Most people in New Zealand (and likely everywhere else now) will have heard of EasiYo. If you don’t have one of their yoghurt makers, you really should! I used to buy pottles of fruit yoghurt and have them every day until I realised how full of sugar they are and how expensive they were getting. I tried making home made yoghurt using plain yoghurt as a starter culture but it seemed that you had to keep it going and I always ended up with far more than I could use, particularly if I was away for more than a couple of days.
Then I discovered EasiYo at a Field Days Show (when EasiYo first started almost 20 years ago), bought myself a Yoghurt Making Set and have never looked back. It is so easy to make and you can make it when you want it. You simply mix the yoghurt sachet with water to make up 1 litre in the container, add boiling water to the insulated yoghurt maker, put your container inside and leave overnight. Done!
There are lots of different flavour sachets but I just get the Greek Yoghurt (full or low-fat) and use it for everything. Otherwise I’d always have fruit yoghurt when I wanted plain to add to a savoury dish. You can just mix your own fresh or frozen fruit into the yoghurt or stir through some homemade jam or lemon curd. I really like the thick texture of the Greek Yoghurt and have discovered that it is a great low fat substitute for using in the Great Kiwi Favourite: Onion Dip – simply mix a packet of Maggi Onion Soup mix with Greek Yoghurt instead of Reduced Cream.
Greek Yoghurt is pretty thick by itself but I’d always loved the ultra-thick and creamy gourmet yoghurts. You can make this yourself at home by straining the yoghurt through cheese-cloth or a clean kitchen cloth in a sieve. The length of time you leave it will determine how much of the liquid drains out: a few hours will give you a thicker creamier yoghurt and if you leave it even longer you will get labneh – a Middle Eastern Yoghurt Cheese that is becoming popular here.
To make a quick simple gourmet yoghurt dessert, stir the strained yoghurt until it is creamy and spoon into dessert dishes. Top with your favourite topping:
- home-made lemon curd
- layer pureed or whole berries with yoghurt and top with sliced almonds
- stir through vanilla essence and add bananas and sprinkle with chocolate
- chopped apricots, pistachios and cranberries