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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Yoghurt is an interesting food, with many benefits. For diabetics it is one of those foods where testing after you eat the first few times is essential because the carb content on the label doesn't give a true idea of the carb effect. Something changes when the acidophilus bacillae convert the milk to yoghurt and much of the lactose becomes lactic acid. I'm not a chemist - check it on the web for an explanation. But it means that you can often eat it at times when other foods will spike you, and it can become a satisfying and tempting dessert with the right flavourings.

I make up my own from basics. I only learnt this last year; it’s so simple I don’t know why I never did it before. Maybe because I didn’t eat the stuff until I learned to like it since diagnosis. I started eating yoghurt shortly before I started on metformin, following a tip by somebody who said it helped reduce the usual GI problems. Whether it did, I can't say, but I had none of those problems and developed a liking for the stuff.

My method may not be perfect – it’s just what I developed for myself.

I make up about three litres (a little less than a gallon) of milk using powder. I mix full-cream powder with skim in equal parts to get a 2% fat result. I use a slightly richer mix than the packet directions. I heat that until it is significantly warmer than body temperature, but not so hot I can’t sip it. I think it’s supposed to be about 55C(130F) but that’s my way of testing:-)

I use a plastic container which allows me to use the microwave for heating the milk. I take a cup of the hot milk and stir in about a ¼ cup of commercial yoghurt. Then I add that back to the milk and stir it in. I buy a local greek yoghurt as the starter – but any live yoghurt will do. The starter can have subtle effects on the flavour. The quantity doesn’t really matter as it will spread throughout the milk. The only difference a larger quantity seems to make is the speed of “setting”.

Then I cover the mix and store it overnight in an insulated pack. In the morning, like magic – yoghurt. Some people like it as it is; I prefer to strain about half of it through cloth and mix the strained portion with the unstrained for a rich, creamy yoghurt. Then I transfer it to jars and keep it in the fridge.

I use some plain in various ways: cooking, a base for spice marinades, mixed with mayo etc; or I add berries (blueberry, strawberry, fresh or frozen) or fruits (chopped – mango, apple – a little goes a long way) or flavourings (vanilla, instant coffee etc) and splenda to eat direct from the jar.

I reserve ¼ cup of that yoghurt to be the starter for the next one; about every three or four times I buy a new starter to refresh the process.

Bon Appetit, Alan

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.


April said...

I am going to have to try this.
What about extracts of flavor, I did
not see any nutritional info on them.
Would you use them?

Alan said...

Hi April

The only "extract" I occasionally use is a little Vanilla extract with some Splenda. Other flavourings I use are chopped fruits or berries (a little goes a long way) or sometimes a teaspoon of instant coffee with a teaspoon of Splenda in a half-cup of Yoghurt.

I don't count the carbs in advance on those portion sizes; my meter has shown an hour after eating that a half-cup before noon or a full cup after noon is OK for me. You'd have to test to find out what is OK for you.

Cheers, Alan

Anonymous said...

the other thing you can do with home made yoghurt like this - and i know this from thrift sites, rather than diabetic ones, as i'm a newly diagnosed T2 soaking everything up at the moment! - is to put your yoghurt into a cheesecloth and drain some of the liquid out of it. it solidifies a little more into a softish "cheese" which you can then flavour with things like chives, makes a great dip or you can spread onto crackers, whatever works. What i don't know is what that does to the diabetic. but i throw that out, for what its worth.