holly homemaker

Sunday, September 11, 2011

DIY Homemade yogurt using nonfat powdered milk

This is another thing I have to credit my sister for getting me into!  It is very simple, cheap, tasty, and fast to make if you have a yogurt maker.    If you are already into using plain yogurt, then it's a given that you should try this!  If your new to eating plain yogurt (like me!), then try using it in smoothies, mix with fresh fruits or homemade jam for a snack, or I even love to eat it on oatmeal waffles with fresh fruit on top.  I've even tried it in some recipes as a substitute for sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise!

After purchasing (or borrowing) a yogurt maker, follow the maker's directions.  For my yogurt, this is what I do:
1. Measure 4 cups of water into a sauce pan*.  Whisk in 1 2/3 cups dry powdered milk.
 2. Cook on medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the milk and steam is rising off the surface.

3. Remove from the heat.  Add the thermometer and let sit until the milk is at the correct temperature. (the booklet that comes with your yogurt maker will tell you what temperature)

4.   Add 1 Tablespoon of plain yogurt (you can use store bought or plain homemade yogurt from a previous batch) to the milk mixture and whisk until well blended.

5. Pour milk into the cups of the yogurt maker and place lids on.

6. Put the cups into the yogurt maker, put the lid on, plug in, and turn on. Let it sit for 8 to 10 hours (read the instructions in the booklet to know how long to leave yours on)

7. Put cups of yogurt into the fridge and now you have roughly 6 cups of plain yogurt.

*I've adapted my recipe to fit a bit more yogurt into the cups, so I measure 5 cups of water and 2 c. plus 4 tsp. of dry powdered milk - then I fill each cup all the way and get about 8 cups of yogurt each time.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars!

These are amazing! If you are a fan of Quaker chewy granola bars, then this recipe is for you. I doubled the recipe, baked them in a jelly roll pan and then cut them into 32 "bars" once they were cooled. Then I individually bagged each one in a snack size baggie and put them in the pantry - now we have a stash of healthy and affordable granola bars that we can grab when we are on the go. My kids can't get enough of them!

Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup chocolate chips (or dried fruit, mini m&ms, cashews, you get the idea.. :)
½ c. coconut (or anything else you might like!)
½ cup crispy rice cereal or nuts
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup canola oil
½ cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract

(Here's how I like to do it each time:)
Grease large cookie sheet/jelly roll pan and preheat the oven to 350.
4 c. rolled oats
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. coconut (I buy the unsweetened "flakes" at stores that sell them in bulk)
1 c. crispy rice cereal
 3/4 c. ground flax seed (measure after it is ground - I currently buy a bag of ground flax seed from Costco)
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or mini m&ms
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon

1 c. canola oil
1 c. honey
4 t. vanilla extract

Mixing directions

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease a 9×13 pan.
In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips, coconut, crispy rice/nuts, salt and cinnamon.
In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, and vanilla; pour into oat mixture, and mix with spoon until the mixture is evenly coated.
Press evenly into the prepared baking pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven (it will still be very soft coming out of the oven).
Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.
*If you turn it out while it’s warm, the mixture will fall apart, and you’ll get granola, or very misshapen bars.

The credit for this recipe goes to my friend  - you can check out her blog and granola bar recipe here