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Making Yogurt While the Sun Shines

It’s hard to find unflavored, unsweetened yogurt on Grenada. Plain yogurt is such a useful staple; we use it to make for a savory sauce to cool and complement spicy food by adding mint, garlic, coriander or cumin to the yogurt. It’s also perfect for making coffee-flavored yogurt, which is virtually impossible to find in remote sailing stopovers. I make it by adding instant espresso powder and vanilla-flavored natural stevia instead of sugar.

At home in the USA I use an electric machine and yogurt making is effortless. I was curious to see if a low-tech approach could work here where it’s so hot outside. Yogurt making requires even, sustained heat for at least 6 hours.

getting ready to combine milk and plain yogurt

yogurt in a warm, sunny spot above our helm under our windshield

finished culturing, before going into the fridge for chilling

My yogurt making was up against all the “don’ts.” I used UHT milk – all that was available. I didn’t have any yogurt culture starter or powdered milk to add. And the one container (half as much as I needed) was so old it was marked down to a reduced price in the grocery store. I also didn’t have an electric machine or even a thermometer to be sure I was keeping the yogurt at the correct temperature.

All I did was combine milk with yogurt and set it in a sunny, protected spot, which on Golden Glow is inside our windshield above our helm in the front of our cockpit.

Then I went about my day and forgot about it until I got home from dinner 10-12 hours later. To my surprise and delight, the result was wonderfully creamy, delicious yogurt, with very little whey.

Resources:

My favorite yogurt culture:
Powdered milk: It makes the yogurt thicken faster and better and I think makes the final product even better tasting.
To turn regular, more liquidy yogurt into thicker greek yogurt:

If you aren’t using an electric yogurt maker, having a yogurt thermometer on hand is useful:

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