Yogurt. Many people consume it for breakfast or as a midday snack. There are many types: lean, with fruit, to drink, with cereals to be added at the moment, etc. But what are the criteria for choosing a quality yogurt? Often, by eating a jar of yogurt, you are convinced that you are making a healthy choice over other types of foods and snacks, but this is not always the case. Beyond how you think about milk ( is it good? Is it bad? ), there are certainly some things to watch out for to buy a yogurt worthy of the name.
Homemade Yogurt: Good, Ecological, And Dietary
The recipe we propose allows you to make a delicious light and dietetic yogurt at home, which you can enjoy as a snack in the mid-morning, in the afternoon for a low-calorie snack, or a light meal perhaps combined with fresh fruit. This simple recipe will allow you to flavor and garnish your yogurt with what you like best: jam, coffee, cocoa, honey, fruit, or spices. For example, you can indulge yourself and season it with cinnamon, drops, and lemon zest or with a touch of ginger or mint leaves. Whatever you choose, the result will be personalized, dietetic, and above all, good yogurt.
To Prepare It, You Will Need:
- A liter of fresh milk (you can choose cow’s, sheep’s milk, or even mix it, you can use the wholly skimmed one and better if organic ).
- A whole natural yogurt and possibly biologic or: remember that one / two liters of milk is sufficient from a 125 ml jar, so if you decide to increase the doses of milk, expect more yogurt pots following proportions.
- When buying your ingredients, check that the expiration date is quite far away.
- A rather sizeable clean steel pot (much larger than the ingredients you are going to put)
- Clean and dry glass jars with screw caps, possibly small. Those of honey or jam, the small ones of Nutella, or the little ones of Bromoil are fine. To ensure optimal conservation, we advise you not to put all the yogurt in a single jar and divide it into several containers.
- A sweater or a wool blanket that you no longer use (the important thing is that it is well cleaned)
A Few Warnings
Before starting the preparation, it is good to leave the yogurt jar and the milk carton out of the refrigerator for a few hours until both are at the same room temperature. This is important to avoid thermal shock and not kill the poor bacteria that will produce your yogurt with their activity.
How Do You Proceed
Once at room temperature, pour the milk into the pot and bring it to a boil, taking care always to check it to prevent it from escaping. At this point, put the heat on low and let it boil for about ten minutes; then turn it off and let it cool for about half an hour until it reaches a temperature of 40 degrees. In the meantime, with a spoon, gently remove the patina that formed during boiling from the surface of the milk and make sure that the tools you use during all the preparation processes are well washed and dried.
How To Measure The Temperature Of The Milk?
To understand if the milk has reached the right temperature, immerse your well-washed and dried little finger in it. If you still feel the sensation of warmth without feeling burning after three seconds of immersion, your milk will be ready! On the other hand, if you feel a burning sensation, even bearable, it means that the milk is still too hot.
Once the correct temperature is reached, pour the yogurt jar into the milk pot, stirring gently and constantly until you get a homogeneous liquid. At this point, put the lid on, wrap the pot with the woolen cloth and place everything inside the oven off (or in a wooden box with a lid). It is essential to store our “bundle” in a warm and dark place so that the bacteria develop and work with the heat.
If you prepare your yogurt in the evening, it will be done in the morning when you wake up. Therefore, consider that fermentation takes about 6-10 hours. Once ready, immediately pour them into the jars, close them tightly, and put them in the fridge. Use the one shown on the milk carton for the expiry date, which is the most easily perishable ingredient.
The Most Important Criteria For Choosing It Best
We already consume too much sugar and, as we know, that’s not good. Therefore, yogurt shouldn’t contain added sugars (milk already has its quantity). So be careful to read the label carefully, avoiding buying products wherein the list of ingredients there is not only sugar but also fructose, glucose syrup, dextrose, etc.
Most people prefer Fruit-flavored yogurts. The problem is that these products are rich in sugars and flavors and contain less lactic ferments. Furthermore, they are often “fruit preparations,” There is a meager percentage of the original fruit. Better to choose a plain yogurt to which you can add fresh seasonal fruit in pieces, dried fruit, coffee, honey, chocolate, or others on the spot.
Many people choose to consume low-fat yogurt to avoid most of the fat contained in this food. The problem is that fat is often eliminated on the one hand, but sugars, fruit preparations, or other ingredients are added to make yogurt appetizing. Therefore, it is better to choose a whole yogurt and consume it perhaps in moderation. A good alternative is also Greek yogurt, which is almost lactose-free, making it more digestible even for those who are intolerant of it.
As always, but even more so when it comes to food of animal origin, it is good to choose products from organic farming. In this way, you will have a purer yogurt in which there are no pesticides or other chemicals used for raising livestock and growing their feed. Unfortunately, however, organic is not always synonymous with quality, so check the label carefully and choose a natural white yogurt without sugar or other added substances.
Yogurt made with cow’s milk or other types of vegetable “milk” should indicate on the label the presence of live and active lactic ferments. Therefore, check that they are listed in the list of ingredients. In truth, a good quality yogurt should be limited to two simple ingredients: whole milk and live lactic ferments. However, the best choice remains to self-produce your yogurt starting from organic milk and a jar of ready-made yogurt or lactic ferments. It will undoubtedly be a fresher and more probiotic-rich product.