6/29/17

0 Cherry Chip Frozen Yogurt - Jerry Garcia FroYo Copycat


Love the taste of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt? Then you'll love making your own even frozen yogurt version even more.

If you are lactose intolerant, you may want to see how simple and easy it is to make your own lactose free yogurt using Fairlife milk. How cool is that?

This smooth and creamy yogurt is so much easier than making ice cream without the added steps of cooking the eggs and straining it. If you freeze yogurt and fruit together, you will get a solid, frozen popsicle. The addition of sugar helps keep your yogurt from freezing solid, which is especially true of using a low fat yogurt.

I have loved my Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker for many years, but you can make this without an ice cream maker. It will take a little more time, but after making your own delicious frozen yogurt, you will want to invest in an ice cream maker.

If you have a classic 4.5 qt Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you may want to check out their 2 quart Ice Cream Bowl attachment... It will not take up as much space as a dedicated 2 qt ice cream maker, and it will fit most 6 qt KA mixers, so you may want to see if your model will work.

You simply put the bowl in the freezer to chill overnight, pour your ice cream or frozen yogurt mixture in, and 20-30 minutes later, you are ready to eat and enjoy!
To make this Cherry Chip Frozen Yogurt, simply start with your favorite plain or homemade yogurt.


add some sugar, salt, and vanilla extract (check out this fast method of making vanilla extract!)
and pour it into your ice cream maker.

When you see the frozen yogurt begin to thicken after about 10 minutes, add your chopped cherries. You can use fresh or frozen. I had a bumper crop of cherries, so I washed, pitted, and froze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, I labeled and bagged them. The frozen cherries were very easy to cut.


Next, add mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can use a vegetable peeler and use it to shave your favorite chocolate bar, but I found these mini chocolate chips perfect and easy to use. 


Perfect! Enjoy right away, or pack into the freezer. Bring your frozen yogurt out 15-20 minute to enjoy.

Rachel Ray Spoonula Silicone Spatula

My family gave this recipe an enthusiastic two thumbs up!! 




Print Friendly and PDF
CHERRY CHIP FROZEN YOGURT

3 cups whole milk plain yogurt - if your yogurt is super thick, add 2 Tablespoons of milk
1/8th teaspoon of salt - that's like a pinch of salt 
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pitted cherries, chopped (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (or shaved chocolate - use vegetable peeler)

Combine yogurt, milk, salt, sugar and vanilla extract. 
Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
Pour into ice cream machine; freeze according to ice cream maker directions. 
After 10-15 minutes, add chopped cherries and chocolate chips.
Enjoy immediately or put into a freezer safe container.


No ice cream machine? Try this:
Put a shallow, freezer safe 9x13 pan with lid in the freezer to chill. (don't use anything that will break)
Mix together the first 4 ingredients. Make sure sugar is dissolved well.
Pour into your chilled container. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes or when you notice the edges start to freeze, use a hand mixer or large spatula to blend.
Put mixture back in to the freezer for 30 min.

Stir in chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips.
Check again in 30 minutes, mixing until semi-frozen, about 2 hours.
Put in freezer and wait 30 minutes, until firm.

Bring your frozen yogurt out of freezer about 20-30 minutes before serving, to soften.
Ice cream will keep well in the freezer for 30 days. 

Enjoy!



6/26/17

0 FAST Rustic Red Potato Salad in Your Pressure Cooker!


Potato Salad - it's a classic side dish for any summer gathering. Creamy, cold, bursting with flavors that are sure to please everyone. This recipe doesn't use mustard, which is a great option to have for those who prefer not to have mustard. It's even easier and faster to make with a pressure cooker! You use less water, don't need to peel your potatoes, and cook the eggs and the potatoes at the same time! If you don't have a pressure cooker, I've included a stove top version, below.

Red skinned potatoes are a great choice to use with a potato salad, as their skins are smooth, thin and basically unnoticeable texture-wise. So, save yourself the time and extra step of peeling potatoes! Another great thing about using Red potatoes is that they hold their shape well, don't turn to mush when properly cooked, and absorb flavors well.

Want to use a different type of potato? Waxy potatoes are better than starchy.
Red, New, Fingerling potatoes are the most common waxy potatoes, having thin skins and keep their shape due to their high moisture content in the salad without turning mushy.

White, Yukon Golds are in-between waxy and starchy. They will work well, as long as they are not overcooked.

Stay away from thick skinned potatoes, like Russets, which fall apart. These are better for making perfect, fluffy baked potatoes or creamy mashed potatoes. 

