It took me a LONG time in my real food journey to get my kids to eat homemade yogurt. I had to wean them off the one yogurt I felt ‘okay’ about, but still wasn’t in love with. Then we found a fabulous yogurt I was happy with in the store, but it cost WAY too much money to justify buying it. I finally decided to push for them eating some kind of homemade fruit sweetened version. However, before I even had to tell them of my plan one of my sons actually suggested I make them the yogurt like the kind in the store. Phfew! Now I didn’t have to give the pep talk. So with that, I came up with two ways to make fruit sweetened, ‘kid-friendly’ yogurt at home! What a relief! Why didn’t I do this years ago?
First off, let me explain in advance why I choose to use honey. A lot of people don’t like to cook or bake with honey. For one thing it’s expensive, and for another cooking it kills the beneficial elements of the honey. This is true, however, there is another element to consider, the very reason I choose to use it in spite of those things.
In her book, ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome‘, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride discusses why honey is the only allowable sweetener used in the GAPS protocol. Honey contains two monosaccacharides: fructose and glucose, which an impaired digestive system can actually handle. I have personally found this true for myself. Regular organic cane sugar can give me gas, but I never have a problem with honey. Therefore, this is why honey is my preferred go to for any recipe that calls for sugar. I sometimes use coconut sugar as well. But in this recipe I will use honey. The nice thing too about honey, is it’s sweeter than table sugar, so you don’t need to use as much.
To make fruit sweetened yogurt, you will first obviously need to make your yogurt, as described here. Then you will need to create a fruit syrup. This is any berry you choose, preferably organic in 2 parts to 1 part honey. Cook both in a saucepan over moderate heat until the syrup has reduced in half. Mash the berries with a potato masher during cooking to make a puree. If needed once the thickened fruit sauce has cooled a bit, you can whirl it in a food processor until smooth. If using raspberries or blackberries you may want to press the mixture through a strainer to get the seeds out.
Once you have your yogurt and your fruit syrup, there are two ways you can go about this. You can blend the yogurt with some syrup in a blender or with an immersion blender. This will give you more of a drinkable yogurt, resembling those hideous concoctions on the commercial market, called ‘Go-Gurt’ (and other such nonsense). This can be nice to have kind of like a smoothie drink. I personally prefer to make mine more of a ‘fruit on the bottom’ type of yogurt cup. Gather some 1/2 pint ball jars (found here), pour a few tablespoons of the fruit syrup in the bottom of the jar, then top with yogurt. Cover with a plastic lid (find them here) and refrigerate. Now you have portable individual yogurt cups to send with your kids to school, or for you to take to work.
Play around with the amount of syrup you want in each cup. It may vary for everyone. I try to make it only just sweet enough to cut that tartness back for my kids to actually tolerate it. This is super easy and affordable way to provide some wonderful nourishment with your kids without them feeling deprived. So glad I finally got around to making fruit sweetened yogurt.