by Nathan Zassman (reprint from www. avivahealth.com)
The Aviva Deluxe Yogurt Making System will make up to 42 ounces (7 six ounce serving containers) of delicious and healthful yogurt using the Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker, purified water, milk (cow, goat, or soy), and a bacteria culture (starter).
Yogurt is a probiotic-rich food that is high in protein and calcium. Homemade yogurt is usually less than 1/3 the cost of commercial products with higher levels of healthful beneficial bacteria. Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Streptococcus Thermophilus are the bacteria cultures recommended by Aviva Natural Health Solutions.
USING STORE BOUGHT MILK:
If you use regular store bought milk you will have to heat the milk to 180-200°F. (82-93°C.) for at least five minutes to kill any bacteria in the milk that could interfere with, or prevent the yogurt culture from multiplying. After five minutes at the high temperature, cool the milk quickly to 100-115°F (38-46°C) before adding the yogurt culture. You will need an accurate candy thermometer to carefully monitor the temperature as you heat and cool the milk. Be careful not to boil or burn the milk.
If you use whole (3% butterfat) milk you must cool the milk quickly while stirring vigorously to prevent the cream in the milk from separating and ending up as a skin on top of the milk. If you choose to use whole store bought milk I recommend using the ‘cold water bath’ technique to quickly cool the milk. Add about three inches of cold water and two or three trays of ice cubes to your kitchen sink. Plunge the pot of heated milk in the sink while stirring the milk constantly, watching the thermometer until the milk drops to 115°F (46°C).
When the milk has cooled to 115°F (46°C), put about a cup of the milk in a glass, dissolve the yogurt starter with stirring, and add back to the pot of milk. Stir the mixture gently for about ten seconds. The mixture is now ready to be added to the containers in the Automatic Yogurt Maker.
USING NON-INSTANT OR INSTANT DRY MILK:
If you use dry milk you don’t have to go through the tedious process of heating and cooling the milk, making the process much faster and easier.
INSTANT NON-FAT DRY MILK: The most popular dry milk is instant non fat (0% fat) dry milk made popular by Carnation but available in most grocery stores under a variety of labels. Instant non-fat dry milk mixes easily, but the taste is inferior to wet milk or non instant dry milk. Non-fat dry milk makes a thin, less satisfying (and less creamy) yogurt.
NON-INSTANT DRY MILK: Non-instant dry milk dissolves easily in a shaker bottle or cup, and is superior in flavour thanks to a shorter pasteurization and drying process. Non-instant dry milk is available in skim (no fat), 1%, and 3% (whole) fat. I recommend using 3% (whole) non-instant dry milk, as the taste is much better than instant dry milk products or non fat and 1% non-instant dry milk, and the added fat makes the yogurt creamier. Non-instant dry milk tastes so good that when refrigerated tastes almost as good as fresh whole milk. You can also choose skim (0%) or 1% non-instant if you prefer a low calorie yogurt.
REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: USING NON-INSTANT DRY MILK
- Quality Yogurt Maker: Euro Cuisine; Standard, or Automatic (with timer). A quality yogurt maker provides the perfect even temperature to make delicious healthful yogurt.
- 1 or 2 litre plastic or glass bottle, pitcher, or jug, with a tight fitting lid to dissolve the powdered milk by shaking the dry milk and water.
- Yogurt Starter Culture. Choose from:
- Euro Cuisine Yogurt Culture, which has L. bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and L. Acidophilus cultures
- Natren Probiotic Yogurt Starter, which comes in a glass bottle, and is enough to make 30 quarts.
- Natren Yogurt Starter contains L. bulgaricus Super Strain LB-51, and Streptococcus thermophilus Strain BC 122.
Note: I do not recommend purchasing store bought plain yogurt to make fresh yogurt, as the level and strains of bacteria used in commercial yogurt are not as healthful as the recommended yogurt starters.
- 500 grams non-instant whole milk (3%) powder, to make 4 litres of milk.
