Is it possible to be lactose free in Ireland?
As you know, I moved to my favourite country Ireland in 2019. Ireland is now my new home and I don't regret taking this step.
There is only one problem...
For a few years I have known that I suffer from lactose intolerance. In Germany, this isn’t a problem at all. Whether it’s milk, yoghurt, cheese, soft cheese, quark, butter, even sweets, everything is available.
But I'm not talking about vegan alternatives, I'm talking about lactose-free dairy products.
Okay, to be fair, you can find milk, butter and cheese; but unfortunately these are overpriced. Alternatively, you can buy vegan products like soy milk or yoghurt. Don't get me wrong, I love soy yoghurt, but it's incredibly expensive too.
I also miss these lactose-free products for baking. A great cheesecake consists of soft cheese and / or quark. If I bake cakes like cheesecake I only bake it for my family, friends or colleagues as I can't find the lactose free dairy I need.
Is that the reason why I have disregarded my passion in the past year?
Probably, yes, and that's a pity because it's my passion.
Now that I am in Germany for some months and have all these opportunities again, I wonder how I can change that in Ireland.
So my question is:
Is there any possibility I can produce it myself?
And do this in a cheap and easy way?
Yes, there is a way to make your own natural lactose free yoghurt. All you need is milk, yoghurt and a yoghurt maker.
I knew nothing about yoghurt makers, but I have done some research for you.
There are, of course, countless products. The two most two important questions are the quantities you would like to produce and how much money you would like to spend.
What other factors are important?
The filling quantity: There are makers with several small glasses that already measure the yoghurt. Alternatively, there are makers with a filling quantity of 1 litre. This is the one I have chosen.
Electrically powered: I prefer one with electricity, as it is easier to handle.
With or without timer: Without timer. You have to set your own timer and then just pull the plug. This is an additional step, but it is helpful if you have more than 10 hours of production time (more about this at the point "production"). Of course you can buy a maker that does this, but it's much more expensive.
In total I've paid €17.90 incl. shipping for the yoghurt maker from "Rosenstein & Söhne".
Conclusion: Reasonably priced and great quality device.
On the one hand I would like to have natural yogurt without any food additives. On the other hand I would like to produce lactose-free quark and soft cheese.
There are two different ways how to make this yoghurt.
1. With lactose-free milk
Just buy 1 litre of lactose-free fresh milk, preferably pasteurised or highly heated.
There are two possibilities for the fermentation now. Either four spoons of lactose-free natural yoghurt, as it is already fermented. Or buy the ferment (dried probiotic cultures in powder form). You can buy it online. Basically, one can say that powder leads to a firmer yoghurt, because the amount of bacteria in the yoghurt contained is greater.
Heat the milk to 36 degrees. The temperature should not be higher, otherwise the lactobacillus die and the fermentation doesn't work properly. Now add the yoghurt or probiotic cultures and mix it well. Pour the liquid into the yoghurt maker. The fermentation needs 6-8 hours. Then place it in the fridge over night. The finished yoghurt becomes really firm now.
2. With standard, pasteurized milk
The quantities are the same, but you use regular milk instead of lactose-free one. The most crucial and most important difference, the fermentation needs 24 hours. This is the amount of time the yoghurt needs to become lactose-free.
And that is the reason why I bought a yoghurt maker without a timer.
3. Production of quark and soft cheese
You just need patience, that's all :)
QUARK: If you drain the fresh lactose-free yoghurt for 24 hours, you get lactose-free quark. Use a kitchen towel, not too fine-meshed.
FRESH SOFT CHEESE: Let the fresh lactose-free yoghurt rest in the fridge for 1 week. Drain it afterwards like the quark.
Of course it would be more easy to buy the soft cheese and the quark.
But you know what's great?
It's pure yoghurt, without any food additives, without any sugar etc. You can add to your homemade yoghurt whatever you like. Fruits, granola, honey, or oats. The possibilities are limitless.
The same with the quark or soft cheese. Add the herbs you like, add onions,...
Have fun and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Feel free to share your yoghurt creations with myself or everyone.
Maybe you have some tips and tricks too?
I look forward to your comments.
Sunny Cakery Greetings