Here is some great information of 13 different types of potatoes, and how to use them, from the Huffington Post.

One of the keys of pressure cooking veggies is to keep your cuts/size as uniform as possible.

In this case, we want 1/2" cut potatoes. This way, you won't have over or under/cooked potatoes.



First, slice your clean, scrubbed potatoes in 1/2" slices. Turn the slices cut side down and make a horizontal cut through the middle of the potato. Then make cuts every 1/2" across the potato.


This large RSVP strainer basket is perfect for holding 3 pounds of 1/2" cut potatoes and 4 xlarge eggs. You will need to bend the handles up with locking pliers, or break them off to fit into the pressure cooker, but It is such a time saver to be able to cook your eggs and potatoes at the same time!

Put the 1 cup of water into your pressure cooker, set the strainer filled with cut potatoes, eggs on top, and lock the lid. Close the pressure valve and cook on HIGH for 4 minutes.

While your potatoes/eggs are cooking, you can dice your onion and celery.

When the cook time ends, open the pressure valve to quickly release any pressure.


Using tongs, remove the hot eggs and place into an ice water bath. This stops the cooking and prevents the dreaded green/gray ring.

Pour the hot potatoes into a large bowl. I am using my EuroCuisine Yogurt strainer bowl, as it holds just the right amount and has a fitted lid.

One trick my mom taught me was to sprinkle vinegar over my warm potatoes, which soaks into the potatoes and gives it a great tang. I am using apple cider vinegar for this recipe. If you are using Miracle Whip, you can omit using vinegar, as it is already included.

Mix your mayo, sour cream (or homemade yogurt!) and 2 Tablespoons of milk. The milk helps keep the mayo mixture creamy. Fold into your warm potatoes.

I'm really enjoying this ready made bacon that I found at Sam's Club. It is found on the shelf and it's a another great time saver. It's currently in my fridge, but I plan to portion it and freeze, which should keep well for 3-6 months. You can find the Costco brand here on Amazon.

Fold in your bacon crumbles, onion, celery and finely shredded cheddar cheese. Almost sounds like a baked potato, right? Hey, you can use finely chopped green onion instead of a yellow or white onion.


I couldn't find a large bowl, but my EuroCusine yogurt strainer bowl and lid are perfect! It's nice to find another purpose for this fantastic yogurt strainer.

It looks really creamy right now, but the potatoes will soak up all the great flavors. If your potato salad looks a little dry, you can add some more mayo/milk. Salt and pepper to taste.


Peel your eggs. This is my favorite way to quickly chop hard cooked eggs. Use an egg slicer to slice the eggs in one direction. Carefully pick up the sliced egg and rotate it 90° and slice again. Voila! Chopped eggs with no mess!

Chill overnight for best melding of flavors.

Tip: If you need your salad super duper quick, spread it out onto a cookie sheet, cover, and put into the freezer for 30 minutes. Check, give it a stir and some more time, if needed. Don't leave it in the freezer for more than an hour, so set a timer or write a large note/reminder and post it where you can see it.


Print Friendly and PDF
FAST Red Potato Salad
Ingredients
1 cup water
3 pounds Red Potatoes, scrubbed, sliced 1/2", then cut into 1/2" cubes
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup onion, finely diced (you can choose sweet, yellow or green onion or even use 1 teaspoon onion powder)
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise  (if you use Miracle Whip, omit the apple cider vinegar)
3/4 cup sour cream (or use your homemade yogurt!)
2 Tablespoons of milk
1/2 pound of bacon, cooked, chopped (or generous 1/2 cup of pre-cooked bacon)
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Pour one cup of water into your pressure cooker.
Set your steamer basket or mesh strainer of cut potatoes into your cooker.
Place 4 eggs on top of the potatoes.
Lock the lid, close the pressure valve, and set your pressure cooker on HIGH and the timer for 4 minutes.
When the 4 minutes are up, open the pressure valve to quickly release the pressure.
Using tongs, put the eggs into an ice water bath.
Put the hot potatoes into a large bowl.
Sprinkle apple cider vinegar over the hot potatoes, stir.
In a small bowl, mix your mayo, sour cream and milk until creamy.
Carefully fold the mayo mixture into the potatoes, a little bit at a time.
Add your chopped onion, celery, bacon and cheese and gently fold to combine.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Chill overnight for best flavor.
*Quick chill your potato salad by spreading it into a single layer on a cookie sheet, cover, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Check, stir and chill another 20-30 minutes if necessary. Do not leave your salad in the freezer for more than 1 hour.

