Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Acorn squash, yogurt

Last night before bed, I baked an acorn squash for today's lunch. Split it in half, put it on a baking sheet, and bake for 45 minutes at 350. I brought some yogurt into which I stirred some channa masala spice blend, and dipped spoonfuls of squash into it. It was awesome!

The yogurt I brought today was Trader Joe's goat milk yogurt, which tastes OK but is another American style custardy pectin-y yogurt, which really doesn't do it for me. My commercial yogurt of choice is Pavel's Russian Style yogurt, but they didn't have it this time for some reason.

For a few months last year, I was making my own soy yogurt, and I plan to get into that again. I tried recently using Almond Breeze almond milk, but I wasn't happy with the result... Rather than a jar of yogurt, I ended up with a jar of water with yogurt-like pellets floating in it. It actually tasted OK, but was rather repulsive.

My quicky method for making soy yogurt:
  1. Fill a clean, sterile jar with soy milk and microwave for two minutes
  2. Let cool until luke warm
  3. Stir in a spoonful or two of starter
  4. Put lid on jar
  5. Store in warm place for a few hours, then refrigerate.
Often I'd warm the oven to just over 100 degrees, turn it off, and leave the jar in there overnight. It seems to set more quickly and has a firmer texture if the temperature is higher, but beware of killing the cultures with too high a temperature.

That's all it takes... Maybe about two minutes of actual effort. My starter was Pavel's the first time, and from then on I'd reserve the bit at the bottom of the jar to start the next batch. Using Trader Joe's unsweetened soymilk, it produced a consistently good yogurt which tasted like Pavel's but was much easier on my stomach than any dairy product ever is.

Initially I followed the method from Vegan On A Shoestring then I relaxed&simplified my method a bit after reading Madhur Jaffrey's book.

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