped chicken (simply dip chicken into the yoghurt, then the crumbs and bake. That's it!)  and as a topping on Lamb Kofta or Glouash...

After you exhaust things to make with yoghurt then you have things you make with either sour cream or buttermilk as yoghurt can usually be used in the place of either.
So my plain Greek Yoghurt goes on top of baked potatoes, into potato bake and even can become a substitute for a cheese sauce.  Lynette makes A Moussaka Topping using one cup of yoghurt, 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon plain flour. She beats the eggs and adds the rest.  Spreading this on top of moussaka (or lasagne) and bake as normal.

There are countless cakes with sour cream or buttermilk.  I am making banana cake that is meant to contain buttermilk and using yoghurt with some water added to get the consistency right.   This recipe is a favourite around here.  It is on this post The Money Saving Baking Day. 

Every time I make Enchiladas I use sour cream so now I use Greek yoghurt in its place. No one has noticed any difference. 

Then there is Ranch dressing, other dressings and toppings...

There are just so many possibilities and I have recipes lined up to try yet including Sour Cream apple slice and Southern Fried Chicken by Donna Hay.  I keep noticing new recipes to try.  Another option is to strain the yoghurt until you have a soft cheese.  I am yet to do that but it is on my list when I get my kitchen up and running again.  I will report how that goes! 

When I made my first batch of yoghurt I had no idea how it would help the rest of the food budget.  It is one of the best new things I learned this year!  This has worked by eliminating things I buy and giving me ingredients to use in pretty big quantities.  Plus I am eating more and it is the real stuff which is good for me. 

When I started this post there was grinding happening in the kitchen and now it is Wednesday morning there is glue going down and then flooring!  I see a small light at the end of the tunnel!  😊

I hope your week is going well!  And I hope if you are in the US that you are safe and dry and ok. Please let us know.

If you have any tips or recipes that use yoghurt please share and between us we will have a good list. I am amazed how this one simple thing has given me so many possibilities!  xxx


  1. Oh Lol Annabel! I just made three batches of Greek yoghurt over the last few days and had a big cookup yesterday. Like you, I baked and made a super light Banana Bread, Peaches and Cream (well, yoghurt really) muffins, Savoury yoghurt to have with Koftas tonight, Lemon Meringue yoghurt parfaits, and Atholl Brose which is a Scottish drink/dessert using toasted oats (we've only just discovered that oats can be gluten free), honey, yoghurt and fruit. The original version contains whiskey, but we wisely leave that! Just having that ability to make cheap yoghurt whenever you like, is a real eye opener, isn't it! Loving your ideas. Hope the kitchen is coming along. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Well, you are making the best of remodeling! I make my own yogurt, also. What an impressive list of things to make with it. Do you know that you can make your own sourdough starter with yogurt, flour and water? I've never done this as I use rye flour as a base for my starter.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Annabel we have been making yoghurt for years in a EasiYo container. My husband bought three at the Op Shops. Before we were married nearly 40 years ago yoghurt wasn't as popular as it is now and he used to make his own then so he is an old hand. Mind you, much of the yoghurt in the supermarkets has a lot of sugar in it so by making your own you can regulate how sweet you want to make it. All the best with getting that kitchen back to normal.

  4. Now, I'm hungry! Great ideas!

    I use yogurt in place of sour cream in my beef stroganoff recipe.
    Also in any dips, again, in place of sour cream.

    Glad you can see the end of your project!

  5. When I cleaned out my baking shelf last week I found two sachets of esiyo. I have made one of these up with success. My last two batches, using Cath's MOO yoghurt were disasters. The first one I ended up making up into a really nice lassie style drink with some strawberries, but the second batch was just awful. I have the last bag of easiyo left and will try and use this as the starter.
    The only extra offer I have is making a lovely drink with yoghurt and fruit, a fruit lassie. These are simply delicious in the heat of summer.

    1. That's no good Jane! The best result is using full cream milk powder. I know everyone just loves "skinny" yoghurt, but it you want nice, thick, creamy homemade yoghurt you need to use full cream milk powder. Commercial yoghurts, even the full fat versions, are thick and creamy because they have thickeners added to them. Homemade yoghurt relies on the fat in the milk to help thicken. How long did you leave it? Your yoghurt will stop setting once you take it out of the thermos and cool/chill it. You can safely leave it in the thermos for up to 24 hours if overnight doesn't give you the result you want. And, being winter, topping up the thermos with freshly boiled water or wrapping it in a couple of towels, so it holds the heat will help. Don't give up on making your own yoghurt, it really is worth the effort :)

    2. Cath I'm in the sub tropics of Qld and it is warm. Both batches were checked after 12 hours and the water in the eziyo thermos was replaced with boiling water. The first effort was made with skim milk and it sort of worked. The second was made with full cream milk powder and it was revolting! I am wondering if the FC milk powder might be off? I will have another go and I will eventually get the lovely yoghurt that you and Annabel are making.

    3. OK, well milk powder will go rancid over time. I keep mine in the freezer (I buy 15kg once a year). That may be the cause. Another thing that is important is fresh starter - yoghurt that has been open for a week or so won't make the same as a freshly opened yoghurt. Again, I buy a 200ml tum and freeze what I don't use. Then I keep some from the batch I've made to make another batch IF I'm going to make it straight away - otherwise I use some of the frozen starter. Good luck! I'll be waiting to hear how your next batch turns out.