About 12 servings - Recipe can be cut in half, but keep the amount of water pressure cook time the same.

Enjoy!

STOVE TOP METHOD:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add your potatoes and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stick a fork in a potato to test. Fork should go in easily and the potato should not fall apart.
Drain potatoes, put into a large bowl, sprinkle apple cider vinegar over hot potatoes, stir.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
Bring water to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 10-12 minutes.
Remove eggs from water and put into an ice water bath to chill.
Cook, drain, and crumble your bacon. I like to use kitchen scissors to chop, then cook the bacon.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, celery and milk. Stir well.
Gently fold the mayo mixture into the warm potatoes. Add bacon. Add finely shredded cheese.
Salt and pepper to taste.


6/22/17

0 EASY Cold Start Yogurt (No Boil) Method - Fairlife Milk Lactose Free Yogurt



For those of you who are making yogurt, or are intimidated by the process of making yogurt, there is another, simpler, method. Many are calling it the "No Boil" yogurt method. Let's take a look at the method and answer some questions about it. I have been making dairy yogurt for a long time, so this method intrigued me.

What is the No-Boil method?
What is Fairlife milk?
What is special about Fairlife?
Myths about Fairlife milk?
Can I use Low Fat or Chocolate Fairlife milk?
Where can I find Fairlife milk?
Why is milk heated to make yogurt?
Does it save any time?
Is it safe to make yogurt with this method?
How does it taste?
Does the texture change with this method?
How much does it cost to make yogurt with Fairlife milk?

What is the Cold Start Method?
Yogurt is typically heated to 160°-180°F using the "Boil" setting of the Instant Pot. This is called the Traditional Method, which the milk is heated/cooled/starter is added/incubated. You can find my post here that demonstrates this method.  The milk is not 'boiled,' but scalded at this temperature. Reasons for heating your milk are listed further in this post.

Here's the "recipe" or method for the No-Boil or Cold Start Yogurt:

Print Friendly and PDF
FairLife Cold Start Instant Pot Yogurt
Ingredients
·1 carton (52 oz) of Fairlife milk (whole, 2%, skim)*
            -Can use a UP/UHT milk, see note below, "Can I Use Another Ultra Pasteurized Milk?
            -Can add up to one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk directly with the milk, if desired. Make sure it is stirred in well. This is optional. "See Flavoring Yogurt," below.

         
·1 Tablespoon of fresh, plain yogurt
            -Contains live/active cultures (listed in the ingredients or on the label)
            -Make sure is is FRESH, NOT OPENED YOGURT. 
             Once opened, your yogurt begins to weaken and will not culture properly, especially after 7 days. You can find more about How to Choose a Starter here.

Instructions - Make sure your Instant Pot and utensils are very clean and free of soap residue.
1.  Pour the carton of cold Fairlife milk into the Instant Pot liner. Mix in Sweetened Condensed Milk, if you are using it. Mix well.
2.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of FRESH plain yogurt that has live/active cultures into the milk.
3.  Cover the Instant Pot with the lid/seal/vent closed OR use any lid from your pots/pans, glass pie plate or even a flat silicone suction lid. No pressure is used for making yogurt.
4.  Push the Yogurt button until you see 8:00/Normal.**
        You can push the +/- button to increase/decrease the 8 hour incubation time.
         The longer you incubate, the more tang your yogurt will develop.
         The shorter you incubate, the more mild you yogurt will be.
Display will read 0:00 and will count UP to the 8:00 hours.
5. When finished, the display will show YOGT and you have a couple of options:
  A.  Put the liner of yogurt, covered, into the fridge to chill.
  B.  Pour your warm yogurt into a lined strainer, set over a bowl to catch the whey. Do not stir the yogurt until it has been chilled thoroughly.  (You can see a list of straining options in this post)
      *Whole and 2% milk yogurt will give you the least amount of whey. Skim/non-fat milks will give you more whey.
6. Chill your yogurt or strain and chill at the same time. You can add vanilla, sweetener, or fruit of your choice after it has been chilled/strained.

Yield and serving size will depend on if you strain your yogurt or not. See further down the post for the yield once strained.

Put yogurt into a glass or plastic container with a well-fitting lid. May put into smaller containers for individual servings, if desired.

Your yogurt will keep well, covered, in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
Enjoy!

