Thursday, October 15, 2009

Homemade Yogurt With Flair: Chai Tea Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt Chai Tea with Honey

While making my kids some decaf Chai lattes the other day, I had an idea.  Why not make myself some Chai Tea Yogurt?  Homemade Chai Yogurt would have two benefits: 1) Caffeine and 2) Chai Tea

I'm a big fan of the Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea and the kids like the decaf version so I started with that.

Here is how I made my Chai Tea Yogurt.
Specific directions on how to make basic yogurt are at the end of this post.

First, I put three tea bags in the milk as it was heating up.

How to Make Yogurt

While the milk was getting hot, I stirred a little too vigorously and the tea bags broke, opps

The Tea Flavoring the Yogurt

But that wasn't a problem because I pulled out my tea strainer and strained the tea leaves out once the temperature got low enough to add my yogurt starter in

Straining out the tea leaves since the bag broke

Then I put it in the glass jar pictured below to put in my yogurt maker.  I thought it would be interesting to put a glass of milk next to it, so you can see the color difference, and how much the tea infused the milk.

Color Difference Chai Yogurt, Glass of Milk

waiting....waiting...waiting....and it is done.  Oh wait, not yet.  It had to get it cold.  I put it in the fridge and finally when I got home from work, I tasted it.

It was good!  I usually like to eat my yogurt plain and sweeten it by adding some cut-up fruit.  Without fruit, the tea added a nice subtle flavor without being over-powering.  I added a little bit of raw honey to see how it would taste sweetened...and it turned it from good to great!  I am happy with how my Chai Tea Yogurt turned out.  I plan to try other flavors of tea and maybe even a few Senseo coffee pods sometime.

How to Make Yogurt

If you haven't made yogurt before, it is very easy.  All you need is milk and a plain yogurt with active live cultures (look for this on the yogurt package).  I find that a yogurt maker and thermometer with an alarm make my results a little more consistent, but you definitely don't need one.

How to Make Yogurt without a Yogurt Maker:
A page in French Women Don't Get Fat has great directions for making yogurt if don't have a thermometer or yogurt maker.  Here are some options for keeping your yogurt warm while it "grows".

How to Make Yogurt with a Yogurt Maker:
Here is a printable recipe for those who have a thermometer and yogurt maker.  I omit the powdered milk because I like to keep the unnatural ingredients to a minimum.  If you do omit it, your yogurt will be a little runnier.  Alton Brown says he finds 2% milk "the perfect balance between flavor and texture" and I tend to agree.  If you are more of a visual person, here is his video on making yogurt.


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