5 benefits of homemade natural yogurt (and a recipe)

Homemade natural yogurt is one of the favourite foods in our family. Next to homemade bread.

Just can't get enough!
Just can’t get enough!

Here are 5 reasons. There’s a recipe at the end of this post.

1. It’s cheap.  A teeny tub of commercial fruit yogurt costs around RM1.60. We’d probably get just 6-7 tablespoons out of it. Compare this to 1 litre of natural yogurt we can make for RM3.00, using 12 tablespoons of milk powder from an economical jumbo pack, 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt, and filtered water.

2. It’s healthy.  Eating natural yogurt means we get all the benefits of yogurt without the processed sugars. It’s an immunity booster, a rich source of calcium and protein, and doesn’t have the tendency to increase our mucus as cow’s milk does. Our kids don’t consume cow’s milk daily, but they have 2 cups of natural yogurt everyday.

Over the past 3 years since we started consuming natural yogurt, we’ve rarely had coughs and colds. When we do, we use natural remedies (homemade yogurt included) and don’t resort to medication or antibiotics at all. The live bacterial cultures in yogurt replenish the intestines with helpful bacteria. Check this site for more details. I love that our family heals so easily, the natural way!

3. It’s versatile.   Natural yogurt can be combined with a wide variety of fruit and seeds for a power packed breakfast, tea time snack or dessert. We’ve enjoyed yogurt with bananas, mangoes, papayas, oranges, apples, kiwi fruit, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit, dried cranberries and raisins. Sometimes drizzled with honey. Sometimes sprinkled with flaxseed (another great immune booster). Sometimes in a smoothie. Sometimes just plain, unsweetened.

Natural yogurt with dried cranberries, ground flaxseed, honey
Natural yogurt with dried cranberries, ground flaxseed, honey
Natural yogurt with apples, raisins, honey
Natural yogurt with apples, raisins, honey
Natural yogurt with mango, papaya, honey
Natural yogurt with mango, papaya, honey

Combine 2 cups natural yogurt with 1 clove chopped raw garlic and half a tablespoon of honey for a fantastic immunity boost whenever you feel a sore throat coming on. And gargle 3 times daily with salt water. Works wonders for us!

Natural yogurt with chopped garlic, honey
Natural yogurt with chopped garlic, honey

4. It’s yummy!   Homemade natural yogurt, flavoured to your taste, is as scrumptious as it is healthy. Avoid the processed sugars in other yogurts and enjoy all its benefits! After all these years of consuming natural yogurt, I find sweetened, store bought yogurt very difficult to swallow.

5. It’s easy to make.  Given the volume our family consumes, I have 2 EasiYo yogurt makers so I can whip up 2 litres every other day, instead of having to make a litre every day. It’s as easy as ABC and takes up no more than 3 minutes.

Here’s how we make natural yogurt using a yogurt maker, milk powder, and a natural yogurt starter. I’ve read that you can make your own starter but haven’t tried it, yet!

EasiYo is the only yogurt maker I know that can be purchased locally (selected VitaCare pharmacies), so that’s what we use. It comes as an internal yogurt jar and an external flask. Check out their site and some reviews.

Homemade Natural Yogurt Recipe

Put a kettle of water on to boil.

Meanwhile, add 12 tablespoons of milk powder (we use Fernleaf) to an EasiYo yogurt jar (cleaned and rinsed with filtered water). Full cream, please.

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Add 1 heaped tablespoon natural yogurt. We use Nestle’s Full Cream Natural Yogurt.

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Fill the jar half full with filtered water (at room temperature).

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Whisk the contents. Vigorously. I like this whisk because it gets right to the bottom and sides of the jar.

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Fill the jar up to the indicated line with filtered water. Whisk ’em contents again like you’re a woman gone mad. Then screw the lid on.

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Fill the external flask with boiling water, to the top of the red insert.

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Place the yogurt jar inside.

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Cover, and leave for minimum 15 hours. (I usually leave mine for 24 hours and it sets really nicely by then.)

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So easy! Consider investing in a yogurt maker, start making yogurt, and see your family’s health change for the better.

I am not affiliated in anyway to EasiYo or any products mentioned in this post. Just sharing the goodness!

 

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A 100% fruit “cake”

The last time Sweet Man went overseas on a 10-day work trip, something he hardly ever does, the kids and I missed him terribly.

We counted the days he would return and planned how to surprise him when he got home. As usual, the kids had some ideas of their own. As for me, I remembered a photo of a fruit “cake” on a friend’s Facebook wall. It was so interesting that I thought we had to have a go.

Sweet Man loved the results, as we did. But I think the kids and I loved the process even more.

Step 1: Wash and peel your ingredients – watermelon, grapes, cherries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya. Gather a colourful range!

Step 2: Slice the kiwi, mango and papaya into medium sized chunks or interesting shapes. Whatever suits your fancy.

fruitStep 3: Carve your watermelon.

IMG_3368Step 4: Insert 2 satay sticks into the middle (forming a cross in the centre), till they come out through the other end. (Trim off the sharp ends when kids are involved.)

Step 5: Arrange fruit at the bottom of the cake – we chose grapes (shown above), then kiwi fruit. Using more satay sticks, assemble your cake. We stuck star-shaped mango on the sides.

IMG_3371Put the toddler into his high chair when he insists on helping because he’s equally part of the team (how could anyone forget) and watch all satay sticks with an evil eye.

(And because I had to do that, I had to stop taking photos. Right.)

When preschoolers are involved, you may not have to lift a finger after this stage. Demonstrate how to stick various types of fruit through one stick, then let them do the rest. What did I do after? I watched Piglet making his own stick.

Voila! Enjoy – au naturale, sugar free, fat free, cholestrol free!

fruit cake

We had so much fun, the kids couldn’t wait to hide behind the door and yell “Surprise!”

Do you have any interesting exploits with fruit to share?

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