**DO YOU HAVE THE ULTRA OR DUO PLUS? Here are the steps to find the NORMAL yogurt setting.

ULTRA MODEL:
Turn dial to YOGURT
Press to select
Press the dial again to set TIME (5-24 hours, depending on how tart you like your yogurt)
Press the dial to confirm
Turn dial to TEMP (LOW, MED, HIGH, Custom)
Select  MEDIUM (107°F) or CUSTOM (you can choose between 100°F-110°F)

Press dial to confirm
Press the START button.
Incubation will start.
When cycle has ended, the display will show YOGT.

DUO PLUS MODEL:
Select YOGURT NORMAL
Press +/- to set incubation time
When finished, the IP will beep and display YOGT

What is Fairlife Milk?


Fairlife milk  is 100% dairy milk that has 50% less sugar, 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and is labeled as lactose free.  Fairlife milks come from Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. It is unique that is it ultra filtered, using a process that was inspired by water filteration. Water filtering removes impurities by using sieves, adsorption, ion exchanges and other processes.

Fairlife doesn't divulge how their milk is filtered, but they do explain that once the individual components of water, butterfat, protein, vitamins/minerals, and lactose are filtered, the milk is put back together with a formula that results in the milk described above. Lactase, is added to the milk, which made me wonder why it was added, if the lactose is removed.

"Those who are lactose intolerant are not allergic to milk, or even to lactose. Instead, they lack the digestive enzyme needed to break down the lactose, or the sugar in milk.
"Lactose-free milks are the same as regular milk, except for the addition of lactase. This neutralizes the lactose and, therefore, eliminates the gastrointestinal trauma. Lactase does make milk taste sweeter. Also, to neutralize the lactase enzyme inactive, manufacturers ultra-pasteurize the milk, a move that extends the shelf life." - Karen Fernau, Food writer 
Here is another explanation of lactose free milk:
"It’s neither practical nor really possible to remove lactose from milk — not only would it be logistically difficult, it’s simply not necessary. Instead, manufacturers react the lactose chemically, altering its composition and converting it into molecules that your digestive system processes easily. To react lactose, manufacturers add small amounts of the enzyme lactase to milk, explains OrganicMeadow.com, a producer of lactose-free milk. The lactase splits lactose into its constituent components, which are two sugars called glucose and galactose." - How is Lactose Free Milk Made?

Fairlife Whole Milk
Costco's Kirkland Whole Milk

Fairlife is not organic, which means that the cow must be certified organic, given organic feed, and the cow cannot be given any growth hormones or antibiotics. They do maintain that their milk abides by the highest standards when it comes to milk quality, their farming practices, dedication to animal care and comfort.  They do not use growth hormones. You can read more about their milk and farming practices here. 

Myths about Fairlife milks

MYTH: Fairlife Milk is made by Cocoa-Cola.
It is NOT manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company; it is the distribution partner for Fairlife milk.  Coca-Cola helps Fair Oaks farms distribute (deliver/market) the milk at the right price, with the right packaging and to the right destinations.

MYTH: Fairlife milk is not really milk.
Fairlife is 100% dairy milk. The only added ingredients are lactase enzymes, Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D3. Vitamins can come from animals, plants or be synthetic. These 'added' ingredients are in most dairy milks, including Costco's Kirkland brand milk. You can find lactase added to lactose free milk, such as Lactaid.

MYTH: Fairlife milk is not ultra pasteurized. It is only ultra filtered.
It doesn't say 'ultra pasteurized' on the label, but let me tell you why I think it is an ultra pasteurized milk. The definition of ultra pasteurization (also known as UHT-ultra high temp) is bringing the milk up to 280°F for a few seconds, and then chilling it rapidly. This process kills 99.9% of the bacteria in the milk, and when packaged in a sterile container, extends the shelf life of the milk to 6-9 months. However, once opened, the milk should be treated like any dairy milk, kept at 40°F or lower for 2 weeks or less.

When you read this statement on their website, it fits the very definition of an ultra pasteurized milk:

Can I use Low Fat or Chocolate Fairlife Milk?



Yes, you can use Fairlife 2% or Fat Free milks for making yogurt with the cold start method.

Using lower fat milks may yield a more soft-set, pudding like yogurt,**  so you may want to strain your yogurt for a thicker consistency.

It is not necessary to use a low fat yogurt starter with these milks - you only want the starter for the live cultures. You can find out more about How to Choose a Starter, here.

