Blueberry Yogurt Coffee Cake

One morning I woke up with a lot of yogurt in the fridge, and some frozen blueberries in the freezer. And the taste of the cinnamon/brown sugar filling from my cinnamon buns in my mind. How could I combine all of these into one breakfast treat?

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Morning treats for my sewing ladies!

I can’t really remember if I looked at other recipes as a jumping off place for this recipe, but here is what I came up with. I think its tasty enough to serve to “regular people,” and yet low enough in calories that I can enjoy it any day of the week. Click here to see the recipe.Ā 

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Favorite Food Finds

This is my favorite popcorn! Of course I like that it comes in a huge bag at Costco for almost the same price that a little bag costs at Walgreen’s. Three ingredients: popcorn, coconut oil, and sea salt. And the best is that it is 130 calories per ounce, which is a nice sized snack bowl.

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This is my favorite dark chocolate. When I first started W.W. 11(!) years ago, my sister said that I could have one of these bars for 4 points. I still think they are the best dark chocolate, but now I eat one or two little squares instead of a whole bar šŸ™‚

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This is my favorite milk chocolate. Yeah, nice that it isĀ sugar free, I guess its good that they are low carb, but I really likeĀ this milk chocolate because of its super smooth texture and excellent chocolate taste. I like to have two small squares with my bowl of popcorn.

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This is a new product at TJ’s. They have been selling the cacao nibs in small metal containers, and I really liked them. LOL, I liked them because they were 1 calorie per nib, and they had an intense chocolate flavor. Sometimes, just five nibs was allĀ I needed.

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One more TJ’s product–fresh edamame from their produce department. I really like edamame. My former trainer used to make an edamame tofu salad that was just delicious. I made this simplified version of it, using chicken instead of the tofu. No recipe, but it has an Asian accent to it–soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, salt and pepper. And obviously corn.

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And then there’s Shelley’s Hippie Granola! Making a batch of this stuff makes me very happy. It smells absolutely delicious while it is baking, and tastes just as good when its done. I’ve been making more yogurt lately, so yesterday I made another batch of Shelley’s granola. Yumm. Yumm. Yummmmm.

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Yogurt!

The other day I happened to catch an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats, and he did a whole show on making your own yogurt! Imagine that. Evidently he did not consult my instructions on how to make perfect homemade yogurt in the microwave, because he made his yogurt quite a bit differently than I do. He also had a lot of information that I had not heard before, so being the ever vigilant yogurt scientist, I took notes, and did a little experimenting so I could share the results with you.

Alton did not heat his milk up to 180-190 degrees. He just started by heating it to 120 degrees. I have wondered about this step for a while, because hasn’t pasteurized milk already been heated quite a bit? But then he was much more diligent about keeping the milk at 120 degrees for the incubation period. He used a heating pad and a temperature probe to make sure the milk stayed at a constant 120 degrees for at least 4 hours.

So. I decided to forego the heating up to 180 degrees, and just heated my milk to an even 120 degrees in the microwave. I added the room temperature yogurt, and did my usual double towel wrap and placed it back in the microwave (microwave turned OFF.)

Four hours later….hmmm, looks a little too watery to me. Checked the temperature and it had dropped to maybe 106 degrees. So I decided to go all radical and RE-HEATED the partially formed yogurt to 120 degrees, covered it with the two towels and put it back in the microwave for another three hours.

What I ended up with looked like yogurt curdles in a lot of whey. Ā But wait! All was not lost. Alton had also demonstrated making yogurt cheese (yes, I already knew how to strain yogurt–see my recipe.) But he put a weight on top of the yogurt (a small plate with a canned good on top.) And that worked great! I used my coffee filters, because, dang it, they charge too much for cheesecloth in the stores.

I ended up with some nice thick stuff that had a bit of texture like ricotta cheese. Sorry I don’t have a picture, but I’ve used it in a number of recipes, and it has worked very well.

I think I’ll stick with my tried and true method. But for those of you in colder climates, Alton’s suggestion of wrapping a heating pad around the container with the yogurt mixture would probably work very well.

A few more of Alton’s suggestions that I found interesting:

  • Ā 2% milk makes the best textured yogurt.
  • Buy organic milk, because maybe the farmers feed the cows a better grade of feed.
  • Choose paper cartons–better quality of milk.
  • Don’t stir homemade yogurt too much. It will break down, as it does not have any gelatin in it.
  • Add powdered milk to your yogurt culture for added protein.

I know I yack about homemade yogurt frequently. But not only is it a good buy ($4 for a half gallon of ORGANIC milk will yield almost a half gallon of homemade yogurt. You really can’t beat that price,) but it also tastes so much better than any store bought yogurt I’ve ever had. Its not nearly as tangy (not a fan of the tang.) Plus, its just plain fun to see milk turn into yogurt.