Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt

Our darling Dreamer has been suffering with an infection for about 2 weeks. She didn't react well to the strong antibiotic that was necessary to kick the infection to the curb, so she's been really exhausted and just not her sweet self for days. She's doing so much better now, and we are truly thankful.  
She heads to the doctor tomorrow for a re-check, but I think she is all better.

What does that have to do with yogurt? Well, whenever anyone in our home is on an antibiotic, 
we push yogurt and lots of it.  
Prayer, fluids, rest, yogurt and lots of love 
- it seems to work.
I try not to buy the sweet, fancy dessert type of yogurt, but the good active culture-rich yogurt.
I prefer organic if we can find it - and afford it.

I have made homemade yogurt in the past. Not super successfully, but it all got used up one way or another! It wasn't our family's favorite, but it was great to top fresh fruit, mix with granola, make smoothies or bake with. Then I found this great simple yogurt making tutorial by Kristen at The Frugal Girl. She does a fabulous job of explaining the basic yogurt making process, and she breaks down the cost comparison like nobody's business in Sweating the small stuff. I couldn't possibly do a better job of showing you how to make yogurt and I followed her instructions to the 't', so please visit Kristen and learn the basic process from her if you don't already make yogurt from scratch. I promise it's super simple. Painless, really.

With Dreamer still on nasty meds to fight this lingering infection, we were all out of yogurt. Again. I had coupons and the Yoplait Whips were on sale, so we did get a few of those to fill the gap, but I consider those the 'dessert' yogurts despite the fact that they claim to have live and active cultures. I think all of the sugar and dye negates the cultures, but what do I know?  The organic yogurt was not on sale - and the kind she really likes was $1.30 per serving. Yikes!

 I decided to experiment and use homemade yogurt to make my own version of fruit on the bottom yogurt because that's what everyone loves best. When I saw the managers special sticker on a gallon of organic whole milk, it sealed the deal. $2.60! I actually only made 1/2 the gallon into yogurt because Storyteller loves loves loves whole milk and wanted the rest of the gallon for a 'treat'. 
Spring training you know.

To each 4 cup jar of thickened yogurt made with organic whole milk I added 3 tablespoons of raw liquid honey and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.  I stirred and stirred until the honey dissolved and the vanilla was evenly distributed. It got a nice vanilla-y color which made me strangely happy.

For the fruit on the bottom layer I made my Saturday Morning Compote (the recipe is at the end of this post).  It was still steaming hot when I spooned it into the 1/2 cup jelly jars.

 At first I didn't think about letting it cool before adding the yogurt, but I soon realized that it would not be fruit on the bottom if I wasn't just a smidgen more patient!

This would be 'fruit floating to the top' yogurt.
Certainly not the end of the world, but not what I was going for, so I waited a bit before proceeding.

Still a bit of floating fruit, but better overall, I think.
After all, I am a Mama, not a machine!
By this time Storyteller was in the kitchen 
asking when it will be ready.  
He's already asked for an early wake up call so that he can be the first to taste test.

The bottom is the hot fruit mixture, the top is what it looks like when the 
Mama is patient enough to wait for it to cool! 

I was mostly impatient ...

I have 20 1/2 cup almost all organic fruit on the bottom vanilla yogurts waiting patiently in the fridge for hungry children to consume. It cost about $6.15 to make the whole batch and I still have 4 cups of plain vanilla yogurt left.  If we hate it, I'll throw it in the blender with ice and more frozen fruit and honey and call it a smoothie. It will not go to waste!  I suppose I could have gone lighter on the fruit and made 30 fruit on the bottom yogurt cups, but I was getting tired - and the fruit is the best part, right?

organic whole milk $2.60 per gallon (manager's special) - I used 1/2, but still have 4 cups of plain yogurt
plain yogurt starter $1.30
organic sugar $.20
frozen fruit $3
honey $1
Each yogurt serving $.30
Did I really just save $20 with 30 minutes of  'work'?

Saturday Morning Compote
 1 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 cup mixed frozen fruit
Mix sugar and corn starch in saucepan until combined. Whisk in water and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat whisking gently as the mixture heats. Add frozen fruit and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute stirring constantly until the juices are thickened and are no longer cloudy.
Serve over pancakes, waffles or french toast.

P.S. If you like the idea of using mason jars to make individual servings neat and attractive like I do, you'll love all of the great ideas Robin Sue has at Big Red Kitchen!  Follow this link to find all of her great inspiring posts on Mason Jar Meals.


Edited: We love this yogurt recipe!  
If I were going to change anything, I would reduce the compote to yogurt ratio from 1:1 to 1:2, but other than that it is delish! In fact, it may be a bit too yummy since there are only 12 left!

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  1. This yogurt and fruit sounds delish and healthy.

  2. Thanks Terra - it was really creamy and quite tasty - we all enjoyed it!

  3. “Prayer, fluids, rest, yogurt and lots of love – it seems to work.” I agree with this line very much! This is what I call relaxation -- physically, mentally and spiritually! After a week of stress, I find comfort in indulging in a very fulfilling yogurt dessert!

    -Joseph Carr


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