Healthy Homemade: Yogurt
Yogurt is wonderful. It is a healthy source of protein that’s great for meals and snacks. Unfortunately, modern dairy aisles are flooded with sugar-laden, artificially colored posers that have stripped yogurt of its nutritional value. What ever happened to plain, unsweetened, unfussed yogurt? Are we that dependent on sweetness that we have lost interest in the pure flavors of whole foods?
Plain yogurt, strained or unstrained, has been eaten for thousands of years — since as early as 5,000 BCE. Back then, yogurt was not made with preservatives, artificial colorings, “natural flavors,” or excessive sweetness. Why? Because it doesn’t need it. Unsweetened yogurt, simple old fermented milk without additives, can unfortunately be difficult to find nowadays.
If you love yogurt, but are struggling to locate quality, grass-fed, organic yogurt in the brightly-colored sea of the dairy aisle (or simply cannot afford the quality stuff), try making it at home instead. All it takes is a liter or two of organic, grass-fed milk and a couple of tablespoons of active yogurt. Let them mingle and ferment overnight and viola! — fresh, homemade yogurt. For detailed instructions, David Lebovitz breaks it down on his blog. Bottle them in small recycled glass jars to reduce waste (only the milk container will need to be recycled or repurposed) and you’re done — a generous amount of yogurt the price of a liter of milk (Organic Valley Grassmilk is $5-6 for a half gallon, so that would be around $2.50 to $3 in total) with relatively little effort. If you are a yogurt-lover, making your own high-quality batches could save you upwards of $500 a year. Sounds pretty good to me!
Additionally, it may be worth mentioning that homemade yogurt tastes infinitely better than its corporately manufactured counterparts. Plus, you have total control as to what goes into the creation. Pureed organic fruits? A spoonful of raw honey and almonds? Pureed pumpkin and spices? Stevia and cocoa powder? The combinations are endless. Check out these great yogurt-themed recipes on NPR and try the recipe below.
Yogurt is a delicious and versatile food. But, there’s no need for it to burn a hole in your wallet. Make your own and discover how easy, healthy, economical, and tasty yogurt can be.
Yogurt Berry Popsicles
2 cups unsweetened 2%/whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup 2%/whole milk
1/4 cup raspberries (or berry of choice)
1/4 cup blueberries (or berry of choice)
1-2 Tablespoons raw honey
Crush together berries. Add yogurt and milk. Mix thoroughly. Fold in honey. Pour into 12 popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Enjoy!