October 26, 2011

Journey #1 Into Nourishing Traditions...Yoghurt is the Best Whey to Begin

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As I mentioned in my first "A Journey Into Nourishing Traditions" post, this book isn't one that you can just open up and start making dinners. Author Sally Fallon has all sorts of unfamiliar ingredients in here, and they aren't things that you can just pick up at the store. This intimidated me for a little while, until I'd read through the book and had kind of wrapped my mind around the ingredients.

What I realized was that I needed to begin with something that was not only relatively simple to make, but with something that was useful, too. Something that was a "key" to opening up the things that I used often in my own kitchen and meal prep.

That something was whey.

I found whey to be an ingredient in so many of Fallon's recipes! And it was in the recipes that I have chosen to start with, like salad dressings, and vegetable side dishes.

Thus, I realized that the best "whey" to begin was to make some whey. Fallon gives several wheys to make whey, the easiest of which is to make yoghurt, then allow it to separate into cream cheese and whey. (Are you reciting "Little Miss Muffit" yet? You know...curds and whey?)

So, my first lesson was to make the Nourishing Traditions Yoghurt on page 85. I doubled the recipe to make 2 quarts of yoghurt, since I will need that much for the Cream Cheese and Whey recipe, which I'll make tomorrow.

My supplies:
  • A large pot (big enough to hold 2 quarts plus 1 cup)
  • A candy thermometer (I did have to run out to my kitchen-supply store to pick up this item)
  • 2 Quarts of Non-Homogenized organic milk (you can use raw, I chose pasteurized)
  • 1 cup high quality store-bought yogurt (I chose organic)
The brand of milk and yogurt I used is Kolona Super Natural. Main reason is because this is the brand of non-homogenized milk my Whole Foods store carries!
***LESSON LEARNED FROM A MISTAKE: I wasn't sure whether to buy whole, lo-fat, or skim Kolona Super Natural milk...so I just chose whole, since I figured that was the most "natural." It makes delicious yoghurt, no problem there...but you'll see in my "whey-making" lesson (#2) that my whey isn't clear...it's tinged with cloudy-white. I learned that my results are likely to be from starting with milk that is very high in butterfat, so I think that next time I make yoghurt for the purpose of getting whey from it, I'll buy lo-fat, non-homogenized milk instead of whole. The whey I got is fine to use, but it will not keep as long before going punky on me. Not a problem this batch, because I'm going to make some mayonnaise and some salad dressing with it, which we'll go through pretty quickly. You'll see the details in lesson 2.***

Important Note: Make this yoghurt in the EVENING...it's goes together pretty quickly,
but then needs to sit in an oven overnight.

The recipe is straightforward...I heated the milk to 180 degrees, then let it cool to 110 degrees.
Then I stirred in a cup of yogurt...
...then transferred it into a shallow glass dish (all I could think of was my baking dish), which I then placed into my oven, which I'd preheated to "warm" and then shut off.
It's to stay in there overnight, so it's in there "sleeping" right now! In the morning, it will be yoghurt...and I'll begin the process of letting the whey separate out. That'll be another post. I'm going to bed now, while my little "friends" (lactic acid bacilli, enzymes, etc.) are doing their things in the oven.

Next morning...  

It's still a bit runny, but it's definately yoghurt!!! Normally this would be stirred and stored in the fridge, but I'll be separating it into whey and cream cheese in Lesson 2. Stay tuned!

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Rashel said...

I've also been experimenting with yogurt, my batches have been runny too but definitely yogurt. I have also made whey, but I've done it with raw milk, letting it sit on the counter to seperate and make a kind of "cream cheese". Then I drain it and keep the whey and use the "cheese" like cream cheese or ricotta.

Illinois Lori said...

Perfect! Make some more whey (the book says it'll keep in the fridge for 6 weeks, I like that!) and then join me to make salad dressing and homemade mayo next...we can baby-step into this book together!


Rashel said...

Ok, I'm in, I'll baby-step with you! I already have some whey in the fridge, I made some last week or the week before. I was wondering if you have tried kombucha? If you have posted about it before, I can't remember, I'm sorry. I do make my own and I love it! It is very easy to do and I think very beneficial.
I look forward to starting this with you. One of the steps I really want to try is soaking my grains, I just usually forget and the time I did try it, we didn't care for it (waffles).

Illinois Lori said...

Aaaah, great minds think alike! I love Kombucha...always bought it at Whole Foods as a special treat, but I now have a jar of it finishing up in a cabinet :-)
I didn't post it yet (but it's all photographed and ready to go) because I thought it was a little to "freaky" and "strange" for a beginner project! So I'm starting this series with whey, and salad dressing, and side dishes...stuff like that. But the kombucha will make its way her shortly, for those who want an alternative to soft drinks. Thanks! So glad you're gonna baby-step with me!
We'll learn together.


Canadagirl said...

Believe or not I haven't done the whey thing ...yet. I need to. I have been making and using the buttermilk and yogurt in soaking my grains. I hope to expand on using this book more soon. I love what I have read and done so far. [o=

Blessings and ((HUGS))

Joy said...

Wow, that's very interesting, Lori! That method would eliminate the need for a yogurt maker...I've had such a hard time getting the yogurt maker to cooperate temperature-wise!

Thanks for sharing the link to this post. I'll have to check out your other posts on this! :)


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