The word yogurt is originally of Turkish origin. It is called matzoon in Armenia and kisselo mleko in Yogoslavs. It is generally believed among historians that yogurt was discovered accidentally as a result of milk being stored in primitive methods in warm climates.
Historically yogurt is attributed to the Neolithic people of Central Asia around 6000BC when herds men began milking their animals and the natural enzymes in the milk curdles the make hence, making yogurt.
It was noticed that, not only did the milk last longer after this but some people also preferred its new sour taste. Thus the practice continued and became more deliberate.
Industrial production of yogurt was first attributed to Isaac Carasso in 1919 in Barcelona and his company was named “Danone’’ after his son ‘’little Daniel’’.
Turkish immigrants brought yogurt to North America in 1700 but it didn’t really catch until the 1940’s when Daniel Carasso son of Isaac Carasso and Juan Metzger took over the small yogurt factory in Bronx, New York. The company is now called ‘’Dannon’’.
The popularity of yogurt soared in the 50s and 60s with the boom of healthy food culture and is now available in different fruit flavours
This bacteria fermented milk mixture has become more popular in Nigeria over recent years with the growing popularity of healthy feeding activities.
Basically what forms yogurt is the fermentation of lactose to form lactic acid which acts on the protein contents of the milk to give it the texture.
The benefits of plain yogurts are innumerable. It is known to be rich in vitamins B2 and B12, potassium and magnesium. Yogurt also contains probiotics (healthy bacteria that bring about the fermentation of the milk) and these aid digestion, the immune system, skin and vagina health.
The benefits of yogurt are indicated in disease conditions like; lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhoea, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, H. pylori infections and vaginal infections. Yogurt has also been known to be used in recent times for various facial treatments.
There are about ten types of yogurt to know and to look out for:
1.Traditional unstrained yogurt
2. Greek yogurt – contains twice as much protein, less sugar, fewer carbs and actual live cultures.
3. Goat’s milk yogurt – made from goat’s milk and is useful to those who are allergic to cow’s milk.
4. Sheep’s milk yogurt
5. Skyra or Iceland yogurt
6. Australian yogurt
7. Soy yogurt
8. Almond yogurt
9. Coconut yogurt
10. Drinkable yogurt and ikefir
In this article I am going to walk you through making your very own healthy plain fresh yogurt and the Greek yogurt that you can personalize with various flavours, with affordable ingredients you can get in nearly any store in Nigeria.
To Prepare Traditional Plain Yogurt
a. Warm water (2 cups)
b. Plain store bought yogurt (3 spoons)
c. Full cream milk (one and half cups)
d. Sweeteners (sugar, caramel, fruit extracts or generic fruit flavours)
Mix the cups of full cream milk in warm water. Note that you can use low fat milk for this if you are on a diet and can’t take full cream milk.
Leave to cool but do not refrigerate.
Add plain yogurt when the mixture is room temperature, stir and cover with a clean towel for 3 to 4 hours.
At the end of the 4 hours the mixture separates. Drain the top and cover with thick cloth over night at room temperature.
Your yogurt is ready for any flavour of your choosing.
You might want to mix your fruit extracts in a little water before mixing into your yogurt.
Best served cold.
To Prepare Greek Yogurt
Warm water (2 cups)
Full cream milk (one and half cups)
Powdered full cream milk(optional)
Live yogurt culture (two tablespoonfuls)
Cotton cloth (to form a strainer)
Mix the milk thoroughly in warm water.
Scald the milk by heating it in a saucepan over very high heat for about 3-4 minutes or till the milk is just starting to bubble at the edge of the saucepan.
Let the milk cool for about forty-five minutes to an hour. If you are able to hold your finger to the body of the saucepan for about ten seconds without burning, then it’s cool enough.
Add two tablespoonfuls of powdered milk and mix thoroughly(optional).
Add two tablespoonfuls of active live yogurt cultures, whisk thoroughly, transfer into a container suitable for the oven.
Turn on your oven and oven light, set it to warm and leave for 5 minutes, turn off the oven leaving the light and put the covered mixture into the now off oven.
This step is very important to ensure that the yogurt is kept at a temperature above 115 degrees.
Leave the yogurt to stand at that temperature for four to twelve hours, preferably overnight. For this process you might require a wireless thermometer with an alarm and timer to help you know when the heat is getting lower or when the heat is too much for the mixture.
At the end of your really long nap, take out your yogurt from the oven.
Use the cotton cloth to make a strainer by putting the cloth over an empty bowl and suspending tightly over the rim of the bowl either by using an elastic band or long pieces from the cloth.
Empty the yogurt onto the top of the strainer and refrigerate for two to four hours.
The longer the yogurt is left to drain, the thicker it gets.
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Now, your yogurt is ready. Remove the bands holding the cloth and gather up the edges. Be careful not to drop your yogurt into the whey that was drained off.
Put the yogurt in an air tight container, refrigerate and serve as desired.
Enjoy creating your own unique yogurt and discovering various flavours with these easy to follow recipe. Cheers!
NOTE!! If you wish to use your yogurt for a facial you would not be required to add sweeteners and both plain yogurt and greek yogurt can be used.Click here to see the latest Jobs opportunities in Nigeria.
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