Saturday, 4 August 2012

My New Toy

About a month ago, Papa Bear bought me a new toy - a yogurt maker, pictured like the one above (except mine is pink!  My faviourite colour is pink).  He got it from Amazon and you can read more about it here on the Amazon website.  As you can imagine, I was very excited when he gave it to me!

Since then I have been experimenting with it and we have been very pleased with the results.  It will soon pay for itself too, because although the boxes of sachets that you use with it are around £10 for 5, these each make a whole litre of yogurt - which works out at about half the price that we pay for the yogurt we buy in the supermarket.  It is probably about as cheap as making it from scratch as I have done quite recently, but so much easier - and the results are great, every time.

So far we have had the plain ordinary yogurt, the Greek style, and the blueberries'n'cream.  We have liked the Greek style best.  It is very simple to make - all you do is mix the contents of one sachet with water in the special container provided (designed to fit inside the yogurt maker exactly) and then fill the yogurt maker to the level shown with hot water, put the container in and put the lid on the maker and leave out in the kitchen until set!  The first time I tried I left the yogurt for about 12 hours.  It was nice but not sour enough for our tastes.  It was like the home made from scratch yogurt that I have made - not quite thick enough for our liking.  So next time I left it for 24 hours, and it was perfect.  Lovely and sour, and well set.  Then I tried the Greek style, leaving that for 24 hours too.  That was delicious, creamy and sour and beautifully set.  The blueberries'n'cream is flavoured and perhaps therefore not to everyone's taste.  But the flavourings are all natural, and it is a very pretty violet colour!  We really liked this, especially with stewed blueberries for breakfast.  It too has a nice sour taste which makes it much pleasanter to our palates than the flavoured yogurts you can buy in the supermarket. 

You can get extra bits of kit to go with the maker, such as additional containers and smaller containers for taking the yogurt as part of a pack-up.  Papa Bear bought me a couple extra containers and "yogurt takers" so that I could make more than one flavour at a time - very versatile!  There are ever so many different flavours of yogurt to try, and also different types - luxury, flavoured, natural, fat free and so on.

I am very impressed with this wee gadjet - it is economical (no electricity needed, apart from the boiling of the kettle at the beginning), easy to clean, and the yogurt itself is delicious and easy to make.  Of course, you could make your own yogurt in it as the principle is exactly the same as for the home made yogurt that I have made - but you would still need to warm the milk to the right temperature first, or use UHT milk (which we dislike).  Once you have made one batch you would then only need to purchase more milk, but with the extra work involved heating the milk to the right temperature, I prefer the sachets that are designed for use with the yogurt maker.  One litre of yogurt lasts us about 3 days - which is fine, because you get 5 sachets in a box, so even if we ate yogurt every day, one box would last us for over a fortnight.  The same amount of Greek yogurt bought from the supermarket would cost us £20 for the same period (this is while it is on offer at £2 for 500 g - it is normally £2.39).  Obviously if you buy the very cheapest yogurts, it won't work out as economically, but you won't be getting the same quality of yogurt either, nor the same nutrient value.

We think it's great - and it was a wonderful present!  Thank you Papa Bear!  I hope I'll be making lots of different yogurts in it for everyone to enjoy all year round!