Homemade Yogurt

“Life and death begins in the colon”. Treat your colon well by eating lots of food high in good bacteria. Not only can this help with digestion, but it can improve immune function, allergies, prevent cancer and osteoporosis, and improve your overall well-being. Yogurt is full of probiotics, which literally means ''for life,'' and refers to living organisms found in the live active cultures in yogurt. Yogurt also provides a dose of animal protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium and magnesium. Many people who are lactase-deficient find that they can tolerate yogurt as the live active cultures aid in lactose digestion. Making your own yogurt at home can be enjoyable and simple with this easy recipe. If you are sensitive to the casein in cow’s milk, try making this recipe with goat’s milk.

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Quart organic cow or goats milk
  • ¼ cup of store bought organic yogurt as a starter (make sure that it contains “live active cultures”
  • Extras: Maple syrup, vanilla extract, honey, blackstrap molasses (homemade yogurt is not as tart and may not need a sweetener)
  • You will need a heavy bottom pan, thermometer and canning jars

DIRECTIONS

Heat the milk to 180 degrees F. The milk should not boil, but it will bubble a bit around the edges of the pan. Keep the milk at this temperature for 30 minutes, while whisking to ensure that the no milk burns on the bottom of the pan.

After the milk has been heating for 30 minutes at 180 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and let cool to 110 degrees F. This will take about 30 minutes. You want to ensure that the temperature is lower than 120 degrees F before you add the starter, or the enzymes will be destroyed.

Once the milk has cooled, whisk in your starter and your sweetener. You may want to experiment with this as everyone’s tastes are different. I recommend a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a tablespoon of honey, molasses or maple syrup.

Pour your mixture into your canning jars and place in the oven on a baking sheet or pan. If you have a gas stove, the pilot light should be enough heat for the yogurt to ferment. Let it sit for 6-8 hours to ferment. If you like a tarter yogurt, you can let it sit for 10 hours. Then transfer to the fridge and let chill. Enjoy when ready! Serve with sliced fruit, nuts and seeds for breakfast or a snack. Mix with mashed roasted vegetables or cucumber, mint, and garlic for a savory dip. Let me know ideas you come up with!

***If you do not have a gas stove, heat your oven on the lowest setting for the hour that you are preparing the yogurt. Turn it off while you are pouring your mixture into the canning jars. Place the jars in the oven along with a bowl of boiling water. That should keep the appropriate temperature for the yogurt to ferment.


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