Homemade yogurt provides all the health benefits your body needs, and it is really easy to make. Read on to learn how to make your own yogurt.
When people think of how yogurt may be healthy, they can likely recall hearing that the live cultures within are good for the gut. This is a good start, but the truth is that homemade yogurt provides a number of health benefits.
Probiotics and enzymes in yogurts help to support your immune system, giving it all the help it needs to protect your body from disease. Your body already houses a large number of bacteria that work to protect you from the inside, and the ingredients in yogurt serve as their backup.
Yogurt also contains vitamin D and calcium for strong bones and the potential to reduce your risk of hypertension.
The Problem with Store-Bought Yogurts
What people do not usually realize is that most store-bought yogurts lose all of these benefits during their production process. The brands you find in stores are pasteurized after the fermentation process. This kills most if not all of the beneficial bacteria.
Many manufacturers will add probiotics back into the yogurt, but these are not as effective as the natural ones that were killed off. Most yogurts also have sugar or syrup added for flavor which is not good for your health either.
Using artificial sugars reduces probiotic content and provides extra sugar for pathogenic bacteria in your gut to thrive on.
So, we have quite the conundrum: It is recommended to eat yogurt, but the yogurt at the store is not going to be beneficial enough for us.
You can spend the time searching through stores for unpasteurized or organic versions, but there is an easier solution. You can make your own!
Homemade yogurt made with raw milk provides all the health benefits you want, and it is very easy to make. If you do make your own, it is best to use raw milk over pasteurized milk for nutritional reasons.
The Wonders of Raw Milk
Raw milk has greater nutritional content because cows are fed on grass. This means that they will provide more fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients. The process of pasteurization removes essential minerals like magnesium, copper and iron and also decreases the calcium levels of the yogurt.
These minerals are preserved in raw milk and delivered to our body.
The popularity of raw milk has also increased because of the powerful health benefits that raw milk has been shown to provide. The fresh milk nutrients combined with enzymatic and probiotic powers make raw milk a highly desired product for those looking to get and stay healthy.
Consuming homemade yogurt made with this beneficial milk is the first step in eating healthier and promoting a healthier gut. Now, let’s learn how to make one.
How to Make Homemade Yogurt
Making your own yogurt is easier than most people realize, and you can have a healthy snack option in your fridge at all times. You should note that raw milk yogurt is runnier than that found in the stores because of the high enzymatic content.
If you prefer a thicker yogurt, you can make it with raw milk and fresh cream together. Store versions may offer convenience, but their quality does not always compare to homemade, raw milk yogurt.
The total time to make your own yogurt is between 8 to 12 hours, making it a perfect weekend project. You then have yogurt to fuel you each day for the week ahead.
The ingredients you need are:
- 1 quart of fresh raw milk.
- 2 tablespoons Greek starter cultures or 2 tablespoons unsweetened, additive-free yogurt with live cultures.
First, you heat the raw milk over medium heat to a temperature of 43 degrees Celsius. This temperature is important because you do not want to kill off any of the nutrients.
Remove the milk from the heat and mix in the culture starter.
If you have a yogurt maker, you can pour the mixture in and culture it according to the instructions (typically between 8 and 12 hours).
If you have a food dehydrator, pour the mixture into a mason jar first and cover. Then place the jar into the dehydrator and set the temperature to 43 degrees Celsius. Again, you will leave it for 8 to 12 hours.
If you have a slow cooker, put the mixture in a mason jar first. Place at the center of the slow cooker and add warm water into the ceramic insert. To get additional insulation, cover with a warm towel and leave in a warm area of the kitchen. Culture time will be the same 8 to 12 hours.
After the culturing period is complete, remove the mixture from whichever equipment you used. The milk mixture will still be warm, so place it directly in the fridge and let it chill for an hour or two.
After at least two hours, your homemade raw milk yogurt will be ready to eat. You can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or in a smoothie. Add honey or syrup to taste (being mindful of using too much sugar) or even some of your favorite fruits or nuts.
Remember that what you lose in convenience, you more than make up for with nutritional value.