Fairlife has two different chocolate milks. 2% Chocolate Fairlife milk contains the following ingredients:
 Reduced Fat Ultra-filtered Milk, Sugar, Alkalized Cocoa, Lactase Enzyme, Dipotassium Phosphate, Salt, Acesulfame Potassium, Carrageenan, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sucralose, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3


Fairlife also has a SuperKids Chocolate milk with the following ingredients:

Ultra-filtered milk, cane sugar, alkalized cocoa, natural flavors, DHA omega-3 (algal oil), monk fruit extract, salt, carrageenan, lactase enzyme, vitamin E (tocopherols), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3
The biggest difference between the two chocolate milks is that the SuperKids Chocolate milk does not contain Sucralose, instead, it uses cane sugar.

**Fairlife Chocolate milk, like any store bought chocolate milk, has too many additives (thickeners, sugars and other ingredients) that inhibit, or slow down the culturing process, making it take much longer than 8 hours to culture or "set" the yogurt. Most people using Fairlife Chocolate milk get a "pudding-like" texture, even with a 9 hour culturing time. You will need at least a 10 hour culturing time, which can also make a tangy or tart yogurt. For most people, this combination of chocolate + tartness is not a pleasant taste. You can try using a mild yogurt starter for a more mild tasting final product. 

If you want a mild tasting chocolate yogurt, make a plain yogurt, by incubating it for less time and strain it. Add chocolate syrup, chocolate drink mix powder, or whey protein powder.

Where Can I find Fairlife Milk?
What if I can't find it where I live?


Fairlife milk is only available in the United States. You can find a list of 74+ retail stores on the Fairlife website here.  

Kroger CARBmaster milk has a similar composition.


If you live in Canada, you can try Natrel lactose free milk, which is very similar to Fairlife in composition.  It comes in a 2 liter carton (8.45 cups), versus 52oz (6.5 cups) with Fairlife.
Natrel Lactose Free milk

HEB has a milk, MooTopia that is ultra pasteurized and similar to Fairlife milk.




COMPARE FAIRLIFE WITH NATREL LACTOSE FREE MILK
  
Fairlife vs Natrel 3.25% Lactose free Milk
Kroger CARBmaster milk



Why is milk heated to make yogurt?
When you make any kind of yogurt that uses a thermophilic culture (most often found in store bought yogurt and requires heat to activate), the milk is heated to at least 100°-110°F, either on the stove top or using a yogurt maker. This ensures that the thermophilic yogurt cultures will begin to actively work at the time they are added.

Milk can also be heated to 180°F which is the temp for denaturing, or changing the proteins in the milk for a firmer set yogurt. Fairlife, and other ultra pasteurized milks have already been heated to a very high temp, 280°F, which is explained a little further down. Why heat milk to 180°F if your milk has already been heated to 280°F?

The Instant Pot method uses a "boil" setting, which really doesn't 'boil' the milk, but it will heat a half gallon of milk within the 160°-180°F temp range. There is another yogurt setting for incubation, the normal setting, which heats the milk and maintains it at a constant 96°-109°F temp range for a specified set time.

Does the Cold Start method save any time?

Yes, but not a whole lot. Heating 52 oz of cold milk to 110° only takes about 5 min. If you accidentally heat it higher, you would need to let it cool or set it in an ice water bath, which can add up to another 5 minutes. It does save the step of taking the temp of the cooled milk and straining.

When heating 64 oz (8 cups) of regular pasteurized milk to 180°, it only takes 20-25 min, and then 5 minutes to cool in an ice water bath. That's 30 minutes total.
Cold start doesn't take any prep time, but it does take 30-50 minutes to get to the incubation temp zone, which you need to consider when calculating your incubation time.

Is it safe to make yogurt with this method?

First, let's talk about what makes food unsafe. The Unsafe Food Zone is the temp range determined by the USDA:

The Unsafe Food Zone
The unsafe food zone is any food that is left out in the temp range of 40°F-140°F for 2 hours or more. It is perfectly fine for any milk to be in the unsafe food zone as long as the yogurt starter is actively working in the milk. Once the yogurt starter is active (in the 100°-110° range), it begins to produce acidic whey, which continues to ferment and preserve your milk in this temp range. Milk without an active yogurt bacteria present should not be left out at room temperature for 2 hours or more.

UP/UHT (ultra pasteurized/ultra high temp) milk already has 99.9% of the bacteria killed during processing, meaning there is little risk, if any, of any pathogenic (bad) bacteria multiplying during the warming up to the incubation zone, as long as it is less than 2 hours. Once you open UP/UHT (ultra pasteurized/ultra high temp) milks, it needs to be treated like dairy milk. Even though UP/UHT milks are shelf stable in their sterile packaging for 6+ months, once opened, their fridge shelf life is 1-2 weeks and should not be left open at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

You should not try the Cold Start/No Boil method with raw or regular pasteurized milk. See below.