* Non-instant whole dry milk makes the creamiest, best tasting yogurt. Nonfat (0%), or 1% butter fat milk powders can also be used for a low calorie (and less creamy) yogurt. You can make creamier yogurt by adding more milk powder. Instant non fat dry milk (Carnation, etc.) can also be used but the taste is inferior to non-instant, and the texture is not as creamy.
* Non-instant dry milk dissolves easily in a shaker bottle with about a minute of shaking. The yogurt will be even better if you prepare the milk the day before making yogurt, refrigerating the milk overnight.
- Aviva recommends using purified mineral water that has been filtered to remove chlorine and fluoride. The best tasting yogurt is made with water rich in minerals.
PROCEDURE FOR DISSOLVING NON INSTANT DRY MILK:
- Using a 1 or 2 litre plastic or glass pitcher that has a tight fitting lid (a one quart glass juice bottle works well), fill 3/4 full (about 750ml) with purified cold water and add 125 grams non instant dry milk to make 1 Litre. If you are making 2 litres in a 2 litre container, add 250 grams of non instant dry milk to 1500 ml water to make 2 litres. If you don’t have a digital scale, you can measure 13 tablespoons of milk powder per litre of water.
- Tightly cover the pitcher or container you are using to dissolve the milk powder, and shake for approximately 1 minute to dissolve the powdered milk.
- Add a package of yogurt starter, or if you are using Natren Yogurt Starter, add one teaspoon to the container. Shake for 30 seconds.
- Add water to bring the level to the top of the container (one or two litres, depending on the container you are using) and shake gently.
- Pour the milk/yogurt mixture into the 7 individual 6 ounce Euro Cuisine yogurt serving jars.
- Follow the instructions that came with the Yogurt Maker
- Aviva recommends purchasing an extra box of glass yogurt serving jars, to allow you to make a second batch while enjoying the first, ensuring that you always have fresh yogurt available.
Note 1: When dissolving the non instant milk in cold (or room temperature) water, always add the powdered milk to the cold (or room temperature) water.
Note 2: It is best to make the milk the day before. If you make the milk the day before, refrigerate the milk overnight. The next day, add the yogurt culture to the cold milk, and then add the milk/yogurt culture mixture to the single serving containers in the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. If you add a Prebiotic (Fiberrific) to amplify the benefits of the beneficial bacteria, this is also best if added the day before.
Note 3: If you want a creamier yogurt you can use a higher concentration of powder to water. You can double the amount of milk powder (250 grams) for one litre of milk for a creamier yogurt that will also be higher in protein, calcium and calories.
Note 4: Save 1 serving container (6 ounces) from each batch to use as a starter for the next batch. If you use yogurt from each batch to make a new batch, you should start with a new culture every four batches to replenish the bacteria to a high level or use the frozen ice cube method (below), which will allow you to make fresh yogurt until you are out of yogurt ice cubes.
FROZEN ICE CUBE METHOD:
After you make your first batch, you can spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze it. After the yogurt is frozen, put the cubes in a plastic freezer bag and store them in the freezer. You can then use the frozen yogurt cubes as a starter for future batches of yogurt.
PREBIOTIC FIBRE TO AMPLIFY PROBIOTIC EFFECT:
Add a prebiotic fibre like Fiberrific to provide a FOS (fructo-oligosacharide) that will amplify the benefits of the yogurt bacillus. Fiberrific, a soluble fibre, can be added to the water with the non instant dry milk prior to making yogurt, or it can be stirred into the yogurt once it has cooled. Add 1 teaspoon per serving, or 4 tablespoons per litre. Fiberrific also adds additional sweetness.
* Aviva recommends Healthe Sweet, Spoonable Stevia (contains prebiotic fibre), Agave Syrup, and Brown Rice Syrup as low glycemic natural sweeteners. Enzymatic Therapy makes great flavoured liquid stevia called Stevia Clear in orange, vanilla, and chocolate raspberry, and NOW has an excellent French Vanilla Stevia sold in single serving packets, normally used to sweeten coffee or tea, that adds a soft vanilla flavour and zero calorie sweetener to yogurt.
