How to Make Delicious Homemade Yogurt: 7 easy steps
One important addition to my healing protocol has been homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours. When I first read about making my own yogurt I was immediately put off by the idea of spending any more time in the kitchen, I was already making all of my own meals from scratch, a big transition from my junk food days when living in the USA. The thought of a dinner date with lactobacillus didn’t sound too appealing!
I figured if I could just take a probiotic pill why do I need to mess around creating yogurt? As a result I didn’t start eating the yoghurt until 3 months into my programme, but once I did I wished I’d started sooner as not only is it a tasty breakfast snack when mixed with blueberries and gluten-free granola, it improved my bloating and bowel function!
Why Homemade Yogurt?
Homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours helps to repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria crowding out pathogenic bacteria and allowing the good to gain a foothold. It can therefore help to improve conditions related to intestinal dysbiosis such as IBS, leaky gut, Candida, SIBO and poor immunity.
There is a big difference between live fermented foods such as Yogurt and freeze died pill form probiotics. Yoghurt or Kefier are arguably 50 times more powerful than the majority of probiotics on the market. While the average probiotic capsule contains 10 billion cfus, one cup of 24 hour homemade yogurt contains 708 billion beneficial bacteria- so can really pack a punch when it comes to knocking out the bad bacteria in your gut.
On the other hand, some probiotic companies have designed their capsules to include multiple bacterial strains and enteric coating which have been proven to survive the harsh environment of the stomach and reach the intestines and colon where they are needed. I like the brands Biokult and Renew Life for this reason, they have been thoroughly researched and shown effective in treating a range of conditions from IBS to Chron’s disease.
Some great reasons to include homemade yoghurt into your diet:
- Homemade yogurt is significantly cheaper than commercial probiotics. All you need is a yogurt starter culture and milk of your choice, this makes an endless supply of yogurt because you can use some of the yoghurt you just made as the starter culture for your next batch. In contrast, a high count/ good quality commercial probiotic will set you back about £30 a month
- After 24 hours the lactose in the milk has been broken down into lactic acid by the friendly bacteria so people who are sensitive to lactose are usually able to tolerate it. This also means that unlike store bought yoghurt there are no lactose sugar molecules left in the yoghurt which feed Candida and other pathogens
- Yoghurt contains lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids vital for good health
Why Can’t I Just Buy Commercial Yogurt like Yakult Instead?
Don’t believe the marketing hype! Eating commercial yogurt is like tying to put out a bonfire with a water pistol, we have 100 trillion bacteria in our guts- about 3 pounds worth, one bottle of Yakult contains 6.5 billion bacteria so just isn’t powerful enough to make much of an impact. On the other hand homemade yoghurt which is cheap and yields a lot more yogurt contains 708 billion bacteria per cup. In addition, any benefit of commercial yogurt is outweighed by the large amount of added sugar and glucose-fructose syrup which feeds the bad bacteria in the gut and encourages their growth.
What You Will Need to Make Homemade Yogurt
- Approximately 1 litre of whole cows milk/goats milk (raw or pasteurized), or use 1/2 whole fat milk and 1/2 cream for a thicker yield of yoghurt
- Starter culture: plain natural bio live yoghurt such as Woodlands sheep milk yogurt or a sachet of freeze-dried starter culture such as: Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter. The starter can contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Streptococcus Thermophilus, and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. It must not contain Bifidus/Bifidum bacteria as these strains can cause an overgrowth of friendly bacteria in the small intestine when taken in large doses
- Yogurt maker, I use Lakeland’s basic maker which costs £19. This maintains a constant temperature of the yogurt for best results
- Alternatively you can incubate the yogurt in an oven, see below for details
7 Easy Steps:
1) Measure the amount of milk that will fill your yogurt maker or fermentation bowl, place in a pan and bring to simmer just above 180 degrees F for 2 minutes. This will kill off any bacteria in the milk so that it will be only fermented by the starter culture. Small bubbles in the milk indicate the correct temperature (just before boiling point).
2) Take off the hob, cover to prevent exposure to airborne bacteria and allow to cool. You can place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling.
3) Once milk has cooled to body temperature lift the skin off with a spoon. You can strain it if you wish to get a slightly smoother yogurt. Then place in a bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt starter per 1 litre of milk and mix in gently.
4) Place mixture into the yogurt maker and leave for 24 hours
5) Place in the fridge and do not disturb for about 8 hours until set
6) Gently but thoroughly, stir the yogurt with a spoon or metal whisk to make it smooth. If you stir it too much it can separate, so remember to treat it gently.
7) Add fruit and enjoy!
Homemade Yoghurt In The Oven
Don’t want to buy a yogurt maker? lets improvise! Follow the steps 1 to 3. Place the yogurt mixture into an oven pot with a lid. Place the covered pot in oven with a 60 watt light bulb on. Keep a thermometer in the oven and maintain the temperature at 100 to 110 degrees F. If the oven becomes too warm, use a pen to prop open the door just a bit.
Once you have done this a few times, you will get a feel for how your oven best maintains this temperature. Remove the yogurt after 24 hours and place in the fridge to set for about 8 hours.
Goats Milk Yoghurt
Goat’s milk is less allergenic than cow’s milk and so is better tolerated by those with Casein sensitivity. The allergic reaction can be blamed on a protein allergen known as Alpha s1 Casein found in high levels in cow’s milk. The levels of Alpha s1 Casein in goat’s milk are about 89% less than cow’s milk making it a much less allergenic food. Goat’s milk is more delicate than cow’s milk and should not be heated more than 185 degrees F.
Post your questions or experiences below, let me know how it turns out!