July 04, 2014

That Time I Made Yogurt and Almond Milk From Scratch...

Today's prompt:

Share a video that you are loving at the moment. It could be as simple as a song on YouTube or an inspirational video.

Well, of course. 
Plastic Free July promo: 

I will admit, it is not just that easy. It takes a while to get used to grabbing the reusable version of a coffee cup, cold-drink bottle, and shopping bag. We are accustomed to doing things with our hands free.

However once I made the effort to remember (and that's a lot of effort because remembering is really hard for me) enough times, it did become second nature to be taking a coffee cup with me to Starbucks, grabbing bags out of my trunk at the store, and the water bottle one has never been that hard because I'm too cheap to pay for water.

I started using Nalgene bottles and Starbucks cold cups because they were trendy and once I was used to using them, bottled water started to look wasteful to me.

However, I will admit my fail yesterday on one of the "easy" ones (or so I thought). I was at a restaurant and forgot to tell my server not to give me a straw. I was using it for about half my drink before I realized what I'd done. Sad. Hopefully, it impacted me enough that I will remember next time. 

So an update on my PFJ efforts: Plastic-free almond milk and Greek yogurt.

I'll start with greek yogurt. The recipe I used came from Salad in a Jar. The supplies I needed were milk (I used skim), already made yogurt with active cultures (had to use store bought but can use homemade for future batches), a candy thermometer, and a crock pot with a "warm" setting.
 Outcome? Success!
Two cups of milk resulted in about 1 cup of yogurt.
The recipe says to put the fermenting milk in a spot that's 100ยบ... yeah don't really have one of those. I tried propping it behind my dehumidifier but when 9 hours later it was basically still milk, I decided to try moving it to my crock pot since it has a "warm" setting. I don't know if the "low" setting would have been to hot or if I'd left it behind my dehumidifier longer it would have worked. Just wanted to warn anyone who might try this. If you do, and like regular yogurt, you can skip the straining and have twice as much yogurt.

On to almond milk! I tried three recipes and the one I liked the best was from The Plastic Free Chef.
It requires soaking the almonds overnight, blending them and then straining them through either a fine mesh strainer or a not-so-fine strainer lined with cheese cloth.

Outcome? It worked!
Plastic cap: I'll call it collateral damage. It's a local product in a reusable container.
It looks good, and I got to use the empty glass jug from the milk I used for my yogurt to store it. Not sure if it's worth the money but I do like the flavor better than store-bought, even though I have to shake it every time I use it.

Up next for Plastic Free July: Ranch dip and dressing, dish detergent, and a plastic-free bbq!

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