*If you are undecided about the safety of using the Cold Start method, you can always warm up your yogurt to 100°-110°F and add your starter. 

Here's my experiment!

110° vs Cold Start Experiment
I made two separate batches of Fairlife milk yogurt.

Batch #1: Heat to 110°
Milk Temp: 43°
Heated the milk on the boil cycle for 10 min.
The temp was 149°F, ice water bath to 110°.
Stirred in 1 Tablespoon of Walmart GV Light Greek yogurt
8 hours on the yogurt normal setting.
15 min prep.

Batch #2: - Cold Start
Milk Temp: 44°F
stirred in 1 Tablespoon of Walmart GV Light Greek yogurt
8 hours on the yogurt normal setting.
2 min prep.

Incubation Time to Temperature - 100°-110° optimal incubation zone
Used a Thermapen digital thermometer to accurately test temperature in 3 different spots, not touching the bottom of the pot.
Time elapsed when temperature was measured in fahrenheit.

Summary:
Batch A continued to increase in temp from 110° till it leveled off to a stable 107° temp at 50 minutes into incubation.
Batch B took 30 minutes to reach the optimal incubation zone for thermophilic yogurt to begin activation and begin fermenting the milk to make yogurt.

How long will it take for 2 cartons of Fairlife milk to reach incubation temp?
I tested 13 cups of 40°F water to see how long it would take for 2 bottles of Fairlife milk to come to temp in the IP Duo.
It took 23 minutes to reach 99°F
40 minutes to reach 107°, where it stayed there for the next 2 hours.

I was very surprised to see that 6.5 cups of 44°F Fairlife only took 40 min to reach 105°F and 13 cups of 40° water took 40 min to reach 107°F!

Let's take a peek!


video


Traditional method yogurt is typically set at the 5th-6th hour marks, so I checked the yogurt 5 hours later. The video above shows Batch (A)  at 5:15 and Batch (B) at 5:30. You can see a significant difference in firmness. You can also see Batch (A) has bubbles on the surface (from whisking to cool the milk and add the starter), whereas Batch (B) has a smooth, glossy surface.

Cold Start Fairlife milk yogurt with the Eurocuisine strainer after 8 hours of straining. Using the OXO Good Grips digital scale. 

Strain or No Strain?
Straining your yogurt will give you a thicker, Greek style yogurt. The longer you strain your yogurt, the thicker it will be. Straining is a personal preference. Fairlife milk, when it is not strained, will give you a consistency somewhere between Greek and Traditional (thinner) yogurt. (You can find LOTS of straining options on this post!) I like to use either coffee filters over a mesh strainer, or the Eurocuisine strainer.

See how thick and creamy this yogurt looks while pouring warm into the Eurocuisine strainer!


Fairlife milk has 50% more protein than regular dairy milk. The higher the fat and protein content, the thicker your yogurt will be. Also, if milk is heated to 180°, your yogurt will be more firm. This explains why Fairlife milk looks very set after incubation.

This video shows chilled Fairlife milk yogurt (not strained). It is very thick, but once stirred, it will thin to a consistency between Greek and traditional style yogurt.
Unstrained, chilled Fairlife Yogurt

video


The video below shows the 3 finished Fairlife milk yogurts.
On the far right, chilled unstrained cold start yogurt, the middle, cold start yogurt strained with the Eurocuisine strainer, and on the far left, Heat to 110° yogurt strained with coffee filters. Both yogurts were strained overnight, for 8 hours.
Strained Fairlife Yogurt

video


Yield - 

Strained in the fridge for 8 hours right after incubation

Summary: Coffee filters were much better at extracting more whey, resulting in a very thick yogurt.
                   EuroCuisine strainer yogurt is not as thick, but acceptable; it kept about 1/2 cup whey                                               into the yogurt.
                   Unstrained yogurt = about 50 oz (there was some yogurt stuck to the bottom, which I                                               chose not to scrape out as it was grainy in texture).

FAQ -
Can I use the Cold Start method with regular pasteurized milk?
I would not recommend using the cold start method with regular pasteurized milk. Even though the milk is heated to 160°F for pasteurization, there are still natural bacteria present in the milk. This bacteria can grow during the 30-40 minutes and can compete with the natural bacteria in the yogurt starter. This competition of bacterial strains may result in either a thin, runny yogurt, lumpy, bitter, stringy or ropey yogurt.

