My Mama, May Fair has been eating yogurt for as far back as I can remember when the general population thought that was pretty wierd. Well, those days are over, for sure. We’ve got it all going on in the cultured dairy department these days with Activia, a variety of greek yogurts, soy yogurt and many, many more. I’m not a fan of any of them unless they are organic, full-fat and plain. I always tell folks to add their own fruit a little bit of honey or pure maple syrup, nuts, cinnamon, you get the idea. If you’re not making the effort to put your own yogurt together then I can pretty much guarantee that you’re consuming too much sugar. And, once again, it’s a whole lot less expensive to make your own and you’re not polluting the planet with all that plastic.
I didn’t start making yogurt until about eight months ago when I was trying to figure out what more I could do to try and help heal my gut. I don’t eat a tremendous amount of dairy because of the lactose. But, then I found out if I make it at home with no additives of any kind and ferment it for 24-30 hours then most all of the milk sugars will have been eaten by the beneficial bacteria in the fermentation process and whatever sugar is left has been converted into a monosacharide. This is what the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPS diet recommend when you or your child is ready to introduce yogurt or cultured cream into their diet…which makes sense.
I use my Excalibur Dehydrator to ferment my yogurt and it works out great. Or you can buy a yogurt maker which will make your life real easy too. I’ve heard from friends that they really like the Yogourmet Yogurt Maker. Or, you can be like my friend Gina and use your heating pad. Keep in mind without stabalizers and additives and guar gum your homemade yogurt will be a bit runnier but, very delicious still and WAY more nutritious! So adjust your expectations of the final product and enjoy. That’s a big challenge in trying to get folks to convert to a real food diet because we all get used to the way things should look and taste and then when we make it without all the synthetic mess it can be quite different. But, you will notice a difference in how you feel, for sure.
I’ve been making my yogurt out of goat’s milk and my cultured cream out of Hatcher Dairy’s cow cream and it is divine! I am going to try using Hatcher’s whole milk in my next batch to see how it turns out. Goat’s milk is apparently easier to digest so that’s why I started off with it.
This process and the amounts used apply for both the yogurt and the cultured cream.
Here’s what I do:
4 cups of milk/cream
1/4 cup yogurt from full fat-plain yogurt or your previous batch
1. In a classic sauce pan over medium heat up the milk/cream to 180° (use a good trustworthy thermometer or two, like me)
2. Pour the hot milk/cream into a large bowl to cool down to 110° or lower (place bowl in cool water if you want to quicken the process)
3. Once cooled then slowly whisk/stir in the culture starter from a previous batch of yogurt.
5. Set the temperature on the dehydrator to 110°, leave only the bottom shelf in and place the jars so that air can move between each one. Let it cook away for the next 30 hours.
I want to say that I also use my dehydrator to dry out my soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds…more on this later.
Then when the 30 hours is up place the jars in the fridge and you are good to go for smoothies or making yogurt cheese or what have you! The cultured cream is great for a chilled sauce for fish or making a dip or putting a big dollup in your soup, yum!
Talk to me and tell me what’s going on out there in your yogurt land…any tricks of the trade you’d like to share?