My friend's persimmon tree is hanging heavily with ripe fuyu persimmons. These are little fall gems that can be eaten like an apple, straight out of the hand. Eating too much of the skin can cause digestive issues so if you are planning to eat a lot of them peel them first. The other persimmon variety we see a lot is the hachiya. This one is a bit more cone shaped and you need to let it go completely soft before you can eat these but they are great frozen whole and then eat them like you would do ice cream, with a spoon.
Both are great in baking, but seeing I have a more reliable supply of the fuyu, I can see the tree from my front window, I use these. As with any fruit harvest you almost end up with a lot more than you can eat comfortably in a couple of days. Persimmons freeze really well. You can either blend them to a puree or cut them up and freeze them this way. Seeing I use them mainly in baking I puree them and freeze them in a 1 cup silicon muffin mold. This way I can pop them out whenever I get a hunkering for them.
This is not a blog about persimmons although I might have given you that impression. I do tend to get a little carried away about seasonal fruit and veggies but the star of this monologue is definitely the humble yogurt. A big step in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is the addition of homemade yogurt. Once you have eaten your own homemade yogurt you will not go back to store bought ones. I know people who have been eating homemade yogurt without any problems whereas before they reacted badly.
The reason? Well, it seems to be twofold. First, store bought yogurt is made with different bacteria strains such as L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus and L. Acidophilus. But is the Bifidus that is causing trouble for some people and this is in every store bought yogurt I have looked at. The second reason why some of us can't eat store bought yogurt but are fine with homemade is that at home we can ferment it for 24 hours and thus fermenting all the lactose out of it. Lactose is a form of sugar that bacteria need to grow and doesn't always get tolerated well by us because the levels of enzymes our bodies make are not sufficient enough to break them down.
When it comes to making yogurt you can attack it from different angles. I am all about making it easy on myself. Again, it has to ferment 24 hours for it to be lactose free. I don't see myself trying to keep the temperature of the milk between 100 and 110F for 24 hours. So, I bought myself a handy dandy yogurt maker online, the Dash Greek yogurt maker. They don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Just read the reviews and go from there.
I also bought my yogurt starter online. Yogourmet does a freeze-dried yogurt starter that does not contain the Bifidus strain and it works every time. You are probably wondering if you can't use some left over yogurt from the batch before? Yes, you can and I do from time to time. I do find though that the yogurt is runnier. But if you like your yogurt thick, like myself, you can drain it. My yogurt maker comes with a basket to drain the yogurt after it's done to make a Greek style yogurt or even a soft cheese.
So what do you do? Well, it's very easy. You bring 5 1/2 cups of milk, any kind of milk but ideally organic, to a boil in a saucepan. I find that if I put the heat on high it doesn't burn the bottom. Stir from time to time to stop this from happening.
Once it starts boiling take it off the heat, cover and let it cool to about 100F. When I first started making yogurt I would use a thermometer but now I just stick my finger in and if it is body temperature it's good to go.
You can speed up the cooling process by putting the saucepan in a bath of cold water or ice water after the milk is brought to a boil.
Pour a little of the cooled milk in a small bowl, add the yogurt starter and whisk. Pour this back into the rest of the milk and whisk well. Pour the milk into the yogurt maker and set the timer for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, put the yogurt into the fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
Top your yogurt with seasonal fruits and nuts. Think apples and walnuts or like I have done here persimmons and pecans. I find it doesn't need more than that but you can drizzle a little honey over it or sprinkle a little cinnamon over the apple. Be bold, be brave but above all enjoy!