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Hello hungry ones!

I’ll let you into my plans. I want to go to Europe this summer and that takes a lot of preparation, especially financially. So I am making every cent count right now, even with my food!  Tell you what, I never  had a healthier diet! Skipping fast foods and restaurant and opting for real, whole foods is cheaper and waaaaay healthier.

Anyway, I am a fan of yoghurt. I have a weird tummy, I’m dependent on Ranitidine and I would get insanely acidic if I skip a meal or get stressed; it always screws me up. Having yoghurt in my diet makes my tummy better just cause I keep my good bacteria population in check. Not to mention it’s yummy (my favourite “ice cream” when I was growing up was actually frozen yogurt, I didn’t know until I was in grade 5! Blaming my ultra-health conscious mother) and I can eat the creamy goodness anytime without feeling guilty.

However, being in a country like Indonesia (and Thailand before this), where people looooooove sweet/fruity yoghurt, the quest for plain, unsweetened yoghurt is a pain. It is rarely in stock. Unsweetened ones are my favourite! You can have any flavour you want then, and you can use it as a salad dressing or dip. You can even use it as a skin care product! The options are endless (told you I’m a fan).

Yesterday, I chanced upon a plain yogurt in my local grocery. Couldn’t be happier, in fact I think I did a happy dance by the chiller. Naturally, it was imported – and it being imported in Indonesia, it was taxed 5 times. No happy dance there. So I googled how to hack  my problem: make my own supply of yogurt. I decided to replicate my Yoplait in its face!

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What you need:

  • 600 ml milk (this being SEAsia, you’ll get UHT milk, which for my Westerner friends, is weird tasting)
  • 1/2 c plain yogurt with LIVE CULTURE (this is important or your bacteria won’t grow)

What to do:

1. Ready your yoghurt in a bowl and set aside.

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2. Pour milk in a lidded pot. Heat it until just before boiling. Stir it a lot. You have to be really careful not to scald or boil it or else it will coagulate. You don’t want that. We are heating the milk to change its molecular structure, to make it susceptible for breaking down without separating it into curds and whey. Turn heat off when done. Cool it down.

3. Get one cup of heated milk and slowly mix it with the yogurt in the separate bowl. When you’re ready with your runny yogurt, stir it in with the milk in the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and put it in a warm place to hasten bacteria growth. What I did was use the rice cooker pot for heating and used the rice cooker (turned off, of course) as my yogurt maker!

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4. Wait for at least 12 hours to get thicker yoghurt. Store it in nice containers and put it in the fridge to slow down bacteria growth. It will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge. If you need a new batch of yogurt, keep 1/2 cup as a starter and do it all over again. From spending Rp 115,000 to just Rp 12,000 weekly — what an awesome figure to observe for your budget.

 

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