Thursday, January 7, 2010

Granola and Yogurt


This week I made homemade granola and yogurt. They’re easy to do and delicious. Granola can be expensive but making it at home means you can be sure your ingredients are fresh and wholesome.  You can add the sort of grains and nuts and oil that you want. You can avoid high fructose corn syrup and use local honey which is good for fighting allergies.

Homemade yogurt tastes wonderful.  By making it at home you have the satisfaction of having done so, but you can also choose the sort of milk you want to use.  You can add a variety of GOOD bacteria (though their names all sound like a hex from Harry Potter, they are good for your digestive health and your general cheerfulness).

Granola (recipe adapted from More With Less a cookbook from the 80’s that I recommend with enthusiasm)
Makes 2 quarts
325 for 30 minutes watched carefully
Preheat oven
Mix together
1 cup coconut (I used unsweetened, organic)
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds or other nuts ground. (I’ve used pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews)
1 cup wheat germ
¼ to ½ cup ground flax seed
¼ to ½ cup wheat bran¼ cup high protein flour such as soy, whole wheat or a blend

Bring to a  boil:
1 cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup oil
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

Remove from heat and add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 T cinnamon
Mix dry ingredients. Pour honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread on 2 greased cookie sheets. Bake about 30 minutes stirring often (every 5—7 minutes). The granola burns easily. Try to allow it to cool undisturbed but it is nearly impossible not to sneak a few tastes!

If you want to add dried fruit such as raisins or dried apples, do this after you bake the granola as the fruit tends to burn.



Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is easy to make and delicious. It does taste better than store bought and making it is rewarding and a good “science” experiment to do with children. The idea is that you must kill the stray bacteria in the milk and then introduce the wholesome, specific bacteria you want in your yogurt. (You can add a variety of good yogurt bacteria to make the healthiest yogurt anywhere!) Cooking the yogurt for 8 hours allows the good yogurt bacteria to spread through the milk, turning it to yogurt.

You don’t need a “yogurt maker.”

You do need:
Clean, sterilized glass jars with lids
A heating source such as a heating pad that can be turned to low—this is the way my roommate and I made yogurt when we were in college.
A radiator
A gas oven with a pilot light
Milk- you can use nonfat milk or any mixture of nonfat and whole milk.
¼ cup Plain, non-fat yogurt with live cultures
1 bottle probiotic drink
Method:
After cleaning and sterilizing the jars, set them aside.
Measure the milk according to the number and size of your jars. I usually make six or seven half pints (1 cup = half pint)

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium high heat until the milk steams, is fragrant and tiny bubbles form at the edges of the pan.


Allow the milk to cool to blood temperature.

Mix the yogurt and probiotic drink into the scalded milk.

Pour the mixture into the clean glasses. Do not put the lids on yet.

  • If using a heating pad, set it on the lowest heat and place a thick, folded towel over it. Stand the jars on this towel. Cover the jars with another towel. Leave this undisturbed overnight or for 8 hours.

  • If you are using your oven, stand the jars on a cookie sheet and cover also with a tea towel. Leave undisturbed as above.

  • If you are making the yogurt on your radiator, place a towel on the radiator and then balance a cookie sheet on it. Make sure it is level and won’t tip. Place the jars on top and cover as above.

When the yogurt is done, it will look firm and have a tart, creamy scent. Put the lids on the jars and chill before eating.

Variations:

1.If you want to make cream top yogurt, don’t add the cream until you pour the mixture into the glass as heating the cream can ruin it.

2. You can flavor the yogurt by placing honey or jam on the bottom of the jar before adding the milk/yogurt mixture. This is then stirred into the yogurt when it is time to eat it.

Enjoy!

3 comments:

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  2. lately I've been using a friend's recipe for granola that is similar, but has less goodies in it-- I am excited to add the flax seed, nuts & cinnamon!
    so good to see you the other day!

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  3. Loris, I definately want to make the granola but I don't think making the yogurt is my cup of tea. It would a challenge for something I don't eat that often anyway. I think the recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Steph

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