I’ve always liked cups of yogurt. They’re convenient, they’re delectable, and they’re pre-portioned (not that I care about portions per se, except that at breakfast when the kids are joyfully spooning yogurt into their own bowls, sometimes too much ends up outside the container. Happens in your home too?)
However, the cost of yogurt has gone up quite a bit. My mother told me to always look for yogurt when it is available at a cost of 10 for a dollar – when was the last time you saw a deal THAT good? Where I live now, the price for even non-famous yogurt brands are closer to seven of these for $10.
And even if I did have a coupon for cups of yogurt, the ingredient list for most flavors is far from what I really want. “Natural fruit flavor” with no actual, real fruit present is always sketchy. I mean, it’s yogurt, for cryin’ out loud. Can’t at least those remain unadulterated?
Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own yogurt these days.
WHY MAKE YOUR OWN YOGURT?
Why would you want to make your own cups of yogurt by the way?
Actually, there are a number of reasons!
You’ve got the choice to spoon in pre-made yogurt or pouring over a batch of fresh yogurt to culture right in the cup.
You can also make several at once – enough just for a couple of days or for a full week, depending on your needs.
Aside from that, you can also sprinkle granola, nuts, or more fruit to add a better flavor to whatever you want to enjoy.
THEY SAVE YOU MONEY
As mentioned above, yogurt cups that are bought from store are expensive, even the non-organic ones. Making one at your home can save you a bunch, depending on how much yogurt you consume typically.
THEY’RE A GREAT WAY TO GET YOUR KIDS COOKING
Anytime you give your kids a project, they would likely be invested in it. In food and healthy eating, it means that they will make their food on their own and gain confidence in the kitchen. This is great news for both picky eaters and for teaching kids life long habits in the kitchen as well as enjoying food preparation.
THEY’RE COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZABLE
The flavors you choose can be changed depending upon the season or according to what your family likes. Want to try strawberry ? Kiwi? Or coconut? Chocolate? Blackberry?
Your imagination is the limit as to what you can do.
ADAPT THEM TO YOUR FAMILY’S DIETARY PREFERENCE
Any kind of milk can be used to make your own yogurt. There are many great choices to check out including ones that are catered to your specific dietary needs.
You can also adapt to what you family’s eating habit is. Organic ingredients? Go for it. You do not want to use the cow milk? You do not have to! But you can if you want.
AVOID ADDITIVES, HIGHLY REFINED SUGARS, AND HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
Making your own yogurt cups allows you to control the amount and types of ingredients to use, like sugar, preservatives, thickeners and possibly dyes. This is both for health purposes and for not getting a glut of sugar when you kid eats one.
You can always use natural food colorings if you want some with fun and crazy colors.
THEY REDUCE WASTE
All the cups add up, whether you recycle them or just throw them away. Making your own homemade yogurt cups allows you to use pretty much anything you have on hand. Anything you already have and can reuse will do!
HOW TO MAKE A COMPOTE FOR HOMEMADE FRUIT-ON-THE-BOTTOM YOGURT CUPS
A stewed fruit in a syrup or sauce is a compote. It may include a sugar-base sauce but in this case we’re just going to stew the fruit and let it create its own sweet sauce just from its own juices (The only exception would be if you’re using an extremely tart fruit, such as cranberries or rhubarb, in which case, you will definitely want to add a sweetener to taste.).
Also, typically compotes don’t use a thickener, as the sugar syrup helps the juices thicken once the compote is pulled off the heat, but a thickener can also be added to create a good texture that is detailed and appealing.
This yields about 1 ½ cups; enough for 6 yogurt cups
• 1 pound peeled and diced fruit
• 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup, optional
• Pinch of added spices; this is optional for taste
• 1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot powder
• 2 tablespoons fruit juice or water
Place the fruit and honey (if using) in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir the cornstarch into the fruit juice until dissolved, then add to the fruit mixture and stir until thickened, 1-3 minutes more. Set aside. Let it cool completely before adding the plain yogurt.
Seal the containers well and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.