One of the keys to good health is to include some form of fermented food in your daily diet.
Homemade Greek Yoghurt
1 litre full-fat milk
1 tbsp good-quality natural
yoghurt or yoghurt saved
from previous batch
1 tbsp whole milk powder (optional; makes a creamier yoghurt)
Pour milk into a large saucepan and gently heat until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. This scalds the milk, changing the structure of the proteins so the milk will set into yoghurt. (You can make yoghurt without scalding the milk first but it will be runnier.) Leave the milk to cool or sit the pan in a sink of cold water to speed cooling.
Using a yoghurt maker:
Completely cool milk. Pour half the milk into a 1-litre jar and add the natural yoghurt and milk powder if using. Secure the lid; shake well. Top up with the remaining milk and place in the yoghurt maker. Continue as per instructions. *Leave for 12 hours to ferment. Remove from the maker and place in the fridge for at least six hours to set.
You can also leave the yoghurt up to 24 hours in the yoghurt maker to break down more lactose. Replace the water in the maker with hot tap water after 12 hours to keep the temperature consistent.
Without a yoghurt maker:
Cool the milk to 40°C. Pour into a 1-litre glass jar and add the yoghurt and milk powder, if using. Wrap the jar snugly in a towel and either leave in a warm place overnight, or place in a chilly bin, packing extra towels around to act as insulation. Keep the temperature constant. Continue as per yoghurt maker instructions (from *).
Makes approx. 1 cup
1 small beetroot, trimmed
2 cups homemade Greek yoghurt
¼ tsp sea salt
1 lemon, zest only
pinch of ground cumin
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
1 tsp chopped fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Wrap the whole beetroot in foil and bake for 40 minutes or until very tender. Cool, rub
off the skin, chop up and puree.
Measure out one-third cup beetroot puree and mix with yoghurt, salt, zest and cumin.
Spoon the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a bowl. Fold the edges of the cloth over the yoghurt, cover with a small plate and place a weight on the plate, to
press out the whey. Refrigerate for 12 hours until the yoghurt has thickened into a soft cheese – this is the labne.
Store in a jar in the fridge and consume within a week.
To serve, scoop out, roll into a log, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with herbs.
TIP: Freeze extra beetroot puree to use in baking or hummus. The pink liquid (whey) that strains off the yoghurt can be used to soak grains and to add to lacto-fermented veges.