Instead, heat your pasteurized milk to 100°-110°F, test the temp, and add your starter.
8 cups will take about 5-10 min on the boil cycle, depending on your Instant Pot model and how much milk you use. If you want a firmer set yogurt, heat your milk to at least 180°F, cool to 100°-110°F, and add your starter. You can find this simple method here for thick, Greek style yogurt.

You can increase the protein/fat content of your dairy milk by adding dry milk powder, heavy cream or half & half milk for a thicker set yogurt. You can also add gelatin to your yogurt, which helps set your yogurt once refrigerated and requires no straining.

Can I use this method with another Ultra Pasteurized milk?
Maybe. Ultra pasteurized milks are hit and miss when making yogurt. Sometimes the high heat process damages the proteins in the milk to the point that it won't set. Some UP milks take longer to incubate, up to 10 hours or more. Milks that you can try for the cold start method are: Organic milks, Soy milk, canned milks (evaporated or sweetened condensed), heavy cream, half & half, powdered milk (mixed with filtered water), any ultra pasteurized or ultra high temp milks.

You will need to keep in mind that if it does work, it will not look as thick as the Fairlife whole milk yogurt right after incubation. This is because Fairlife milk has added protein. Higher fat and more protein is what makes whole milk yogurt thicker than 1% milk yogurt. If you want a thicker yogurt with another brand of UP milk (not ultra filtered), you will need to strain it, add dry milk powder, heavy cream or half & half. 

How do I flavor the yogurt and when?
If you want a vanilla yogurt, you can add your vanilla extract when your yogurt has chilled and strained. It is believed that the alcohol from the extract can interfere with the culturing process, but you can add vanilla bean paste or scrape a 2"vanilla bean into your milk before starting. If you are straining your yogurt, any flavor or sweetener can go out with the whey.

Sweetener: You can use any sweetener of your choice after your yogurt has chilled and strained. Granulate sugar, powder sugar, maple syrup, or any alternative sweetener can be used. Honey mixes in better if it is warmed first.  If you add sugars to your milk prior to heating, it can inhibit, or slow down the culturing process, adding time to your yogurt to properly set. I prefer to add sweetener after my yogurt has finished.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: You can add a small can of sweetened condensed milk to your Fairlife milk prior to heating. Make sure it is mixed in well and plan to add time if necessary to allow your yogurt to gel, or set. This makes a creamy, slightly sweet vanilla yogurt.

Can I use this method with the Instant Pot Lux model or other model that does not have a yogurt setting? 
No, you will not be able to use the Cold Start method, as you need a yogurt setting to be able to bring the temp to 100°-110° This is the workaround method for making yogurt using the IP Lux, which requires heating your milk first to at least 100°-110°F and then adding your starter. The key to making yogurt work in a LUX , or pressure cooker without a yogurt setting, or crockpot, is to keep the pot in the incubation temp zone for 8 hours, which can be a challenge. Wrap the warm pot in large towels and keep it in your oven with the oven light on.

How does Fairlife yogurt taste?
At first, we (our family) thought the yogurt tasted fine. It was creamy, thick, mild, with a little bit of tang. My oldest said that it tasted "watery" or "bland."

When compared to our Costco 2% yogurt, there was a marked difference. The Costco 2% yogurt had "depth, body and flavor."

Summary
We enjoyed the Fairlife whole milk yogurt, but if given a choice, we would prefer the Costco 2% milk yogurt; not just for the price, but for the taste as well. If you are lactose intolerant, making yogurt with Fairlife milk is a great option.

Does the texture change with this method?

Yes and no. If you use whole milk, it will taste creamier. You can use 2% or skim, and have it strained nice and thick, but the texture may not be as creamy.

 *The yogurt stuck on the bottom of the pot does have a gritty or grainy texture. Take a look at the photo, below, taken right after incubation and before straining in the fridge. Avoid scraping this into your yogurt. This may be difficult to avoid if you chill your yogurt while in the pot prior to straining. Try pouring your yogurt immediately into your lined strainer and chill in the fridge. Don't scrape the yogurt off the bottom.

The yogurt stuck to the bottom of the pot had a grainy, gritty texture. 



Cost Comparison 
Fairlife Milk = $2.98 + 1 Tablespoon of WM Greek Yogurt = .04 cents 
*Does not include cost of sugar or vanilla extract.

