Update on making yoghurt from scratch in an Easiyo

I mentioned that when I made the yoghurt with regular milk in the Easiyo I heated it and then cooled it to cold (not 40 degrees as is usually recommended). This is because with the Easiyo, which is designed for use with the Easiyo sachet and cold water, you fill it with boiling water, to warm the milk and keep it at growing temperature. Whereas usually when you’re making yoghurt from scratch you just put it in a thermos or something to keep it warm. So, I read that you need to use cold milk when making yoghurt in the Easiyo, so that the boiling water doesn’t overheat it and kill the starter culture.

Anyway, this is all working up to say that my mum has bought an Easiyo, and she made yoghurt in it from scratch but only cooled the milk to 40 degrees and it worked fine.

What all this (combined with my last post) leads me to think, is that it really is very easy to make yoghurt and you really don’t have to be all that precise to make it work. But, don’t use xylitol in it!

Edited to add: I have now put together all my making yoghurt experience into one article on the main Sustainable Suburbia site: How to Make Yoghurt From Scratch in an Easiyo Yogurt Maker.

Making yoghurt with Xylitol – or not!

I had my first failure in my making yoghurt from scratch experiments. I thought I’d try a coffee flavoured yoghurt, and at the last minute I decided to sweeten it with Xylitol instead of sugar or honey.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from birch bark, strawberries and corn cobs among other things. It has a very low GI (of around 7), can replace sugar virtually spoon for spoon, for somewhere around 1/2-3/4 the calories and, most importantly, inhibits the bacteria that causes tooth decay. For that reason many dentists are now recommending using it, for instance by sucking on a couple of Xylitol mints after a meal, or in tooth paste.

However, when I used Xylitol in my yoghurt, guess what happened? Nothing. Nothing happened. I opened my litre of supposed yoghurt 10 hours later, and it was still just slightly yoghurty flavoured coffee milk. My guess is that Xylitol not only inhibits the bacteria that causes tooth decay, but also the bacterias that cause yoghurt. Which is kind of interesting, given those bacterias (bactieri?) are also important for a healthy gut. So that’s something I’ll be looking into a bit more.

In the mean time, I made a lovely lemon yoghurt yesterday with 1 tsp lemon essence, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 & 1/4 cups milk powder* (I think I used a cup of full cream milk powder and 1/4 cup skim, but I mix up the ratio depending on the day) and enough milk to make it up to a litre. Oh, and a tsp of Easiyo natural yoghurt powder, because I’d run out of the previous batch of yoghurt. It’s delicious, but tomorrow I’m going to try coffee again, only this time, without the Xylitol!


* I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’m using milk powder now in my yoghurt mostly, which avoids the step of heating and cooling the milk, since the drying process has the same effect on the milk protein as the heating does (buying UHT milk does this too, which is what my Mum does – she’s just started making it from scratch too, and in fact just bought herself an Easiyo from the supermarket). It’s heaps quicker and saves me having to buy milk even more often – we already go through 2-3 litres a day in this family! I got this idea from another blogger, but I will have to figure out who it was and link later, because right now Ms 11 months is getting very crotchety!

edited to add: Apparently my mother doesn’t use UHT milk, she uses Aldi’s Organic milk which is “ultra pasturised”. She has used it both heated and straight out of the fridge and it worked both ways. I have read that you can use UHT milk without heating it though.

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