Here’s your step by step guide to make fresh, creamy 24-hour probiotic yogurt.
Do you eat 24-hour probiotic yogurt?
Well, if you’re one of three million Americans who have celiac disease, or if you’re one of seven hundred thousand people who have ulcerative colitis, or if you’re one of the twenty-five to forty-five million people in the U.S. suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, or you’re someone that is taking or has taken a lot of antibiotics, then you probably should be eating this healthy yogurt.
All of the above diseases, plus several more, are associated with a disruption in the intestinal microbiota know as dysbiosis. See John’s article here. Some important researchers are beginning to believe that dysbiosis could be the root of many modern diseases. See Chris Kresser’s article here.
One of the ways suggested to treat the above conditions is by the introduction of good bacteria into your intestines by the means of probiotics. Most of you know this can be done by taking commercially produced probiotics in pill form.
However, I believe that one of the best ways of treating disease is by eating nutritious whole foods. That’s where yogurt comes in. Yogurt is a food that is known to be packed with probiotics.
The problem is that not all yogurts are equal. Most commercially made yogurts contain added sugar and fillers, some are made with inferior milk, and you just can’t be exactly sure how many probiotics they actually contain.
Think about it, do you really know how long it is between the time the yogurt is made until the time you buy it? Those small cultures in yogurt do have a shelf life.
Is Homemade Yogurt Healthy?
Notice I didn’t ask if you ate yogurt. I asked you if you ate 24-hour probiotic yogurt. This yogurt is packed with probiotics (often more than you can get in pill form), is bursting with vitamins and minerals, and if made from grass fed milk, has an abundance of the important beneficial fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
And here’s something really cool. It’s often well tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant because of its 24-hour fermenting process.
Unfortunately, this yogurt can’t be bought in stores. You have to make it yourself. While that’s not as convenient as just buying it off the shelf, consider the benefits.
In return for the hour it takes to prepare about forty-two ounces of yogurt, you get to make a great tasting food that will also add significantly to the well-being of yourself or someone you love.
You may have seen this yogurt called SCD yogurt. SCD stands for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Elaine Gottschall popularized this yogurt in her book, Breaking The Vicious Cycle.
This yogurt is basically SCD yogurt made from grass milk, but I’m going to share some tips with you that will help you make it perfect every time.
John was able to start eating 3/4 of a cup right away and saw an immediate boost in health. However, if you believe you are very dysbiotic or you have some serious gut issues, you may want to start slowly.
Introducing tons of probiotics into your gut right away may upset your system because of a reaction secondary to the die-off of pathogenic bacteria. It’s always best to first consult with your M.D. or functional health practitioner.
Therefore, concerning the consumption of probiotic yogurt for those who have severe gut issues, Gottschall states,
… others can have problems at first. After the starter diet has been completed the yogurt can be tried by introducing it very slowly. Try a teaspoon the first day and watch for any reaction, if all is well, try two the second day, gradually increase it each day. If you have a reaction to it then there may not have been enough healing yet and it may be best to leave it for now and try again later.
Ready to make some yogurt?
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I’ll make a small confession. I was a little skeptical about doing this at first. I had never made yogurt before. I didn’t even know if it was possible to make yogurt correctly at home. But it is. And I’m glad to share these nine simple steps with you.
Step 1. Choosing your yogurt maker
It turns out that making healthy creamy yogurt at home is pretty simple. There are many different ways. Some people make it in their slow cooker, others choose to make it in the oven with the oven light on, while others pick a cooler that has been warmed with bottles of hot water.
We chose to use the Euro Cuisine YM80 electric yogurt maker.
The Euro Cuisine yogurt maker comes with seven six-ounce glass jars, just the right size for individual servings. A clear lid allows you to see what’s going on while your yogurt ferments. When you turn the unit on, there is a light so you know that it is working.
Some people have recommended buying the additional top tier in order to make double the amount of yogurt. However, after reading the comments on Amazon, we decided not to go with the tier. It seemed most commenters said it didn’t work well because of unequal heat dispersion.
If you need to make more yogurt (you’ll probably want to after you taste it), you can buy an extra set of jars so you can start on a new batch before you have even finished eating the first seven jars of yogurt.
Euro Cuisine recommends fermenting for 8 hours. We let it go for a full 24 hours. There is no timer on this machine so you have to make a note when you begin and shut it off manually when you are finished.
This yogurt is so fresh and creamy every time we make it. John loves it plain right out of the jar. I like to add some fresh organic berries. Choose your favorite toppings or stir in some raw honey if you like.