    4. Jane ,Ive just made a batch using a good tbs of sachet yoghurt , 1.5 cups full cream milk powder ,in my Easi Yo Maker and left it for 12 -14 hours overnight.Its thick and tart but I dont have it on its own but mix it with warmed thawed blueberries or cherries.
      This is the first time Ive made it this way , I usually make it by keep a few tbs of made yoghurt plus 1.5 to 1.75 cups milk powder.And I get about 4 tubs of yoghurt this way and then it gets too watery so I start again with a new pkt of yoghurt made up and do the same with that .Also our weather is colder and is 13-14 C overnight and today .HTH. Love Maria xxx

    5. Oops Ive just seen Edwina posted the same method .... Maria

  6. Annabel if you use a packet starter to make your yoghurt you can make it heaps cheaper by using 1 heaped Tablespoon of the powder, 1 + 1/2 Full Cream Milk powder, then make up as usual.

  7. My sister and niece make their own yogurt- they both say they can't stand the taste of store bought yogurt now. I'm in middle Ga. and Irma went thru yesterday. We (considering how bad it could have been)fared well in our area-- lots of trees down, branches broken off, power outages (but the power companies are working really fast getting restored). Hubby and I were lucky and did not lose electricity-- thank heavens!! We just feel for the folks in Fla though--the devastation is heartbreaking. I-75 was bumper to bumper today and I am sure still is tonight with folks going home to Fla. A lot of gratitude in our area that we aren't facing what Fla is facing.

  8. I really feel compelled to try this now! Thanks so much!

  9. We are not crazy abut the tangy flavor of yoghurt but I am just as happy to have learned to culture my own buttermilk this year. I use it in everything and my baked goods are so much more moist and keep so much better.

    All our friends and family are safe. The hurricane passed right over the areas where most of our family lives but none had any damage to their homes and none were flooded. Many still do not have power or phones or internet but that does not matter. The remnants came over us last night and the wind was absolutely wild and things were crashing down outside but the media kept saying not to go out and check because you could be killed. We stayed up until 3 AM when the wind died down and then felt it was safe to go upstairs to bed. Many here are without power but again all are safe and their homes intact. We are so thankful.

  10. Annabel I love this! Learning to make yoghurt was such a saver when our kids were small. They loved the Petit Miams, but I just couldn't justify the expense. Homemade yoghurt with some pureed fruit in little pots and they were happy little campers :) We use plain yoghurt as substitutes for sour cream too.Have you made Labna (a type of yoghurt cheese) yet? So easy - just make a batch of plain yoghurt, then drain through a cheesecloth overnight. What's left is crumbly, creamy "cheese". I love it spread on bread and topped with smoked salmon -yum! Or use it as the base for dips, or as a spread instead of butter, really nice on salad sandwiches. I use the brine in place of buttermilk. Hannah was thrilled on an op shop visit a couple of weeks ago, she bought a complete Easiyo for $2, then we spent a while explaining what it was and how to use it to the ladies - they had no idea making yoghurt was so easy :)

  11. Dear Annabel , loved all your ideas using yoghurt and links to recipes are helpful .
    I've had an Easiyo yoghurt maker for decades and used yoghurt in chocolate cakes , slices , muffins , pizza bases etc.
    When we lived in Asia and couldn't get sachets an English friend showed me how to make yoghurt with Carnation milk but that was 20 years ago and I've forgotten that .
    When hubby was working away from home and had to cut out his evening ice cream he came up with the idea to have blueberries mixed with Greek yoghurt . And then when I was sick this year I was looking for foods to relive ones gut and yoghurt and blueberries were mentioned .
    So since then I've had that combo for breakfast most mornings .
    Not to be confused with buying a blueberry yoghurt st the supermarket .
    We buy frozen blueberries as they have much more flavour than what we get locally and I put a small handful in a dish and microwave approximately 30-45 seconds depending on your wattage snd amount of berries . The idea is to thaw them and have them warm , then mix with a few good dollops of plain Greek yoghurt , and it's delicious !
    I've recently discovered frozen cherries and they are huge and also delicious with the yoghurt .
    Glad to hear that many here are safe after Irma crossed their paths . Take care all in the zones , with love , Maria xxx
    Ps keep strong Annabel amidst all that mayhem x

    1. Dear Maria, Im thinking yoghurt with carnation milk would be gorgeous! I might try a half and half mix as an experiment! Also I love berries and as you say this is such a healthy desert or breakfast! Thank you! Love

  12. Your house sounds frustrating at the moment but bet you will be loving it when all done. I make heavenly Greek style yoghurt in my thermie. Soo easy. All in one pot and extremely cheap and have also made great cakes and pizza bases as well. I think Annabel that just about everything we buy can be made in n a homemade fashion. Looking forward to pics. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fi, You are right, we can make more things than we imagine ourselves. I keep adding to the list... what next is the question! Oh yes... the pasta that is next! The kitchen is on its way back! With love

  13. Thanks so much for all of the lovely ideas to use up yoghurt. You are so creative Annabel!! I tried making homemade yoghurt years ago without great success, but I am inspired to try it again thanks to both you and Cath's advice above. Very exciting about your new floors too, it will be lovely for you when its all done! Take care, Kelly

  14. Annabel,
    I'll take a dozen muffins please! I'll trade you tomatoes! I don't use a lot of yogurt, but I am rethinking it now. I think sometimes just doing things to have the experience in case it's needed later is always a good thing.

    1. Vicki you can freeze what you don't use. Then eat it like ice cream, add it to smoothies or let it thaw and eat it as fresh yoghurt - it's so good :)

  15. Hi I have made yoghurt for years, with 2daughters and 5 grandkids it has been a considrable saving. I also make cultured buttermilk by the same method then I strain it through butter muslin overnight to make a soft white cheese which is lovely on fresh home made bread and even better with soft fruit. Also don't waste any whey, use it to make scones ( a tip from my grandmother). It makes them very light and fluffy.
    Good luck with the kitchen.


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