Homemade Greek Style Yogurt with Blood Oranges and Almond Granola ~ a perfectly healthy breakfast from scratch.
I’m continuing my theme of restocking the kitchen after a trip; it’s so much easier to contemplate making large batches of basics when the fridge is relatively empty. What could be better than opening the door and finding a big bowl of homemade yogurt and some fresh nutty granola. Both are so easy to make and so rewarding.
The Yogurt is as simple as setting a half gallon of whole milk on the stove in a heavy bottomed pan and bringing it slowly up to temperature: 170-180 degrees. This takes about 1/2 an hour, and it’s best if you use a clip on thermometer to get an accurate reading. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool to 110 degrees; this takes about another half hour. Then add in a cup of store bought yogurt which will act as your starter to introduce the good bacteria that will turn the milk into yogurt.
The pot needs to be kept warm at 110 degrees for about 6 to 8 hours while the yogurt cultures develop. My unorthodox method involves wrapping it in an electric blanket set on medium. A heating pad and towel can do the trick as well. If you have a gas oven your pilot light may give off enough heat (check it with a thermometer) or, as a last resort, you can invest in an inexpensive yogurt maker.
To get thick Greek style yogurt you can let it drain through cheesecloth set in a strainer over a bowl. (Put it in the refrigerator.) The whey will drain out in about an hour and you’ll be left with thick creamy yogurt that doesn’t have the unpleasantly sharp tang of commercial kinds.
My favorite fruit to have with yogurt is oranges…and since it’s high citrus season right now there are all kinds of varieties in the stores. I sectioned a blood orange and added a dusting of wheat germ and a drizzle of orange blossom honey on top. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
But if you really want to set yourself up for a week of great eating, make a batch of fresh granola to go along with your yogurt.
I call this Almond Granola but it has hazelnuts in it as well. You can add any kind of nut or seed you like. I usually use vanilla flavoring in granola but here I substituted almond extract. I omitted dried fruit in this version so that the oranges and nuts could take center stage.
Also try ~
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Toss all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- Mix the oil, honey and almond extract in a measuring cup and pour over the oat mixture, tossing as you drizzle to get the granola evenly coated and thoroughly mixed.
- Spread the granola evenly onto a baking sheet with sides.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring and redistributing every 5 minutes until everything is golden brown.
- Cool completely on the pan before storing in an airtight jar.