Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homemade Yogurt and Butter Toasted Cinnamon Almonds

This yogurt seems to be filling up my breakfast bowl quite a bit these days.  There are so many tasty toppings for yogurt and this is one of my new favorites.  I love almonds, but toss them in a pan to toast with some melted butter, cinnamon and pinch of salt and then I really, really love almonds!  This breakfast is best eaten after my boys leave for school when I can actually sit down at the table and enjoy my breakfast.  Most mornings I'm scrambling around making lunches and getting my boys out the door with a few bites of my breakfast in between all the craziness (often resulting in a bowl of soggy Wheat Chex).

Homemade Yogurt and Butter Toasted Cinnamon Almonds

Homemade Yogurt

1 gallon of milk (I use whole)
1 cup yogurt starter (you can use a cup of plain Dannon or Yoplait yogurt, or you can use a cup from your previous batch of homemade yogurt)
1/2 cup Agave nectar
2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place 4 quart glass canning jars, four lids, and four screw-tops in a large pot.  Fill with an inch of water; cover with lid and heat to boiling.  Boil ten minutes.  Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars.

Pour one gallon of whole milk into a large, heavy bottomed stockpot.  Over medium heat, warm the milk to 190 degrees F.  Make sure to do this slowly, you don't want the milk to scorch on the bottom of the pan.

Place the pot in a sink filled with cold water and let the milk cool to 120 degrees F.  While the milk is cooling, stir in the agave nectar and vanilla.  Once the milk has reached 120 degrees F, stir in the cup of yogurt starter using a whisk.  Stir well to ensure that the starter is thoroughly incorporated into the milk.

Pour the milk into jars and put the lids and bands on.  Place them in a cooler.

Heat one gallon of water to 120 degrees F and pour into the cooler.

Shut the cooler lid and leave in a warm place for 6 hours (don't open the cooler lid). When the 6 hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.

*Once I've added the yogurt starter and the agave, I end up needing a small jar in addition to the 4 quart jars because I have a little more than 4 quarts of the milk/yogurt mixture and don't want any to go to waste.

*If you like your yogurt sweeter, you can add more agave.  You can also use sugar in place of agave.

Adapted slightly from Frugal Girl

Butter Toasted Cinnamon Almonds

1 tablespoon butter
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup chopped almonds

In a large skillet melt the butter.  Add the cinnamon, kosher salt and almonds.  Toast until the butter browns and the nuts smell fragrant and toasted, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Top yogurt with toasted almonds, blueberries a drizzle of honey.

Recipe inspired from Not Without Salt

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