Cold-start Yogurt in the Instant Pot


Cup of yogurt

This recipe is for what is called a “cold start yogurt” process. It omits the need to boil the milk first because you use Fairlife milk which is ultra-filtered. This really is a very simple process – however, there are some important details to know in order to successfully achieve creamy, delicious yogurt – so you’re going to want to read this whole post before you get started.

What is Fairlife Milk?

  • Fairlife Milk is an ultra-filtered product, which runs through “soft” filters to concentrate the Milk and remove impurities
  • There is more natural protein and calcium which comes directly from the Milk.
  • Because of the Filtration process, the Milk is higher in protein and calcium.
  • There is less sugar and the Milk is Lactose-Free!
  • Fairlife Milk is not organic but is ultra-pasteurized.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not an advertisement for Fairlife. This Instant Pot cold-start yogurt recipe is not to be used with milk that hasn’t been through an ultra-filtration process, like Fairlife which is different than ultra-pasteurized. Regular milk has some bacteria that needs to be brought up to 180 degrees prior to making yogurt.

Okay – back to our regularly scheduled program: I wanted a vanilla-based yogurt for this batch and opted to put the vanilla creamer and the sweetened condensed milk in the mix at the beginning of the process to get a more intensified vanilla flavor (and boy did I!).  Because this makes about 96oz of yogurt (I filled 12 8oz jars) you might want to do it at the end and divide your yogurt in half so you can have both vanilla yogurt and plain yogurt for savory purposes.

IngredientsCast of Characters

  • 1-52oz Fairlife whole milk (Fairlife does have skim milk but it will definitely change the consistency)
  • 1-cup of natural bliss creamer (or use two tablespoons vanilla extract – omit if you want plain yogurt)
  • 1-can of sweetened condensed milk (you can substitute 1/4 cup of honey – omit if you want plain yogurt)
  • *2-Tablespoons of store-bought yogurt (this is the starter – you can save 2 tablespoons from this batch for your next one).

*It’s critical for you to check the ingredient list of the store-bought yogurt when you’re shopping for a yogurt starter. It must have active bacterial cultures for it to work as the yogurt starter.  A live culture usually contains at least 2 types of bacteria (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus). I used Oui for this recipe but Oikos and Fage are both good options and have unflavored plain yogurt if you’re going that route.  Dairy-free yogurt will not work. Continue reading

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Homemade Granola


JarsI initially made this granola because I finally learned how to make my own yogurt (recipe HERE)! But it turned out so delicious that I plan to make it a regular staple in my pantry. And it freezes well, too!

PRO TIP: The ingredients below are what I enjoy – feel free to substitute whatever nuts or seeds you prefer – but they need to be raw and not pre-roasted or they will overcook. If you want to add coconut or dried fruit – you will need to add that in halfway through the cooking process.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1.5 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 melted butter (you can always substitute coconut or vegetable oil, but I mean, come on… butter!)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg or 2 medium eggs – whites only

Ready to Cook?

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Adjust the oven rack to the second level from the top.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and salt). In a separate, smaller bowl mix together the wet ingredients (butter, egg whites, honey, and vanilla). Drizzle over the top of the dry mixture, stirring until well-combined and all the dry has been coated with the wet mixture (

Granola

add additional honey if it seems too dry). Transfer the granola mixture to the baking sheet and spread out evenly with a spatula, pressing down firmly so it’s compact. This will helps create “chunks” of granola later.

Bake for 30-35 minutes – rotating halfway through for even baking. Since all ovens vary – check around the 25-minute mark (especially if you can really smell it!). It should be golden brown with crispy edges, and the nuts should look lightly toasted.  Just keep an eye on it because it can burn quickly!

Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces. It should keep in an airtight container up to 3 weeks – if it lasts that long!

 

Pineapple Agua Fresca


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So oddly enough I’ve never been a huge pineapple fan. But right after the long harsh winter we had this year – I was craving ANYTHING that even hinted at summer! So once again, I was perusing the aisles of my new favorite Mexican grocery and they had these big beautiful pineapples stacked in neat little rows… and they literally called my name. No seriously. They did.

I was watching one of my go-to cooking shows, Mexican Made Easy and Marcela made this delicious looking pineapple agua fresca (which simply means water with fresh fruit). So I made it and it is incredible! I give all the props to Marcela Valladolid – she’s never steered me wrong.

Continue reading