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Aromatic Yogurt

[1]This is quite a lovely idea for people who make their own yogurt at home–a herbal infused yogurt. It is VERY simple, yet exotic–using only milk, yogurt culture and your choice of aromatic herb(s) or spice(s). Some delightful herbs I have used are keffir lime leaves, lemon verbena, rosemary, mint, jasmine, lavender, rose, but I am sure there are many others that are fantastic as well. It is good to think about what you will be using the yogurt for, and what herbs go well with a sour flavor. Generally I strain it in to cream cheese and make it into a dip or use it to make cheesecake [2] or other baked items, but it is also fantastic as yogurt. A nice rosemary yogurt added into a carrot and lamb stew is a very delicately delicious addition to a potentially heavy meal….

For anyone who needs a refresher on yogurt making please watch the video. One note is that I have found the towel method to be the best method, simply wrap the yogurt and leave it in a warm place (I leave mine on top of my fridge wrapped up quite well).

I generally infuse the milk with the herb as I heat it when preparing yogurt. More hardy herbs like the rosemary, lemon verbena can be heated in the milk and then covered and left to infuse as the milk cools to 120 degrees. If you are using more delicate flowers bring the milk to 180 degrees, remove it from the heat, add a handful or so of flowers and cover. Let stand until it has come back down to 120 degrees, strain, add yogurt and incubate for 24 hours (the 24 hour period will make it slightly more sour and also allows the friendly micro-organisms to really develop).

If you would like to make a tasty dip, rosemary and oregano are quite nice additions. You can add in carmelized onions or garlic to your herbal dip and that makes a fantastic chip dip.

I dreamed up how to do this when I got this sudden craving for a rosemary-lime cheesecake in 2006 while living in the Catskills–enjoy :).

I’m sharing this post with my favorite, the Hearth and Soul hop [3].