I’m back from China! Unfortunately, I had a little bit too much 压力 (stress) to continue posting while I was there. I did, however, learn a lot of great recipes from my host mom that I’ll be recreating and posting.
Like leaving home, reentry has been an adjustment, especially when it comes to eating. One thing I never noticed before: I rarely snack when I’m in China. I was so busy exploring I didn’t have time to get hungry. But back in America, I have some serious snack cravings. When I was a little girl, I was a swimmer and needed to keep up my calorie intake with healthy food. My go-to post-practice snack was always peanut butter toast with yogurt.
As an “adult,” I make my own yogurt that serves multiple purposes.
- After-dinner snack.
- Skincare regiment.
First of all, making your own homemade yogurt is EASY! I have a lot of anxiety about eating spoiled foods (actually, I have a lot of anxiety about life in general, but that’s for another day). So, the first time I tried making homemade yogurt, I kept obsessively smelling it and concluded that I had done something wrong and need to throw it out. My roommate, at the time, thought this was peculiar and offered to taste-test it for me. It was fine. Don’t be like me – you can do this!
It’s actually really easy once you have the right products. It’s so simple there’s only two items you need to buy: 1) yogurt maker and 2) cultures. Here’s a picture of a yogurt maker I bought in China.
- Heat the milk. When I first started, I actually skipped this step for over a year. I’ve read that this makes the yogurt thicker.
- Add the cultures and stir.
- Set yogurt maker to 7-9 hours. I highly suggest covering with a towel and keeping it somewhere warm. If your home tends to be cooler, I would definitely set the time for a whole 9 hours.
- Place the yogurt in your fridge. Wait several hours. The longer you wait, the thicker your batch will be.
For more detailed instructions see this awesome Youtube video.
For my routine, I normally prepare my yogurt just before bed and set for eight hours. Added bonus: the beeping of the machine provides a nice alarm clock. When I wake up, I quickly put the bowel in the fridge and let it cool there all day. The result? A nice after work snack! I also section off a tablespoon for skin care. Yogurt helps to moisturize and soften your skin. As the layer hardens on my face, I can feel my pores getting smaller–much like the feeling of wearing a store-bought face mask. I also noticed I have less acne and the dark spots under my eyes are lighter. And it helps with sunburn too!