Summary
The most expensive yogurt per oz/serving is the Fairlife yogurt that was strained very thick, using coffee filters. It had a creamy texture, but tasted bland or watery, much like a skim milk yogurt. The coffee filters also produced the clearest whey.

Next was the cold start Fairlife unstrained yogurt, producing a creamy texture with a moderately thick consistency, between Greek and traditional style thickness. It lacked the depth of the traditional yogurt in taste, much like a skim milk yogurt, even though sugar and vanilla extract were added.

The least expensive option is the Costco 2% milk yogurt, strained with the EuroCuisine strainer, that made a reasonably thick yogurt, which is worth the cost, and 30 minutes waiting for your milk to heat and cool down. It also won the taste test over Fairlife milk yogurt, having a better taste, with depth, flavor, and body.

If you are lactose intolerant, your best option is to use Fairlife milk and make your yogurt, as doing this will still be less expensive than purchasing a specialty yogurt. You can use dairy milk to make a lactose free yogurt by incubating it for 15-24 hours, in which all the lactose is consumed, leaving a very tart, tangy yogurt. Using Fairlife can give you a milder yogurt that is lactose free.

Using the Cold Start method with Fairlife milk is a good option for those who don't want to fuss with heating/cooling/temp taking and straining their yogurt. Many moms love the fact that Fairlife milk is good for their kids as it is lower in sugar, has more protein and more calcium, a Win/Win for busy moms!

6/19/17

0 Oven Dried Cherries & Bonus Simple Syrup!


I had a bumper crop of cherries this year! After enjoying several handfuls of fresh cherries and making a couple of Fresh Cherry Cobblers, making a syrup for Cherry Lime Ricky's, I needed some ways to preserve the rest of the cherries.

Freezing: I took half of the cherries, washed, pitted, and froze them on a plastic wrapped cookie sheet in a single layer. After freezing, I put them into freezer Ziploc bags. These cherries will be used for smoothies, cobblers, and other desserts.

Drying: I took the other half and tried my hand at drying them. Dried cherries are amazing tossed into a salad, homemade yogurt, in your morning cereal, or in a homemade granola.

I don't have a dehydrator, but I do have a convection oven with a dehydrating setting. If your oven temp starts at 200°F, you can try drying your cherries at this temp.

This method not only dries your cherries, but you can get a simple syrup as well! Use your syrup in your favorite cocktail drink, Coke, lemonade, Lime Ricky, spritzer, salad dressing, or sweetener for iced tea. One pound of cherries will give you about 1/2 cup of syrup.

First, pit your cherries. I love using Progressive's cherry pitter, to do 4 cherries at a time. There are about 25% of the cherries that still have pits attached, but are easily removed.


Next, weigh your cherries. I like to cover my OXO Good Grips digital scale with a plastic bag for easy clean up. I love that you can pull out the display if you are using a large bowl and that it lights up. I am using Rubbermaid's 6 qt clear square food storage container to weigh and store in the fridge.


Toss in 5-10% sugar. 5% of 6 pounds is .3 pounds. 1 pound of granulated sugar is 2 cups. 1/3 pound of sugar is about .6 cups, so I put in a heaping 1/2 cup of sugar into the cherries and gave it a good stir.

Cover, and place in the fridge overnight, in a non-reactive (plastic or glass bowl).

Next day, strain your cherries and reserve the simple syrup.

Lightly oil a wire cooling rack or dehydrating sheets. I found the plastic sheets at a sporting goods store. I believe they are for smoking jerky, which worked very well for drying cherries.

Spread the cherries into a single layer.


Dry at 135°-140° for 12-24 hours until they are dry.



Bag, date and freeze.  I can't believe how compact 6 pounds of cherries fit into this bag!


Give this method of drying your cherries a try. You'll love the versatility of using dried cherries in many of your recipes and enjoy the bonus simple syrup!



Print Friendly and PDF
Oven Dried Cherries & Simple Syrup
Ingredients
Cherries
Granulated Sugar

Instructions
1. Wash and pit your cherries.
2. Weight them.
3. Toss in 5-10% granulated sugar. Mix well.
4. Cover and place in your fridge in a glass/plastic container overnight.

Next day:
5. Strain the cherries into a bowl.
6. Lightly oil the drying racks.
7. Spread the cherries into a single layer.
8. Dry at 135°-140°F for 12-24 hours, until they feel dry to the touch.
9. Bag, date, and freeze.

Enjoy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover