Showing posts with label DIY or Homemade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY or Homemade. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Why yogurt is good for you and here's a step-by-step guide to make your own yoghurt using the most basic kitchen equipment without any yoghurt maker

Make yogurt one of your body's best friends

A good natural yogurt not only great for overall health and wellness, it is packed with beneficial probiotics and is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B2 and B12.   Well, we may be consuming yogurt very often, but not all of us are really aware of its benefits. Knowingly or unknowingly, yogurt affects our health in many ways. There are many lesser known ways in which we can use yogurt to take the most out of it. 

To motivate you to include yogurt in your daily diet, here are 10 proven health benefits:
1. Supports Healthy Digestion
2. Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
3. Lowers the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
4. Increases Bone Density & May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
5. Supports Weight Loss and Increases Fat Loss
6. Boosts the Immune System
7. Reduces High Blood Pressure
8. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
9. Regulates Moods
10. May Help Treat Chronic Pain & Brain-Related Illnesses
Do click here for more indepth info of yogurt goodness.

I started making my own yogurt more than 15 years ago and my children started taking homemade yogurt since they were kids.  My youngest girl is a 'yogurt princess' since young.  She never gets tired of eating yogurt!!  At the rate they consume yogurt, I would have burnt a  big hole in my pocket if I would have bought it.  So, that's how I started making my own homemade yogurt 15 years ago!!!  It's pretty easy and I am sure most people know how to make yogurt.  There are numerous ways to make yogurt, and everyone seems to have their favorite method.    However, my method is the simplest as I only used the most basic kitchen tool without the need of any crockpot, yogurt maker, heating pad, etc.
This post is actually specially written for a special friend who had tried making yogurt before but, alas, unsuccessful.  So, here's a step-by-step guide for her and all those out there who have not been successful in homemade yogurt.
Culturing time is an important factor in making good yogurt. The amount of time the yogurt cultures depends on your taste and texture preference. In general, the longer yogurt cultures, the more tart and thick it will become.

Ingredients :
- 1 litre of pasteurized milk (I used Farm Fresh milk)
- 1 cup of store bought unflavored yogurt - for first timer (I used my previous batch of yogurt)

Tools :
- 2 or 3 sterilized glass containers (I poured boiling hot water over clean containers and set aside to dry)
- pot (I used vision pot)

Method :

1)  Pour milk into pot and boil over low fire.
2)  Keep stirring to prevent the milk from scorching at the bottom of the pot.
3)  See, the milk has started to heat up.
4)  Once small bubbles start to form, you can off the heat.
5)  Set it aside uncovered (or use a food cover) till the milk is just comfortably warm enough to the touch.  
6)  Then, add the unflavored yogurt (it can be from your previous batch or store bought) into the pot of warm milk. 
7)  Gently stir and mix well so that the yogurt dissolve well into the milk. 
8)  Pour the inoculated milk into the containers, cover and leave it at room temperature to be fermented. (Do reserve some of the homemade yogurt - about a cup, for your next batch of homemade yogurt).  It takes about 6-8 hours depending on the weather.  
9)  After about 6-8 hours (or  longer, if the weather is cool), the yogurt should be firm. See how the spoon sits steadily on top of the freshly made yogurt!  Sometimes you can see some slight yellowish, viscous liquid on the top of the yogurt. This is whey and it's edible!. Do not throw it away.
10)  Cover and keep in the refrigerator.  It stays good between 2 to 3 weeks.  (This pic was taken the following day and just out of the refrigerator).  However, we tend to finish these 3 bowls of yogurt within a week or sometimes, within 3 days!!!!!
All thumbs up to homemade yogurt!!!
See.... the yogurt is firm and it's homemade!!!
Homemade yogurt is creamy and delightfully yummy!!
Homemade yogurt is healthy and inexpensive too....
Have a healthy and happy week ahead.  Cheer!!



Sorry to inform that for the time being, I have disabled comment box as I won't be able to return visit to my fellow bloggers who are kind enough to drop me a line or two. The comment box will be enabled when I am not so tied up with my work schedule. However, you may contact me by leaving your message or comment at SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a nice day :) 

Thursday, 30 April 2015

How to DIY Vanilla Extract and Having an Almost Neverending Supply of Vanilla Extract in your Pantry (Homemade Vanilla Extract)

