Next time you’re at the store know that you can stretch that last little bit of yogurt in your fridge by simply buying more milk. Once called “the food of the gods,” yogurt dates back to 500 BC where Indo-Iranians combined honey and cultured milk products. Now, yogurt has become a staple in many diets around the world. From savory sauces to cold soups and even sweet drinks, yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and B12/B6 vitamins. But its most healthful aspect is its abundance of the beneficial bacteria, lactobacillus. While not commonly discussed in western medicine, the average healthy person has 2-3 pounds of beneficial bacteria in their gut. Having a good supply of friendly bacteria affects your immune system, metabolism, and overall health.
Yogurt is simple to make yourself and contains more beneficial bacteria when prepared in your home. With just two ingredients (milk & active cultured yogurt) you can save money and and heighten its positive effects on your health.
Organic Milk – Whole or 2% (must not be ULTRA-pasteurized) – we recommend RAW milk
Organic Plain Yogurt (must have active cultures)
1. Pour milk into pan, and bring to a slight boil.
2. While milk is heating, mix 4 Tablespoons of yogurt with 4 Tablespoons of milk.
3. When milk begins to boil, remove from heat and let cool to between 100 and 105 degrees.
4. Once the milk has cooled, remove the skin from the top, and stir in yogurt/milk mixture.
5. Place lid on the pot, and place in the oven (turned off, with only the light on).
6. Let sit for 16 hours, or 2 more for a tart/sour yogurt.
7. When the yogurt is ready, you can pour off the liquid (whey) on the top, or mix it in to enjoy as plain yogurt.
8. Or, for thick Greek style yogurt, line a colander with cheesecloth or an old t-shirt, and pour the yogurt into the colander. Let it strain for 2 to 4 hours, and it will be thick and creamy.
NOTE: You can also use goat milk. Also, you can keep a constant cycle of yogurt going without ever having to buy more. Just save 4 tablespoons from your last batch and use it for the next!