Now when I say "health food" I mean food that is healthy for you or boosts you immunities, or even fights bacteria for you. Yogurt does that. Why? Because yougurt is fermented milk. At least, that's how I understand it.
You see, yougurt is made by heating up milk, adding a bacterial culture and letting it stay warm for most of a day. Keeping it warm allows the bacteria to grow; and it then chemically alters the milk. The end result is a very tasty, thick and creamy milky goo that you can add endless things to. Yogurt.
But, you say, bacteria is bad and makes one sick. I know, and for some odd reason when you use bacteria to fight bacteria you win. My family has successfully been using yogurt to combat various yeast infections for years--after two or three days of eating large bowls of yogurt the infection goes away. I don't know why it works, and I don't really want to go through five years of nursing school to find out, but it does.
And everyone knows the benefits of fresh fruits. That's kind of a no-brainer. So, a fruit/yogurt parfait is the best food known to man.
I feel like I'm telling you stuff you already know. So I'll switch tracks.
My mom has been making yogurt for a long time; she has a yogurt maker that keeps it at the right temperature for a specific time. All she has to do is heat up some milk, add a little yogurt, sugar and vanilla, and put it in the yogurt maker and she's done. Then, of course, there are the varients that she puts in to make it especially her own: Mom uses cornstarch and raw sugar. My mother-in-law adds sweetened-condensed milk and puts hers in a crock-pot wrapped in a warm blanket. And my friend Nicole doesn't add anything except a little sugar and puts hers in a warm oven overnight.
Nicole figured out that the thermostat on most ovens will actually turn on at a much lower temperature than they are marked for, somewhere around 80 degrees. That is the prime temperature that you want to keep your yogurt at for at least five hours. So guess what I did?
I scalded some milk (about four-five cups), added some brown sugar (maybe two tablespoons?) and yogurt ( one-quarter cup, vanilla flavored), and put it into two ceramic bowls ( I was thinking that if I kept it shallow it would set up better) and put it in the oven at the lowest setting for a few hours. I achieved the perfection of yogurt! For the first time! I've tried making yogurt for over a year and haven't gotten it.
I figured that you'd want to add about one tablespoon of culture and one teaspoon of sugar for every cup of milk you use. I used brown sugar because I don't have any white sugar. Brown sugar also takes the bitter sting out of the yogurt without adding too much of a sweet taste. I'd like to add some vanilla flavoring, but that's something that you might never see on this blog. You can add various other flavorings or colors before you put it in the oven, or any kind of toppings out of the fridge. I prefer strawberry jelly and frosted flakes myself.
On a closing note I'd like to say that Nicole is awesome. And I'd especially like to reccommend the parfait for pregnant women. Full of antioxidents and the yogurt has been proven to calm the upset pregnant stomach.
Happy cooking! --Zizi