***Please remember that while ingredients in recipes are not subject to copyright, the method is. Feel free to re-post these recipes on your site with different instructions and please attribute the (original) recipe, with a link, to A Helping of Hope. Thanks!***
I’ve written in a Transformation Tuesdays post of some of the difficulties with eating uncultured dairy products. Eating too much of any one type of protein or sugar can exhaust the body’s supply of enzyme to break down that substance. That’s typically when allergies develop, even in someone who was not susceptible before. Helping of Hope: you can help prevent enzyme-exhaustion by substituting regular milk with yogurt-milk!
Yogurt milk does NOT taste like regular milk; it requires some adjustment. Yogurt milk is very tangy and refreshing; the same “zing” your yogurt has will be amplified by the fact that it is diluted with water (the milk fat in yogurt helps to round out the flavor). I’ve written the recipes below with plenty of natural sweetening to balance the tangy-ness without covering it up; in time, the amount of sweetener can be reduced so as not to overload the body with sugar. Yogurt milk is not intended for adding to hot drinks; the yogurt bits will separate from the water and float to the top. It might be OK for non-sourdough baking, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Blend yogurt 50/50 with water until a homogeneous suspension is achieved. Add flavoring and sweetener and blend again. Store in cleaned and dried juice containers. Since it is only a suspension, the yogurt and water may separate in a few hours. Shake vigorously before serving; this will give the yogurt milk a milkshake-like consistency. Recipes below are for EIGHT cups (to fill an empty juice container); reduce ingredients to make the batch size best for you. The Vanilla milk is the most involved because it requires evaporating the alcohol from the Vanilla Essence first. Vanilla and Chocolate Yogurt Milk should keep for at least two weeks (shake them regularly so they look appetizing!); Strawberry Milk should probably be consumed within one week. I make all three Yogurt Milk Flavors at one time, and we go through them in 2-3 days!
To save money, make homemade yogurt used in these recipes from whole milk instead of Half & Half. One option I haven’t tried yet is to buy juice concentrate, simmer it to reduce it further and kill off germs, let it cool and pour in an ice cube tray so cubes can be popped out to flavor and sweeten one cup of yogurt milk at a time. I’m not sure it would work with citrus, but other juices might prove useful!
- Plain Yogurt (one ingredient–cultured grade A milk–or homemade yogurt)
- Filtered water (avoid fluoride and chlorine DBPs)
- Pure Maple Syrup or Honey. Maple Syrup is best for blending with cold yogurt; honey stiffens considerably.
- Vanilla Essence
- Non-alkali 100% cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Cocoa: Natural Unsweetened)
- Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
- VANILLA YOGURT MILK (6 cups):
- Vanilla Essence is alcoholic and we don’t want it to kill the probiotics in the yogurt. If using store-bought vanilla essence, use 1/4 cup (4 TBSP); if using homemade vanilla essence, use 1/2 cup (8 TBSP). Mix vanilla essence with 3 cups water in a pan on the stove and let it gently simmer (wisps of steam are fine, you don’t need bubbles) for about 10 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
- While the water is hot, add 1/2 cup Honey or Maple Syrup. If you are using Raw honey, add it to the vanilla-water when it is warm, not hot.
- When the sweetened vanilla-water has cooled, pour it into a quart-sized measuring jug. Add filtered water to bring it up to 3 cups.
- Pour the vanilla water the blender. Add 3 cups of yogurt and blend until a homogeneous consistency is reached. (If you have a small blender, blend one cup of vanilla water with one cup of yogurt at a time.)
- Pour Vanilla Yogurt Milk into a juice container and store in the ‘fridge. Write “Shake Well” with permanent marker on the cap.
- CHOCOLATE YOGURT MILK *Kids Favorite* (6 cups):
- Blend 3 cups of yogurt , 3 cups filtered water, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 2/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey. (If you have a small blender, blend 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup water, 2 TBSP cocoa powder, 3 TBSP pure maple syrup or honey at a time.)
- Pour Chocolate Yogurt Milk into a juice container and store in the ‘fridge. Write “Shake Well” with permanent marker on the cap
- STRAWBERRY YOGURT MILK (6 cups):
- Blend 24 strawberries (about 1lb) in the blender until pureed (If you have a small blender, puree 6 strawberries at a time);
- Add 3 cups yogurt, 3 cups filtered water, and 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey to the blender and whirr away! (If you have a small blender, blend 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup water and 2 TBSP Maple syrup or honey–with the six pureed strawberries from step 1–at a time)
- Pour Strawberry Yogurt Milk into a juice container and store in the ‘fridge. Write “Shake Well” with permanent marker on the cap