Homemade Yogurt

I’ve finally found a recipe and method for homemade yogurt that the whole family likes.

This yogurt is creamy and thick and delicious.

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Ingredients:

1/2 gallon of milk (whole, 1%, 2%, or non-fat, they really do all work, I’ve tested it)

6 oz of store-bought vanilla or plain yogurt (Greek style is fine), room temperature

honey or agave, to taste

vanilla extract, to taste

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Method:

On the stove (or in the microwave), heat milk to between 180 and 185, stirring gently every so often.

Let milk cool to between 105 and 115 degrees.  Gently whisk in store-bought yogurt.

Pour milky mixture into two quart-size clean mason jars.  Any leftovers can go into a smaller plastic or glass container.  Place lids on the containers and set all of them into a small camping cooler.  Fill the cooler with hot tap water and shut the lid.

I’ve found that my yogurt sets in 4 to 6 hours.  When it’s done, remove the yogurt from the cooler and dump the contents of all the jars into a strainer lined with a layer of muslin (non-dyed cotton fabric).  Cheesecloth or a super fancy fine-mesh strainer would also work.  Set the strainer over a larger bowl and set in the fridge to drain the whey.

Leave it alone for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Scoop the yogurt into a large bowl and whisk it vigorously to smooth it out.  Sweeten it to taste with vanilla and honey and whisk it some more.  Transfer yogurt to desired containers and refrigerate until ready to use.  The yogurt will thicken up even more as it refrigerates.

The nice thing about straining the yogurt is that it doesn’t separate when you leave it in the fridge and you can stir it to your hearts content.  It also makes it easy to serve and has a more appealing texture (in my opinion) and one that my kids recognize as yogurt.  I also really like sweetening it at the end because I can adjust it as much as I like.

We love to eat our yogurt with some fresh strawberry jam and homemade granola.  Super yummy!

 If you want, you can strain your yogurt even longer and make a cream-cheese like product that can be mixed with jam or something savory.  It’s a nice way to use up any yogurt that is still laying around at the end of the week, which hasn’t been an issue with us so far.

Oatcakes

Oatcakes

2 cups old-fashioned oats, ground into flour

1/2 cup gluten-free flour (or whole wheat)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 large egg (I used 2 medium)

2 tbsp butter, melted (or dairy-free sub)

Heat oven to 325.

Whisk the dry ingredients.

Add in the wet and mix by hand or wooden spoon.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.

Cut with biscuit cutter.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Recipe Credit goes to a fantastic site called Enlightened Cooking.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cookie Pizza

Our Best Bites posted a delicious looking fruit pizza recipe a few days ago.

I knew I had to try it as soon as I saw it.  It’s just the kind of thing my kids would love.

But I needed it to be gluten-free.  And dairy-free.  But not taste-free.

And it worked.

For the crust I used the sugar cookie recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and subbed out items so i could use what I had on hand which ended up being:

1/2 c sorghum flour

1/2 c rice flour

1 c tapioca flour

1/2 c finely flaked coconut

1 tsp guar gum

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c lighter bake (a butter substitute made up of applesauce and prunes)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

pinch of nutmeg

I only chilled it for 30 minutes (no time!) and then rolled it flat using a sheet of plastic wrap to keep the roller from sticking.  I baked it for 10 minutes at 375 and it worked great.

To make the fluffy yummy icing I had to make more subs for the dairy.

8oz tofutti (tofu cream cheese substitute)

1/4 c brown sugar

1.5 c Cool Whip

It was heaven I tell you.  Heaven!  It didn’t taste like whipped tofu at all.

(Which is a good thing in my book.)

I followed the rest of recipe and did the blueberries and strawberries and chocolate.

Oh yum.

Coconut Blueberry Muffins (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

These muffins are moist and very yummy.  I don’t miss the gluten at all.

Coconut Blueberry Muffins

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)

1/2 cup coconut milk (I use the refrigerated vanilla kind)

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup rice flour

1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut (almost like a flour)

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease or line 12 muffin tins.

Separate egg yolks from whites.  Whip whites until soft peaks form.

In separate bowl combine yolks, oil, maple, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice.

Add in salt, soda and flours.

Carefully fold in whipped whites.

Carefully stir in berries.

Pour batter into muffin tins and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden and yummy.

Vegan Mac and Cheese (Alfredo)

We’ve got a little boy with several food sensitivities and as a result we’re on a pretty limited diet right now.

We introduced rice yesterday with success.  Hooray!

Today I wanted to do rice pasta for lunch.

The problem?  I needed a non-dairy non-tomato sauce to top it with.

The solution?

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Vegan Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 2-3 tsp of minced garlic (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 – 1.5 cups boiling hot pasta water

Place beans, garlic and salt in a blender and blend.

Add boiling hot pasta water in 1/2 cup increments until you like the consistency.

(You want it ultra smooth.)

Pour on top of hot pasta.

You won’t miss the cheese.

And the kids will love it.

At least mine did.

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***My sister-in-law makes a vegan alfredo sauce using raw cashews.

Our little guy can’t do cashews yet so I went with garbanzo beans.

Good Bread

I love homemade bread.

I usually find a recipe I like and then make a ton of it.

Until I grow bored and have to try something new.

Bread is like that for me.

I found a recipe that I love and find myself coming back to again and again.

Sometimes, after a little break for something different in between.

But anyway, here’s the recipe.

(Original source in the link above.  I always cut the recipe in half.)

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Fabulous Homemade Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 cups bread flour

Directions

  1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup bread flour, and yeast. Let grow for about 5 minutes. It will bubble almost immediately.
  2. Measure oats, 4 1/2 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup oil into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin adding bread flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Humidity determines how much flour you need before the bread pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It is normal for the dough to be sticky.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Shape loaves, and place in greased 8 x 4 inch pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until tops are browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.