Talking about vanilla.  Do you know the difference between vanilla essence and vanilla extract?  I am sure those who are not into baking may not know the difference.  Well I never favor commercial vanilla essence.  The fragrance is too strong to my liking and smells like perfume to me.  Very fake!  Moreover I believe, commercial vanilla essence is sweetened too.  So, prior to my decision to DIY my own homemade vanilla extract, I either omitted the use of vanilla in my baking or if I needed it, I only use premium quality commercial vanilla extract.  There is quite a big difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence.
So, what is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence/flavor? Vanilla extract  is produced by soaking the vanilla pods or beans in a mixture of alcohol base like vodka and/or water. Whereas for vanilla essence, it is chemically produced  and often give a synthetic taste to your baking.  Vanilla essence is much much cheaper than the natural vanilla extract.  So, if you need to buy commercial vanilla extract, do look at the label to confirm that it's vanilla extract and not vanilla essence or flavor.
However, I am glad to say that I have no regrets to DIY my homemade vanilla extract.  It's so easy to do and you only need 2 ingredients and 3 simple steps to be a proud owner of  your homemade vanilla extract!  It's advisable to buy premium grade vanilla beans as the quality of your vanilla extract depends on the quality of your vanilla beans.  
When choosing vanilla beans, avoid beans which are smoky, brittle, dry or mildewed.  Good quality beans should have a rich aroma.  Always choose plump beans with a thin skin to get the most seeds possible.  To test, gently squeeze the bean between your fingers and it should be soft and pliable enough to wrap around your finger without breaking.  The pods should be dark brown and almost black in color.
Now, it's time to DIY your very own homemade Vanilla Extract :
Recipe and info source : Beanilla
Ingredients  :  
- 8oz glass bottle or jar
- 7 vanilla beans (I actually added about 9 beans to a cup)
- 1 cup Vodka 70 proof/35% alcohol

Method :

1)  Slice each bean and place in a bottle.

2)  Pour 1 cup of Vodka into the bottle.  Make sure the vanilla beans are completely submerged.

3)  Shake it once or thrice a week.

4)  Wait for about a minimum of 8 weeks.

This is about 4 months old.
I actually made 750ml of extract!!!

A neverending supply of homemade vanilla extract and to give away as gifts too!
Harvest it into small dark bottles, if you prefer.


To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. Sorry to inform that for the time being, I have disabled comment box as I won't be able to return visit to my fellow bloggers who are kind enough to drop me a line or two. The comment box will be enabled when I am not so tied up with my work schedule. However, you may contact me by leaving message at SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a nice day :)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Easy Peasy Homemade Crispy Roast Pork Belly 脆皮烧肉 using Happy Call Pan

Roast pork belly or 烧肉 (sau rou) is in fact not that difficult to prepare.  Almost everyone can achieve it if you can get the right technique.  You can either use oven, non-stick pan or any of your preferred pan.  As for me, I used Happy Call Pan. To me, searing roast pork using Happy Call pan is a breeze.... no splattering of oil and cleaning the pan is also hassle free!
I adapted this simple homemade 脆皮烧肉 from Agnes Chang's Cookbook 'Let's Eat'.  However, instead of using oven for roasting, I used my treasured Happy Call Pan.  No regrets and I strongly recommend you to use HPC if you have one at home.  

Crispy Roast Pork Belly 脆皮烧肉
Marinade adapted from Let's Eat pg 24 (my modification in red)
- 1.3kg (600gm) pork belly with skin (whole block)
- 1 tsp cooking oil
Marinade (mixed)
- 3pcs (1/2 pc) fermented bean curd (nam yee) - mashed
- 1 tsp (2 tsp) five spice powder
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic (1 tsp garlic powder)
- 2 tbsp chopped shallots (I omitted)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp (1 tbsp) vinegar (for rubbing the skin)
- 3 tbsp (1 tsp) salt for rubbing the skin
Method :
1)  Wipe skin with kitchen towel to remove any water.  Then, using a sharp pin holder or knife, poke the skin all over as shown above.
2)  Rub vinegar all over the skin and followed by salt.
3)  Then, rub marinade all over the meat.  
4)  Leave the marinated meat in a covered container overnight in the refrigerator.
5)  Remove marinated meat from the refrigerator.  Sprinkle and rub some five spice powder onto the meat.  I prefer extra five spice powder for that extra ommph flavor!
5)  Heat 1 tsp cooking oil in your HPC.  Place marinated pork belly on the HPC with the skin side up.  Close the lid and cook over medium heat until cooked.  Do the same to the skin and all four sides of the meat.
6)  Remove  from HPC and leave it aside to cool completely.
 
 7)  Using a sharp knife, chop it into your preferred serving size.
The meat is tender and juicy
 and the skin is crispy and crunchy
Give this a try and you will be surprised that your homemade roast pork belly is in fact better than those store bought ones.
Happy Trying and hope you have an enjoyable week :)



I am linking this post with Cook-Your-Books #19 @ kitchen flavours



To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING on FACEBOOK. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me comments. I really appreciate all your visits and comments! Have a nice day :)