I love yogurt as a post-workout energy-regaining protein snack. I enjoy it way more than eating a piece of cheese, deli meat (yuck!), a glass of milk, etc. Smoothies are awesome, but the way I like mine, its too many calories. I worked damn hard burning those damn calories at the gym, so putting them back in is a no no.
Yogurt is ubiquitous.... except there is always some or the other issue with store-bought stuff. Too sweet, too gelatiny, too creamy, blah blah. So I figured, I make plain yogurt at home anyway, why not experiment and figure out a perfect sweet yogurt with just the right balance - rich, sweet but just so, tart but not sour, etc. I spent a few weeks experimenting and made quite a few batches -- some were a total disaster in the taste department. But my friends, I have finally done it! IMHO, this is the best damn yogurt in a cup. Any mighty good for you to boot!
What makes it stand out? Fresh Orange and Lemon zest. Its perfect! Fresh, honey sweetened, perfectly tart, 1% yogurt.
I use the EuroCuisine yogurt maker (purchased a few years back from Cooking.com). I bought this one mainly because it came with 6 oz. glass jars, instead of plastic. In my experience, additive-free yogurt sets up much better in glass. Also, I don't like the idea of milk 'cooking' in plastic. I also have a set of 8 extra jars, so I always have plenty on hand.
Here's the process:
1. Add zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon to 1.5 quarts of organic 1% milk. Use good milk -- its makes a world of difference in the final product. I use milk from a local dairy called Fresh Breeze Organic. I highly recommend this dairy.
2. Heat milk till temp. reaches 160C and remove from heat (boiling milk to 200C results in a thicker set yogurt, but I buy milk that is vat pasteurized at a low temp of 145C, so why boil the crap out of it and kill all the good stuff to make yogurt?). That said, if you like thicker yogurt, feel free to boil to 200C.
3. In the meantime squirt approx 1 tsp honey into each yogurt jar.
4. Let milk cool down to 110C. Stir so zest is well distributed, and pour into jars with honey. Do so gently so as to not displace honey too much.
5. Now for the culture. You can use any yogurt starter (I like YoGourmet) or you can use a fresh bactch of yogurt you already have. I used some plain yogurt I made a week ago.
6. Add 1/2 tsp of yogurt to each jar and stir VERY gently. Incubate for 6 - 8 hours depending on how tart you like your yogurt (longer makes it more tart). Now be patient. Gently transfer cups to refrigerator and leave for 12 hours or overnight to set.
7. When you are ready to eat, simply stir and enjoy! I had mine with pears (peeled for the kids' lunchbox) and a sprinkle of almond maple granola we made last week. Muy delicioso!