My usual breakfast, especially while Marcie is away, is a cup or so of yogurt topped with some of Marcie's homemade granola. I prefer the unsweetened, very thick, Greek style yogurt. Way back in January of this year, we shouted the praises of make-it-yourself yogurt using pre-packaged yogurt powders. It is not feasible to bring enough fresh yogurt with us on a long passage, so we have a yogurt maker aboard that was purchased in New Zealand a few years ago. It resembles a thermos on steroids. To make a batch of yogurt, we mix a packet of yogurt powder with water in a one liter container, and shake it up. The yogurt maker is then partially filled with boiling water, the yogurt container is placed inside, and the top is screwed on. After 12 hours or so, the yogurt is ready.
The packets of yogurt mix were easy and inexpensive to come by in both New Zealand and Australia. When we set off across the Indian Ocean on Nine of Cups, we made sure we had enough of these packets to last us until we arrived in South Africa. What we discovered on arriving, however, was that yogurt powder isn't available here. When we arrived in Durban and couldn't find any, Marcie wrote to the company. They don't distribute in South Africa and we could find no substutions. No problem... since Marcie was returning to the States for a few weeks, she could bring some back. Unfortunately, it turns out that yogurt powder is difficult to find and very expensive in the U.S.
Certainly, the lack of yogurt powder availability wouldn't deter me. We typically keep a stock of both UHT and powdered milk aboard. I figured I could find a recipe online for making yogurt with either or both of these as the base for the yogurt. I found several yogurt recipes, but none were for a really thick, Greek style yogurt. So I did some experimenting. The first batch was pretty watery, the second a bit better, and by the fifth batch, it was turning out pretty good.
Here is the recipe I use for Greek style yogurt:
- 1 liter UHT milk
- 1 cup whole milk powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tablespoons yogurt (this must contain live cultures – we save a little from the previous batch)
- Combine half the UHT milk with the remaining ingredients in the yogurt container and shake until mixed. Add the remaining milk until the container is full. Then follow the directions for making yogurt for whatever type of yogurt maker you use.
Now that you have the recipe for yogurt, here is Marcie's recipe for crunchy granola to go on top. We've published it before, but we regularly get requests for it.
Marcie's Crunchy Granola (for printable version, click here)
2 cups rolled oats ½ cup almonds – sliced or whole ½ cup sunflower seeds ¼ cup sesame seeds 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 5 tablespoons honey ½ cup shredded coconut ½ cup raisins
Combine oats, almonds, seeds and coconut in a medium-sized bowl. In a small saucepan, heat honey and add oil until combined. Add to the dry oats mix and stir until oats are thoroughly coated. Spread in a very thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 250F (120C), turn mix on pan and return to oven for 10 more minutes. Let cool, then add raisins or other dried fruit. Store in an airtight container.
Substitutions / Additions: Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts Dried fruit pieces, dates
Don't have a yogurt maker? Here's what we use. It works quite well.
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