Thursday, 3 March 2011

A new use for our dehydrator ... ...

This is just a quick post about yogurt of all things.

We had been thinking about making our own yogurt and had been thinking about getting a yogurt maker of some sort, and as is the case more often than not some one on our local free-cycle group offered one, which we were lucky enough to get.

Here it is -

Nothing special, just a standard yogurt maker.
 As you can see it's an old one, the date on the back is 1990, but it works, which is the main thing and of course being free-cycled it didn't cost anything, it came with everything needed, and although the person who gave it to us couldn't find the booklet that was originally with, she took the time to write down the basic yogurt recipe, bonus.

We tested it out the day after we got it, and sure enough we made some yogurt, which got eaten pretty quickly, the kids loved it, although we did add some stuff to it, like a little vanilla, it's quite nice plain as well.

Then I got to thinking about the device itself, which is basically an incubator, that's what it does, it allows you to incubate the cultures that make yogurt, so despite the fancy " yogurt maker " label it's basically a regulated heat source, which we already had, only we didn't think about it until we got the yogurt maker.

So the other day I decided to experiment with our regulated heat source, or if your prefer the dehydrator I modified from an old glass drying cabinet (which you can read about here - opens in new window ) and using the little glass pots that came with the yogurt maker I set about making some yogurt in the dehydrator, which may sound odd, but on it's lowest setting it's just about the right temperature (around 45°C)  to make yogurt, I'll admit I did have to leave one of the doors open a fraction just to stop too much heat building up.

The little glass pots that came with the yogurt maker -

Just about the right size for one person.
 It took a little less time to make the yogurt in the dehydrator than it did the yogurt maker, so in theory cost a little less in electricity, and as the dehydrator is a lot bigger than the yogurt maker we can make loads more at a time, providing we have the containers to make it in. So that's the plan for making yogurt, we will still use the yogurt maker, until it stops working, but either way we have learned how to make yogurt.

I would post pictures of the yogurt we've made so far, but er we kind of ate it :-) we mixed various things into it, blackberries,strawberries and vanilla, we have plans to make frozen yogurt type things as well, and on top of all that it's an interesting lesson for our kids, this is how you make yogurt and this is how it works type of thing, we've also tried making cheese this week as well, which has been interesting, I'm planning on making more, so I'll post the results no doubt.

And if you've wanted to make yogurt, but didn't want to buy a yogurt maker you may already have the means to make it, if you have a dehydrator and you can also make it in a flask, why not have a go ? if you do a search for making yogurt in your search engine of choice you'll get loads of results.

Thanks for reading.

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