* D-Mannose can be added as a sweetener (1/2 teaspoon per serving) with the added benefit of helping to eliminate or treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Drink 8 ounces of water per hour to amplify the benefits of D-Mannose.
* Xylitol and Erythritol are excellent alternatives to sugar, safe for diabetics, and also protective against tooth decay.
* Sugars, honey, maple syrup or similar high glycemic sweeteners will counteract the health benefits of the beneficial bacteria and are not recommended.
* Natural fruit spreads are ideal low carbohydrate additions.
CREATIVE IDEAS TO AMPLIFY THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGURT:
* Add fresh or dried fruit, raw unsalted nuts (walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, pine nuts, almonds), ground sesame seeds (black or white), sunflower seeds (whole or chopped), chopped pumpkin seeds, PanaChia (whole or ground, but I prefer whole), or stabilized rice bran solubles to strengthen your immune system and add more nutrition.
* Add one or two teaspoons of Carlson’s Lemon Flavored Fish Oil per serving. Two teaspoons provides three grams of quality Omega 3 fatty acids, and it tastes great.
* Add one or two teaspoons of Barlean’s Flax Oil with Lignans per serving to provide valuable heart healthy alpha linolenic acid. This is similar to the recipe used by the late Joanna Budwig, M.D. as part of her natural treatment for cancer. Barlean’s also has a wonderful Lemonade or Cinnamon flax oil. The lemonade and cinnamon flax oils do not have the valuable (and cancer fighting) lignans, but if you like lemon or cinnamon, these are delicious ways to get many of the health benefits of flax oil.
* Add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed per serving of yogurt to add beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids. The best ground flax seed products are Nutra Sprout (Sprouted Flax Seed), Canmar Roasted Flax (plain, or with Blueberrry or Apple Cinnamon), Health’s Delight Shelled Flax, and Barlean’s Forti Flax.
* Add one teaspoon flax hull lignans per serving. Flax hull lignans, when combined with beneficial bacteria, help the body convert plant lignans into mammalian lignans. Research indicates that mammalian lignans may help prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer in post menopausal women and prostate cancer in men, and help reduce PMS and/or menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.
* Plain yogurt is an excellent sour cream substitute for baked potatoes but it’s also a great base for making salad dressings and other sauces.
* For a very quick salad dressing or vegetable dip add a packet of dried onion soup mix (choose a mix without MSG) or herb seasoning mix to yogurt, stir well, and let sit to allow flavors to blend before using.
* Add dill (fresh or dried), salt, and pepper to taste to yogurt and you have a great topping for fish.
* Experiment with your own seasoning combinations (including grated cheeses like romano or parmesan) and use for topping salads, steamed vegetables, or entree sauces. Adding plain yogurt to a basic mushroom sauce adds a very nice touch. When using yogurt in cooking, add it at the very end of the cooking and don’t allow the sauce to boil (that could cause it to curdle).
* “Yogurt cheese” is yogurt that has been drained of whey. Yogurt cheese has a variety of uses, and can even be used as a spread similar to cream cheese. Aviva has a special cotton bag specially designed for making yogurt cheese.
* Once the cheese is dry and is the desired texture, it can be used in recipes, mixed with herbs and spices, or added to make dips or spreads for vegetables, crackers, and chips. Dry yogurt is also better at thickening sauces than regular yogurt.
* The whey that separates from the yogurt is high in protein, and can be incorporated into soups or other recipes. Whey is also a precursor to glutathione, the master antioxidant.
SOY MILK YOGURT: To make soymilk yogurt, I recommend visiting Bryanna Clark Grogan’s website. Bryanna has developed a foolproof method, using a combination of powdered agar and powdered tapioca starch.