She had enjoyed eating yogurt before being diagnosed with allergy. I tried to find dairy-free yogurt at the time and couldn't find anything.
So, I bought a Waring Pro Professional Yogurt Maker. We made one of the recipes in the accompanying recipe book using rice milk instead of the recommended whole, skim, or semi-skim milk.
With hoped that it would taste similar to the store-bought version...and it would be dairy-free. When the timer turned off after 12 hours of cooking, we covered the containers and put it in the refrigerator.
Later that day, we took the first container out and eagerly took a bite. We looked at each other and knew we would never make dairy-free yogurt again. The entire batch - minus two spoonfuls - went in the trash.
Fast forward ten years later. The yogurt maker is still sitting on the top shelf where it was originally placed. I set a goal of making yogurt this summer. If it's good - the yogurt maker stays. If it's as bad as before - it's a donation to the thrift shop.
So, I washed all the components of the yogurt maker. Then, Sophia and I made the yogurt. We used the Blueberry Vanilla Yogurt recipe even though we didn't have blueberry preserves. We had other kinds that would be equally as good in yogurt.
The ingredients we used to make six servings were:
4 3/4 cups lowfat (2%) milk (we used skim milk)
2-3 tablespoons honey (we used 3 tablespoons of honey from our bees)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry nonfat milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 cup blueberry preserves, preferably the all-fruit variety (we used triple-fruit preserves for half of the jars and strawberry jam from the CSA for the other half)
The first step is to heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk reaches 185 degrees and is about to boil, remove it from the stove and stir in honey and vanilla extract.
Allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees. To speed up the process, whisk liquid frequently or place saucepan in ice water.
Once the liquid reaches the appropriate temperature, whisk in dried milk.
Then whisk in yogurt until ingredients are thoroughly homogenous.
While the liquid is cooling, place a heaping tablespoon of blueberry preserves in each jar.
Pour liquid into individual jars. Place jars into the yogurt maker without their lids.
Cover the yogurt maker and set for 10 hours (12 hours for skim milk). Press the on button. Do not move or bump the yogurt maker during this time.
When the yogurt maker signals that the yogurt is finished, cover the jar with their lids and store in the refrigerator. Yogurt will keep refrigerated for up to one week.
After the yogurt has cooled, we opened a jar.
The jam stayed on the bottom of the jar, so it needed to be stirred. Took a bite...very tentatively.
It was delicious!! This was some of the best yogurt I have ever tasted!!
As I looked at the recipe, it says that you can use fresh fruit too. Simply prepare the yogurt as directed. Mix 1/2 cup of fruit with 1/4 tablespoon of sugar and 1-2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for about 15-20 minutes, until fruit has thickened. Cool fruit to 110 degrees before mixing with milk/yogurt mixture.
We are definitely keeping the yogurt maker and will be making yogurt much more regularly now. All of the items are ones that we have on hand, so there's no reason why we couldn't have a regular supply of homemade yogurt always available.