I have to admit sometimes when it comes to health I tend to be more outspoken. But unfortunately talking about health does one of two things: falls on deaf ears or steps on people’s toes. Now I love to talk about health, and probably have more information then can conveniently fit between my two ears. So when I join a conversation and see a convenient place to enlighten people about health â€“ I have to say something.
Recently I was in a conversation with three of my friends who were talking about putting healthy foods with unhealthy ones. So basically the healthy would nullify the unhealthy ones. Uh… it doesn’t work that way, but I won’t get on that soapbox for now (you should thank me).
But what was really interesting was when we got into a discussion of yogurt. Now I’ve enjoyed yogurts from the regular grocery store as a child. You know the kind â€“ light, fluffy, and loaded with sugar and flavorings. Well it got down one guy telling me he had one of the yogurts that have a candy/cookie packet on top that you stir in. Okay first that sounds gross to me, putting candy or cookies in yogurt, if I wanted dessert I would go for ice cream not yogurt.
I couldn’t stay silent any longer and made the comment that the company in question (the second google result when you search yogurt) made â€œterrible yogurtâ€. I got a swift response from one person that it was their favorite, but I’m not making this claim on taste. Companies can make anything taste good, and if you need examples look around you the next time your in a grocery store.
Because of a law there has to be at least 10 million bacteria per gram in yogurt at the time it is marketed. (1) But the real problems with yogurt come in ways we, as consumers, have been taught not to think about any more.
1.Low to No Fat
Low or no fat isn’t healthy, especially for GAPSâ„¢ people. Good healthy fats like butter, lard, coconut oil, meat and dairy fat are needed in high amounts for gut and brain health. So having a 99% fat free yogurt is just begging for problems.
2.Unhealthy Additions (like sugar, flavorings, candies, cookies, etc.)
Another problem with commercial yogurts is the additions that make a healthy treat unhealthy. Now there’s nothing wrong with adding fresh fruit to your yogurt, that is a healthy way to make home yogurt tasty, but adding unhealthy things to your yogurt is all around a bad idea.
The biggest trouble with store bought yogurts is the milk used. Milk from unhealthy cows, reduced, low or no fat milk all are bad choices. Homogenization is also another reason while you shouldn’t eat it.
Now I say all this so that you can know there is a perfect choice of yogurt out there. Homemade yogurt from fresh, raw, whole milk that’s been allowed to ferment for 24 hours. It’s the perfect solution to yogurt woes. Full of nutrients that your body can easily use, free of the flavorings, and sweeteners that aren’t allowed on the GAPS diet.
It may seem a little sour at first, but adding fruit or making a smoothie is a great way to get your palate used to this nutrient dense food. Since I’ve been eating it for 5 months I have to say that 24 hour homemade yogurt is the best I’ve ever eaten, and the best part is:
It’s easy to make!
Raw Milk Yogurt
- 1 quart fresh, raw milk, for a thicker product substitute 1 pint fresh cream and 1 pint fresh milk (see sources)
- 2 tablespoons of starter: plain, unsweetened, additive-free yogurt with live active cultures found at any grocery store (non-homogenized) or 2 tablespoons of yogurt from a previous batch
- (For a gallon of milk use Â½ a cup of yogurt. You’ll need extra mason jars.)
- yogurt maker or cooler and a 1-quart mason jar with lid or food dehydrator and a 1-quart mason jar
1.Heat milk in a saucepan over a medium-low flame until it reaches about 110Â° F / 43Âº C.
2.Remove from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature, then whisk in 2 tablespoons of starter culture (like yogurt from a previous batch or plain, unsweetened, additive-free yogurt with live active cultures) to inoculate the raw milk.
3.If youâ€™re using a yogurt maker, simply pour the mixture of fresh milk and starter into the yogurt maker and culture it according to the manufacturerâ€™s instructions for 24 hours.
4.Pour the mixture of starter and raw milk into a 1-quart glass mason jar and cover it with a lid.
5.If youâ€™re using a cooler, place the mason jar full of milk and starter in the center of your cooler and pour warm water (approximately 110Â° Fahrenheit, 43Âº Celsius) until it reaches just below the lid of your mason jar. Cover with a warm towel for added insulation and leave in a warm spot in your kitchen to culture for 24 hours.
6.If youâ€™re using a food dehydrator, simply place the mason jar full of starter culture and milk into the food dehydrator, set the temperature to 110Â° Fahrenheit / 43Âº Celsius and allow it to culture for 24 hours.
7.Once the culturing period is complete, remove your still warm raw milk yogurt from the yogurt maker, cooler or dehydrator and place it in the refrigerator to chill and solidify for 8 hours.
8.Serve plain as a sauce, blended with fruit as a smoothie, combined with fresh fruit or nuts or sweeten it, if desired, with a touch of raw honey.
NOTES: Raw milk yogurt has a tendency to be runny; this is normal and is caused by the action of temperature-sensitive enzymes present in raw milk that would otherwise be killed by heat. If liquid-like consistency is unappealing to you, consider substituting part of the milk for fresh cream or straining the yogurt through fine muslin or a nut milk bag.
Because the natural presence of beneficial bacteria in raw milk are likely to eventually out-populate the desired strains in your starter it will degrade over time. So it is necessary to maintain desired quality of your yogurt by purchasing new starters to periodically refresh your old starter.
TIME: 10-30 minutes (preparation) and 24 hours (culturing)
If you have any tips to share about making or eating your homemade yogurt please leave a comment I would love to hear from you.