This creamy and delicious Elderflower yogurt will surprise you with its rich taste and numerous benefits that it will quickly become a regular part of your breakfast or snack. This easy to make Elderflower yogurt requires just three simple ingredients and no special equipment.
Supermarket shelves are overloaded with all sorts of yoghurts of various flavors, brands and prices. One would wonder why bother making homemade yoghurt if the selection is so huge.
The first and obvious reason is to create yogurt with flavors that are not available in shops such as Elderflower yogurt. Its taste is unique and can hardly imitate anything else.
Benefits of Elderflowers
I like to use Elderflowers in many recipes as I like their taste and their medicinal benefits. They enhance any sweet dish with a distinctive floral scent and turn every ordinary dish into culinary adventure. Last time I made elderflower ice cream and marshmallow fluff and my family just went crazy. Their creamy blossoms only bloom for a short window in spring so I want to make the best of it. They are considered a top antiviral herb on the planet and are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, high antioxidant content and Vitamin C that are great for boosting your immune system.
Before we start to make our own homemade yoghurt, let’s clarify what is a real yogurt?
Yoghurt is one of the most beneficial milk products that is made during the fermentation process.
The fermentation process makes the milk thicker and gives the yoghurt a specific flavor and texture. The level of lactic acid determines if the yoghurt is ready. Here is more in detail information about the whole yoghurt making process.
To start the fermentation we need the starter culture that enables us to convert milk into yoghurt by transforming lactose into lactic acid.
Ingredients to make your homemade probiotic yogurt with Elderflowers
Where to get the yogurt culture?
You can start your homemade yoghurt either from a store-bought yoghurt, just make sure you select plain yoghurt that tastes good and has live active cultures in it. You need to verify that as there are many yoghurts on the shelves that don’t contain that. Also make sure you select a yoghurt with no added sugar or other added sweeteners, additives or thickeners such as gelatin, pectin or dry milk powder. To make your homemade yoghurt even healthier search for yoghurt with a probiotic called lactobacillus acidophilus supports overall digestion and help your body avoid yeast infections.
One of the easiest and tastiest ways of including more probiotics in your diet is to eat yogurt.
When I went to search it took me a while to select the right yoghurt for my project and I was shocked with ingredients I have found in most of the yoghurts. You can make up to 6-8 batches from one store-bought yoghurt.
Alternatively, you can start your homemade yoghurt with a yoghurt starter powder that usually comes in pre-measured packets with a set amount of bacteria. If you follow the instructions you should be able to make a consistent homemade yoghurt.
Since we are making elderflower yoghurt, the presence of elderflowers is irreplaceable so let’s go and forage some or you can easily use dried elderflowers.
MIlk is the main ingredient and its quality can also determine the quality of the yoghurt. I used whole milk as it holds together well and makes nice thick yoghurt. If you decide to use skim milk or low fat you will make runnier, less creamy yoghurt. I prefer to make it from fresh milk but any milk will do.
Choosing an incubator
The fermentation process requires a place that keeps your potential yoghurts at stable temperatures for some time. So some people opt for a yogurt maker but I decided to use my oven instead. I also saw people using a microwave, instant pot or thermos.
Advantages of homemade probiotic yogurt
- While store-bought yoghurts are full of added sugars, stabilizers and other unnecessary ingredients in homemade ones you can select ingredients that are healthy and suit your needs.
- The yoghurt you make is fresh and can easily last up to one week without adding any stabilizers or preservatives.
- Supermarket shelves are flooded with different brands and flavours but if you search for bio, organic yoghurts with no additional flavours and colourants, the price is quite high.
- Depending on your family needs, but especially with kids, the consumption of yoghurt can be really high. With this method, you can easily make several batches of high-quality yoghurt for a fraction of price
- Environmental friendly. When buying new yoghurts you always buy it with a new plastic or glass container that you will throw away. While when you set your mind on making your own you just use the same glass containers all the time. Saving the planet as well as your health too.
- You can make flavours that are not in any shops. Nowadays you find all kind of fruits, chocolate and nuts flavours, however very few with herbs. I have never seen Elderflower yoghurt in our shops although the taste and benefits are just fabulous.
Flavors and toppings
- Fresh fruits with honey or elderflower cordial. The best matching fruits that go with floral Elderflower flavours are raspberry, crowberry, apricot, lychee, and passion fruit.
- You can pair it with various Jams or lemons
- Mix it with cream or labneh and make creamy and luxurious Elderflower frozen yoghurt that will refresh you the whole long summer.
- Turn it into a healthy breakfast by making Elderflower yoghurt parfait - use a glass jar and layer Elderflower yoghurt with layers of granola, fruits and drizzle of Elderflower cordial.
- Use it on waffles, pancakes or grilled pears to make them super delicious and enhanced with the floral taste of Elderflowers.
- sprinkle some nettle seeds on the top to get additional nutritional value of wild herbs.
- There are tons of different ways how to make homemade yoghurt but today I will show you how I do it.
- The longer you let your yoghurt set, the more firm it will become
If you wish the yoghurt to be really thick, something like Greek yoghurt you can add one more step into the process. Straining. Strain yoghurt through a muslin cloth or yoghurt strainer and let it drain in the refrigerator overnight. Discard the whey that drains out of the yoghurt or use it in other recipes.
The yoghurt will last for up to two weeks if kept refrigerated and you can use some of it for your next batch.
The Benefits of yoghurt on our health
Yoghurt is made from milk and therefore is rich in nutrients such as proteins and vitamins and of course calcium. As a probiotic, it acts as a digestive aid that encourages the growth of bacteria in the gut. Thie beneficial bacteria protects us from other harmful organisms as well as helps with food digestion.
Yoghurt maintains a good cholesterol level and reduces blood pressure, it, therefore, plays an important role in heart health (3)
How to make homemade Elderflower yogurt
To add the flavour of Elderflower into yoghurt we need to macerate the Elderflowers in milk overnight. Once you gather 10 elderflower heads, remove all stalks and put small elderflower blossoms in a jar of 1 l . Or use 140 g of dried elderflowers.
Pour 4 cups of milk over the elderflowers. Cover it with a lid and keep it refrigerated for 24 hours. This will allow Elderflowers to infuse its medicinal properties as well as transfer its flavour and scent into the milk
Cool it down to 110 F. Once it reaches 180 F, remove it from the heat and cool it to 110 F. I used an ice bath to speed up the cooling process. Use a thermometer here to ensure that the temperature doesn’t drop below 110F as we need a warm environment when adding the starter.
Squeeze elderflower milk over a soft canvas or muslin cloth.
Pour elderflower infused milk in 6 sterile jars you want to use for your yoghurt
Adding yoghurt starters to the infused milk. Put 1 teaspoon of yogurt starter in each jar, mix it well till completely dissolved and place them in the incubator (in the oven)
Incubation. Set the oven to 115 F or to the lowest possible temperature, add the pot with your jars in it. Incubate them for a minimum of 5 hours under the consistent temperature of 115 F. If you want your yoghurt to be thicker, keep them there longer. Do not disturb the yoghurt during the incubation process
Removing from the oven. After 5 hours remove the pot with jars from the oven and the yoghurt should be thick and creamy. Try it and if you like it, just remove it, if you want the yoghurt to be tangier, keep it in there a couple of hours longer.
Transfer the yoghurt to the refrigerator and your job is done.