If you love yogurt, you may want to make it at home. Yes, you really can make the stuff you find in those little, 6oz plastic cups right in your very own kitchen. If you don’t like it all that much, you may well want to learn to like it when you see how much it can impact your fat loss and muscle building program. The advantage of having your own yogurt maker is that you can add (or not add) whatever you want, and make your own special blend to taste exactly how you like it. Just why would you bother making yogurt, anyway?
Yogurt is something of a fitness and health wonder food. In one study, conducted a the University of Tennessee, the fat loss and muscle benefits of yogurt were nothing short of astounding. The study examined two groups of dieters, one whose diets included 3 servings of light yogurt each day, and the control group, who did not. The yogurt eating group lost 22% more weight than the control group. That in itself is a great result, but the real surprise was that the yogurt eating group lost an amazing 61% more fat than the control group!
That’s some pretty powerful stuff. So, what do you need to do to make it at home? The first ting you’ll need to do is get a yogurt maker. They are pretty affordable, generally ranging in cost between $25 and $75. Nothing too exotic here. You can get machines that will make it either frozen or non-frozen. For the purposes of enhancing the fat burning qualities of your diet, I recommend the non-frozen variety. One big advantage if making your own yogurt is that you can use your choice of ingredients, and ensure that everything is fresh, with no added preservatives or chemicals. For me the biggest advantage is that you can your yogurt with your own choice of sweetener, such as stevia, and stay far away from the high fructose corn sweetener that you find in so many of the store bought brands.
Most of these yogurt makers are very easy to use; simply heat the appropriate amount of milk to about 180 deg F, cool it to a certain temperature (typically about 110 deg F), mix it with a few tblsp of plain yogurt or yogurt starter, pour the mixture in the machine, plug it in, and you’re about 8 hours away from delicious yogurt. Refrigerate it for a few hours before you eat it, and yes, you must keep it refrigerated or it will spoil in a hurry; no preservatives, remember? You can set it to ferment for longer or less time, depending on the consistency and tartness you prefer. Some people like to add powdered milk to make the finished yogurt creamier.
You’ll want to look at a couple features when evaluating potential yogurt makers for purchase. Capacity is important. If you’re living in an apartment by yourself, you’ll obviously need to make less than if you are making for a hungry family of 6. Thankfully, these machines come in a variety of sizes, from under a quart up to around half a gallon. Some of the makers use a single vessel, while others use multiple containers. If you’re opposed to using a plastic container, some come with glass vessels, and it is possible to substitute a glass canning jar for the plastic with some of the units. One advantage to the machines with multiple containers is that you can make many different flavors at once, or you can make different batches with different textures or tartnesses at the same time.
Keeping consistent temperature for the entire incubation period is vital to make good yogurt. It is supposed to hold at 110 deg F for the entire period, so the accuracy of the thermostat control is very important. That is one of the reasons why, although you can make your own yogurt in an oven, the results will often be inconsistent. The temperature must also be absolutely even throughout the entire area, and ovens often have relative hot and cold spots that prevent your yogurt from setting up as well as it should.
Highly rated yogurt makers come from manufacturers such as Yogourmet, Cuisipro, Waring Pro, Esigo, and Salton. The choices you’ll have to make when choosing your machine are:
– Single vessel, or multiple cups
– Frozen capability – will it let you make the yogurt, then freeze it while stirring, like an ice cream maker?
– Glass or plastic containers?
There are a large variety of these on Amazon.com, and the reviews on almost all the yogurt makers are overwhelmingly positive. Unless you are allergic to dairy products, you should add 3 or 4 servings of yogurt to your diet every day to help burn fat and build muscle. That will cost about $2.50 – $3.00 per day if you buy yours at the store, and you’ll still have to deal with artificial ingredients, high fructose corn sweetener, sugar, or a combination of the three. Make your own and you’ll cut your costs by about 60%, allowing you to pay for your yogurt maker in a month, then that extra money will go straight to your bank account, and you’ll be eating better yogurt to boot!
To check out Amazon’ selection and their huge amount of consumer reviews