We’ve never really used a lot of milk. I don’t like it much, although I do use it in baking. But Phil drinks it in coffee, and likes it on his cereal. And even a pint a week means fifty-two plastic bottles added to landfill every year. After seeing a friend post about how easy it was, we experimented with making our own oat milk. It was easy, but Phil wasn’t keen on the flavour. We looked into milk delivery, but it’s not available for city centre flats. We weren’t sure what to do.
The Eco Larder’s addition of a milk-vending machine has been a game-changer! Now we can take our own glass bottle to the store, and refill it time and again. Here’s a picture of Phil doing just that…
And, what’s more, it solved another problem too:
We like yoghurt. A lot. But, until recently, it was one of the few things we were still buying in plastic. We had made some concessions: giant 1 litre pots use less plastic than lots of tiny 150ml pots, right? And we were re-using the containers, filling them with rice or couscous at The Eco Larder. But still, when you’re consuming a pot each week, it soon adds up, and the ‘Tupperware’ cupboard was getting very full…
But the milk-vending machine means that we are now able to make our own. (Obviously, there was no point trying to do this if we were just swapping plastic yoghurt pots for plastic milk bottles.) We bought a yoghurt maker. A VonShef Greek yoghurt maker, to be precise. And yes, it’s made of plastic. But, if it works out, it should reduce our plastic footprint eventually.
Also important for us is the machine’s actual footprint. We have a tiny kitchen, and there’s not much space for gadgets, no matter how nifty. But this particular yoghurt maker fits neatly into a corner, and doesn’t (so far) seem to be getting in the way.
And I’m happy to report that, three pots in, its been a success! Hurrah! We have a lovely pot of thick, creamy yoghurt chilling in our fridge.
The effort involved is minimal. The results are not instant (it’s nowhere near as quick as nipping across the road to Co-Op). But it’s definitely easy.
Step 1: boil the milk.
(This took about five minutes. Then we left it to cool. If we’d used UHT, we could have avoided this step, but – obviously – this would have meant buying milk in a single-use container. We used organic semi-skimmed, and barely noticed the extra work involved.)
Step 2: add 150ml of yoghurt to the mix and whisk it thoroughly. The first time, we bought a small pot. After that, we used some of what we’d made. It helps to separate it from the stuff you’re going to eat as soon as it’s ready, so that you don’t forget and have to buy another plastic pot…
Step 3: pour the milk/yoghurt mixture into the yoghurt maker. Switch it on. Leave it for 10 hours.
(If you just want plain yoghurt, there is no step 4. You’re done. If you want Greek yoghurt, pour the stuff from the yoghurt maker into the strainer pot that comes with the kit. Put it in the fridge and wait 6 hours.)
Step 5: eat.
Step 6: what to do with all that whey?
(The first time, we used it for boiling pasta, having read that this adds extra protein. Win, win. Later, we added it to a risotto. Yum.)
And the yoghurt is delicious! Hurrah!