Nothing says “here comes summer” like Memorial Day! Temperatures warm up, pools open again, and school is nearly done. Widespread vaccinations have lifted restrictions and people are thrilled to be gathering again. Whether Memorial Day weekend means parades, camping, or backyard get-togethers, food plays a big part. This year, try using homemade yogurt as an ingredient in some of your celebratory treats. Yogurt provides protein, live bacteria that nourish the gut, and calcium that helps support bones.
Yogurt making is easy with the Instant Pot with these simple steps:
1. Pour a half gallon of real milk into a clean inner pot. Place the lid on the pot (with a clean or sanitized sealing ring) and press the yogurt button until it says “Boil.” When it beeps, remove the lid, and test the temperature of the milk. It should be 180 degrees.
2. Take the inner pot out, and cool until milk is 105-111 degrees.
3. Skim off the skin on the surface of the milk.
4. Take out a cup of the milk and into it stir 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures. Whisk it back into the inner pot of milk. If desired, add vanilla and/or sweetener to your yogurt.
5. Put the yogurt back into the Instant Pot, cover, and push the “Yogurt” button until it says 8 hours. The timer will count up and after eight hours, you have yogurt! Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and then use as you wish.
If you love Greek yogurt, strain the yogurt in the refrigerator through a cheesecloth for about 8 hours.
Homemade yogurt tastes wonderful plain, with added fruit or any other flavoring you enjoy.
It’s also a versatile ingredient that’s great to cook with!
Stay cool and kick off your weekend festivities with a Refreshingly Raspberry Smoothie or try these Lemon Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bars with Berry Swirl topped with blueberries for a patriotic-looking dessert! And since dips are a favorite party food, consider serving guests Chipotle Pepper Dip.
All these recipes can feature your homemade yogurt and help you enjoy your Memorial Day no matter how you are celebrating.
Carole Havrila, RD