A Little Yogurt with that Jam? 

Do you eat yogurt? Yogurt lovers know that fruit is the perfect complement to yogurt. Foodprocessing.com corroborates that. Research shows that the top-selling ready to eat yogurt flavors in the U.S. are strawberry and blueberry.  While yogurt is regarded as a healthy snack, consider that the carton is not really recyclable (most yogurt cartons are made from recycled plastics; when recycled, they are melted down to form mixed plastics and shipped overseas). Also consider what’s in that fruit “flavor.”

Yogurt is very easy to make at home. Fill a quart canning jar with milk—skim to whole or a mix—and pour it into a sauce pan and heat it to 180 degrees F. On my gas stove, in a two-quart pan, on burner level 3, this takes 11 minutes. Place the pan in a sink of cold water to quickly cool the milk to 110 degrees F. In my kitchen, this takes 4 minutes. When the milk reaches temperature, mix in 2 tablespoons of prepared plain yogurt or a package of yogurt starter. Ladle the milk back into the jar, wrap the jar in a towel or two, and put it in a small cooler so that it cools very slowly over 5 hours or so. When the yogurt has cooled and set, put the jar in the refrigerator and eat the yogurt over the next week.

Eat the yogurt with bananas. Eat it with your favorite granola. Eat it with a spoonful of Duluth Preserving Company jam stirred in—perhaps some Strawberry Cranberry or Blueberry Maple. Use your yogurt in recipes calling for yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk. Re-use your jar week after week. Support regional retailers with your jam purchases.