How much would you expect to pay for a litre of organic yoghurt? It’s about $9.30 from the company I get my dairy from, but I’m sure you could do better. $6.00?
How about $1.32?
Up until now I have been using the Easiyo system. If you’ve never seen it in action, it is really terrific. You buy a few jars and a thermos-like canister from the supermarket, then mix up a sachet with water and pop it in the canister with some boiling water. After 8 hours or so you have perfect yoghurt. Easiyo is great for our family because I can keep a large stash in the cupboard and make it up as soon as I use up the previous batch. Supermarket shopping with a toddler is hell – anything that can reduce my number of trips is a blessing!
An Easiyo Greek sachet costs $3.55 at my local supermarket. You may be able to get them cheaper from Big W, but it will still be in the same ballpark. Unfortunately they don’t make an organic version, so I’ve been looking for alternatives. My kids are yoghurt eating machines – they go through 1 litre of yoghurt in a few days. I don’t think I could afford to buy organic at $9.30 a pop.
Years ago I did a a number of cheesemaking courses run by Carole Willman of Cheeselinks. These gave me a pretty good working knowledge of milk and cultures – from sour cream to feta, blue cheese to Camembert. Yoghurt is much the same idea. I placed a Cheeselinks order for some yoghurt cultures (along with some other cheesemaking goodies), and it arrived the other day. I couldn’t wait to get cracking!
When I was last at Coles I bought a bunch of Organic UHT milk for $1.19 a litre. It is perfect for making yoghurt, because it is less risky. In yoghurt making you are putting the milk under conditions that are perfect for the growth of microbes, so you need to make sure that you are growing the right ones. UHT milk is sterile. It’s been heat treated at a really high temperature that the bugs can’t withstand, so when I add a pure culture to it, that’s all I’ll be growing.
I started the process by pouring my UHT milk into an Easiyo canister. I then added 1/10 teaspoon of yoghurt starter, then closed the canister and agitated gently. I then filled the Easiyo thermos up to the normal level with boiling water, then inserted the canister and closed the lid. 12 hours later – organic yoghurt! For $1.32!