Category Archives: Recipes

Making Yogurt with Villi and Greek Cultures

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Making Villi and Greek Yogurt

When I got my yogurt cultures in the mail from Cultures for Health, I was really excited, but had to put the project on hold due to my trip to the Raw Milk Symposium that weekend. I wanted to have plenty of time to do it right. So when I got back from Wisconsin, I pulled out the packets and with some very enthusiastic help from 7-year-old Zee, I went to work. We started with the Villi culture. Zee opened the packet for me and measured out the recommended 1/2 tsp of culture, which I mixed into 1/2 cup of raw milk. I left this in a canning jar on my stove top for 24 hours checking it occasionally – OK, so I hovered a little, I’m a little controlling – sorry! – after 24 hours, it was still not setting up, so I checked the instructions and saw that on the back of the page of instructions there was a special section for raw milk! So, I set the first try aside and started over, this time I slowly heated the milk to 160° and then cooling the milk to room temperature before adding the culture, and then began the waiting process all over again. Being a somewhat scientifically minded person, I left the first batch on the stove top along with the second one, and waited (alright – I already said I am not much good at waiting, but I really don’t think I hurt it any.) The next morning, the first batch had gelled up to a kind of slimy runny consistency, while the second batch was still not set up. I left it there and decided I would check it again when I got home from work.

When I got home, the first batch had gelled into a very soft yogurt that held form when first scooped up, but then collapsed into a really runny yogurt, more like kefir. The second one was much more firm and was beginning to separate from the whey. Glad that there was an extra half teaspoon, I used the pure starter and mixed it in to a quart of raw milk that I had mixed in about 1 cup of cream, and set it on the counter again. This batch set up very nicely after 24 hours and had a really nice thick mild flavored yogurt. Yum! I used the 3rd 1/2 tsp to make another pure starter (done right by heating the milk first) and put it in the refrigerator to be used in the next batch – I will make another pint of yogurt by heating the milk and then I can use 2 Tbsp in each quart of raw milk without having to heat it again until I want to make another batch of pure starter. This is done to preserve the integrity of the villi culture, because bacteria from the raw milk can change the culture and yield unpredictable results.

The Greek yogurt was a bit different – it requires very low heat. I started out right this time, warming the milk to 180° this time (as per instructions) and then cooled it to 110° before adding the culture.  With only 1/2 cup of milk, much of the liquid evaporated out. I used my food dehydrator and I am wondering if it may have been a little to warm. I put the starter into a Ziploc baggie and put it in the refrigerator. I think I will bring in the cooler and use the hot water method instead.

To be continued! . . .

The Way to a Man’s Heart . . .

Show your man how much you love him for valentines with this heart shaped meat loaf and mashed potatoes:

Meatloaf:

2 – 3 Lbs of lean Hamburger
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 Eggs
1 c dry Whole wheat Bread Crumbs
1/2 c cooked Wild/Brown Rice
1 small can Tomato Sauce
1 can Tomato Paste
3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, Pepper, Garlic

Sauté onion in butter until translucent. Mix into raw hamburger with eggs, rice, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, and then stir in bread crumbs. Form meat mixture into the shape of a heart on a large foil covered cookie sheet top with tomato paste mixed with the remaining Worcestershire sauce. Bake for 45 min to an hour at 375° or until done in the Middle. Serve with steamed veggies of your choice and roasted garlic mashed potatoes below.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

Scrub and cube 4 or 5 large red potatoes. Do not peel. Put potatoes into a 2 quart saucepan and add several peeled cloves of garlic. Add 2 to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until potatoes and garlic are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain water and add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 1/2 cup butter. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little milk or heavy cream if needed for consistency.  Fold in 1/2 cup of grated cheese (optional).

And to round it out, try these yummy garlic cheese biscuits: To your favorite drop biscuit recipe, mix in grated cheese and garlic powder. My kids can’t get enough of these :)