since coming to China, i have learned to make quite a few things from scratch.  mainly out of necessity.  “necessity”, as in i may have really been craving a certain sort of food and it just isn’t available, ready-made, processed and pre-packaged on your grocery store shelf.  or it requires a trek into Shanghai and is quite pricey compared to the local fare (though at times it is just worth the splurge).  it’s been quite mind-opening (and fun!) to learn how to make these things from scratch — and possibly more healthy, as well.

so here is my latest accomplishment in fresh goodness:

homemade yogurt and granola.

i was actually quite surprised and excited to see how easy it is to make both of these.  all those years just buying it off the shelf – who knew it really is quite simple to make on your own.  and it costs a lot less too!

this whole attempt to make yogurt evolved because Kaylah is at the age where yogurt is a good healthy part of her diet.  but the yogurt available here is all very sweet and liquidy (you need a straw to drink it).  no plain, whole milk, thickened yogurt.  so i decided to try it on my own – followed directions from this book, but you can easily find directions online as well.  then as i was reading about how healthy yogurt is, i felt like i should have some myself.  and fresh homemade yogurt is not as tart, which is more to my liking.  but then i thought it would go nice with granola.  hmmm… another rare/nonexistent item to around here.  a quick search on and i whipped up a batch in no time.  hannah loves the granola too – both making it and eating it!

i shared my accomplishments with another foreigner friend in China.  found out she makes her own yogurt too.  and she quickly explained how to make your own cottage cheese and sour cream as well! (variations on the yogurt recipe)  i tried the sour cream recipe a few days ago and it worked as well!  chicken paprikash and baked potatoes this week…

jay - My family makes yogurt. Generally for starter cultures we use exisiting yogurt. I was wondering what you used, was it the sweetened stuff you bought in Shanghai?

Cornelia Tsang - yay! beautiful picture! i’m so hungry

anita - haha. yes, me too. i think i’ll go eat some granola now.
Jay – Yes, I used store-bought yogurt as starter. Some of the nice plain, thickened stuff you generally only find at fancy expat grocery stores in Shanghai. =) But I have heard the sweet liquidy stuff will work too but I haven’t tried it yet.

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