Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
Do you have any idea whether your homemade yogurt would be considered the high protein version (Greek yogurt)?
I am reading a book saying store bought yogurt is sugar loaded and not as good for you as you might think. But the sugared up store bought version is pretty tasty. How do you think the taste of yours compares to the “vanilla pudding taste” laced with fruit( jam basically) taste?
Thank you for the advice and the continued inspiration you gives us out here in blog world.
Greek yogurt is actually made by draining some of the whey out of regular yogurt, so it’s basically a more concentrated form of yogurt. The homemade yogurt is not Greek yogurt, but because it has no stabilizers, it’s really easy to turn it into Greek yogurt.
To do this, you can just line a sieve with cheesecloth or a thin dishtowel or thin cloth napkin, place the sieve over a bowl, fill the sieve with yogurt, and let it sit in the fridge for several hours. The whey will drain out with no problems and you’ll be left with thick Greek yogurt.
You can use the whey (which is quite nutritious) in smoothies, and I’ve also heard of people adding it to soups. I think the whey from vanilla yogurt would be weird in a soup, though!
(Incidentally, the popularity of Greek yogurt has created a huge disposal problem for yogurt companies, who cannot figure out how to dump their vast quantities of acidic whey. So, that’s an argument for making it yourself at home and using the whey.)
As far as the taste of homemade yogurt goes, maybe try a batch of the vanilla variety (scroll down to the bottom of the page for vanilla directions) and see what you think.
It does call for about a cup of sugar per gallon (1/4 cup per quart of yogurt), but I believe that’s less sugar than you’d find in commercial yogurt, and the homemade yogurt has none of the odd, artificial ingredients some commercial yogurts have. Once you’ve tried the vanilla version, you can tinker around with the sugar amounts until you find your sweet spot (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
I’ve found homemade yogurt to be milder than commercial yogurt, and it’s really, really delicious in a bowl with fruit and granola.
I rather unexpectedly have made the decision to homeschool my three children next year. My son is 9 and will be in 4th grade. My daughters are just 3 and 4, so I’ll be doing basics like ABCMouse.com and giving them lots of time to play and create.
I also work from home as a freelance writer and virtual assistant, and I’m trying to figure out how to arrange a schedule that allows for both homeschooling and working from home. I’m planning on hiring a babysitter for 8 to 10 hours a week so I can do my work uninterrupted. I’d love any scheduling suggestions you have! Also, how many hours a day does it take to homeschool a 4th grader? Thanks!
I think the babysitter sounds like a great idea. Having a focused period of time where you can get your paid work done will help to keep that work from creeping into other areas of your life.
As far as scheduling suggestions go, one thing that really helps us is to have a consistent routine. This doesn’t work for every family (a lot depends on parental personality!), but for us, it’s key. So, if it takes three hours a day to do school with your son, it will probably be easier to do it from 9:00-12:00 every day than to do it in the morning sometimes and the afternoon sometimes.
Now, I’m not necessarily sure that you need three straight hours to do school with your fourth grader. Presumably he can read directions and follow them, so he should be able to do some of his work on his own, once you guys get into the swing of things in the fall. You’re definitely not going to need to spend a whole school day’s worth of time with your son because homeschooling is pretty efficient.
Once you’ve been at this for several weeks, you’ll know for sure how much time you need, but to start with, you might want to block out those three hours.
You know your family best, but it might be wise to start the day with some subjects that he needs help with. Then you can send him off to do some work on his own while you do some activities with your little girls (I highly recommend a lot of reading out loud to them at this age, not only because they learn from what you read, but also because they pick up a lot of vocabulary and English skills just from listening.) After that, you could finish up school with your son and check the work he did independently.
To encourage independence in my older children and also to reduce frustration for myself, I’ve generally had a rule that I’m unavailable for help when I’m working with the younger ones. So if the older ones get stuck during that time, they can move on to another subject or maybe re-read the directions and get themselves unstuck.
Do you all have any advice for Sheila and Melissa?