As part of my Best Year, I really wanted to make more things at home, as I really think that this is better for the environment and for our health. Inspired by Rhonda Jean's blog, I decided to try out her recipe for homemade yoghurt (yogurt), as well as making homemade bread. The picture above is a piping hot loaf of soy and linseed grainy bread, as well as some of the pots of yoghurt that I made.
Rhonda Jean makes her yoghurt in her oven, but it needs checking on periodically. I remembered that I had a yoghurt maker sitting at my parent's house gathering dust, so I followed her recipe, stuck in the yoghurt maker last night, and this morning woke up to some wonderful pot set yoghurt. A few hours in the fridge and it was ready to eat with a drizzle of honey. It was thick, creamy and deliciously tart. Tomorrow I plan to have it with some of my homemade strawberry compote. If you don't have a yoghurt maker, either follow Rhonda Jean's instructions, or google the web for instructions using an esky, a dehydrator or a thermos. The total cost for a litre (a quart) of yoghurt was just over $2.00, but each batch after will be more like $1.20, as I will use some of my existing yoghurt as a starter instead of having to buy some. Compared with the $6.00 that the live culture pot set yoghurt that i usually buy costs, and how easy it is to make, this is a no-brainer for me to continue doing.
I also had a bread maker gathering dust that has been used, oh, all of 2 times. So bread was the logical next step to make myself. For my first few loaves, I have used a soy and linseed bread mix, which is super easy, and works out at $1.60 per large loaf, versus $4.99 for the soylin bread we regularly get. When I start making it from scratch, it will work out even cheaper. A huge bonus was the delicious smell that fills the house as the bread is rising and baking; is there any thing better than the smell of freshly baking bread?
In both cases, there are significant financial savings to be made, as well as benefits for your health (no additives, no preservatives and you know exactly what is going into it. And for the environment, you are reducing a huge amount of packaging, as well as the energy that goes into the transport of the goods.
If you have a breadmaker lying around (and they seem to be a favourite wedding present - it's how we got ours!) then definitely start making your own bread; yoghurt maker or not, try your hand at yoghurt, too. Once you start, I guarantee, you won't be buying it at the store again.