One of the little man’s favourite foods in the world is yogurt.
When he turned six months and embarked on solids, I included yogurt in his daily meals because I wanted to ensure that his tummy does not suffer too much from the change in diet. Yogurt has loads of good bacteria that helps to protect the gut and it makes for a perfect after-dinner dessert that’s healthy and yummy at the same time.
I used to purchase one-litre tubs of yogurt from the supermarket and the cost was driving me a little batty. For a fermented product, yogurts can be pricey! I was spending almost $10 a week on these tubs of yogurt. And because my boo boo inhales it in no time, I had to be careful with portions in order to make a tub stretch.
Thankfully, I had made some lovely friends from the internet. After seeing my Instagram pictures of the way I dressed up my yogurt, Mrs Ergul shared how easy it was to make yogurt from scratch. And I was sold! It was not only dead simple, going the homemade route also ensured that I save quite a bit of money, considering that a carton of milk costs me all of $3 or less.
And since the little guy has been on fresh milk since he turned 12 months (we opted to skip formula entirely), it was not much effort at all to grab extra packs during our grocery runs. One of the brands that I use in rotation is Greenfields. (We toggle between two brands so that he won’t get used to one taste.)
What I like about Greenfields is that it is a natural product. I’ve been called a crunchy, hippie mama because using natural products is important to me. Greenfields milk comes from the brand’s own scientifically-sourced and managed herd of over 6000 Holstein cows in their integrated dairy farm based at Gunung Kawi. Malang, East Java, and does not include no-nos like additives, chemicals, antibiotics and hormones. Their milk is produced, pasteurised and packed within the dairy and it is single-pasteurised, ensuring optimal freshness. While I used to buy organic milk to prepare the yogurt, Greenfields offers me a cheaper product with similar benefits. In a nutshell, it’s an “honest” milk.
Here’s the easy peasy recipe to make your own homemade yogurt, thanks to the tips from Mrs Ergul, David Lebovitz (if you love to cook and bake, you NEED to go to his site pronto) and “Wholefood for Children“, written by Jude Blereau.
- 1-litre fresh milk from Greenfields
- 1-2 tablespoons of natural yogurt
- Wash a 1-litre glass jar with very hot water and drain to dry. (I use Ikea Korken jars, while Mrs Ergul suggested a Lock & Lock container – doesn’t matter, as long as it is airtight.)
- Heat the milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk skin from forming.
- Remove from heat and let it cool till it’s cool enough for you to put your finger in it and keep it there.
- Spoon the yogurt into the bottom of the clean jar.
- Pour the cooled milk into jar, stir to combine, and then cover it.
- Let the jar sit for between 6-8 hours and then put it into the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours.
- Voila! Homemade yogurt!
For the boy, I’d usually add the following to his yogurt: a teaspoon of organic extra-virgin coconut oil (for good fat), a teaspoon of flaxseed oil (for omega-3 fatty acids and lignan), a sprinkling of chia seeds (for so many health benefits!) and a sprinkling of flax seeds (same as flaxseed oil). To sweeten it, I add a little dollop of honey (only for babies above 1) or naturally sweetened fruit jam (St Dalfour’s, for instance).
- The higher the fat content of your milk, the thicker and creamier your yogurt will be. Besides, babies under 2 require full fat milk, not skimmed.
- Make sure that your yogurt starter contains active, live cultures.
- Homemade yogurt tends to be thinner and runnier than store-bought ones. You can add thickeners but I never bother.
- If you like your yogurt tangy, you can leave it out to sit for a bit longer.
Greenfields Milk is available in variants of Fresh Milk, Chocolate Malt, High Calcium Skimmed Milk that contains less than 0.1% fat, and High Calcium Low Fat that contains only 1.3% fat.
Greenfields Milk is available at most supermarkets at $5.95 for 2 litres bottle (All except FairPrice), $3.25 for a 1 litre pack and $1.50 for a pack of 200ml (only available at 7-11).