Step 2. Preparing a clean workspace in the kitchen
Make sure your pot, jars, measuring cups, spoons, even your thermometer and work area are wiped clean. Here’s a quick checklist:
- frothing thermometer for heating milk
- digital thermometer
- 2 cup measuring cup
- 1 cup measuring cup
- 1/8 teaspoon
- spoon for stirring
- paper towels
- 3-quart pot
- a bowl of ice
- dimmer switch (This item is extremely important. I’ll talk about it later)
- GI ProStart
- Good quality milk
Good quality milk and a yogurt starter are the only ingredients you’ll need.
The healthier your milk, the better your yogurt will be. Since I don’t have access to raw milk, I use organic, non-homogenized whole milk from grass-fed cows.
Using this milk is an excellent way to increase the nutrient content of your yogurt. Grass-fed yogurt is richer in omega-3 fats and the beneficial fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
CLA has been linked to the following health benefits: superior heart health, the suppression of tumors, reduced body fat, and greater fat loss in the obese and overweight. Milk from pastured cows may contain up to 5 times the amount of CLA found in the milk of grain-fed cows.
Step 4. Choosing Your Yogurt Starter
Some type of yogurt culture starter will be necessary to produce beneficial bacteria in your yogurt. Some people add some yogurt from a previously made batch to their new batch as a starter. We have heard mixed results with this.
We have chosen to use GI ProStart from GI Prohealth. It contains the following strains of beneficial bacteria: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Lactobacillus casei. This starter consistently produces a thick creamy yogurt.
Step 5. Heat the milk
Measure out 42 ounces of milk and pour into your pot that has been set up with the frothing thermometer clipped on. The frothing thermometer accurately measures the temperature of the milk while it heats.
Heat the milk slowly over a medium flame until it reaches 180℉. Stir occasionally to keep the milk from scorching. The milk is heated to kill pathogenic bacteria that might be present in the milk.
Theoretically, all bacteria should be killed in the milk. The yogurt starter will provide the new beneficial bacteria for you yogurt.
Turn off the heat and let the milk cool to room temperature (80-90 ℉). Stir occasionally. To speed up this process, we fill a large bowl with ice and place the pot in the ice bath.
Since my frothing thermometer does not read below 100℉, I use my digital thermometer to accurately determine that the milk is below 90℉.
Pour about a 1/4 cup of your room temperature milk into a clean, large measuring cup (don’t use the cup you used to measure the milk before it was boiled). Spoon 1/8 of a teaspoon of GI ProStart yogurt starter into another 1 cup measuring cup.
Now pour the 1/4 cup of room temperature milk from the larger measuring cup into the smaller one. Stir until the yogurt starter is dissolved.
Then pour that mixture back into the original measuring cup and mix well. Some of the ProStart may clump and not make it back into the original measuring cup. That’s why we mix it in separate cups. You can pour it back and forth until all the ProStart is in the original measuring cup.
After the ProStart is sufficiently dissolved, pour the mixture back into the pot of milk and stir it in very well.
Now carefully divide your milk that has been mixed with yogurt cultures into your jars and set the uncovered jars in the unit. The outside of each jar should be dry. Be careful not to spill any liquid on the unit as this can cause damage to the electronics.
Cover with the lid and switch on and let the unit run for 24 hours. The yogurt should be kept at a temperature of 110℉. I don’t think a few degrees either way makes a big difference.
This is extremely important. It’s a good idea to check the temperature of your yogurt as its fermenting. We use a digital thermometer to do this. It can’t be used for the heating process as the heat can affect the display.
Sometimes your yogurt maker can overheat. If the temperature gets too high, the cultures can be damaged. We found that after 8 hours the Euro Cuisine did begin to heat the yogurt above 115℉. That’s not good. It seems the yogurt maker is designed to keep a constant temperature for 8 hours. After that, it will rise into the 120’s.
We found that plugging the unit into a dimmer switch and dimming the power a bit regulated the temperature well over the 24 hour period. You will get the hang of how to do this fairly quickly.
Here’s another important tip. When you lift the lid to check the temperature, lift it straight up and place the lid on a paper towel nearby. Be careful not to drop any droplets of water from the condensation from inside the dome lid into the yogurt. You don’t want to contaminate your yogurt.
If you feel there is a lot of condensation inside the dome, you may want to wipe it dry with a clean paper towel before placing it back over the jars.
Don’t panic. I know this all sounds a little overwhelming, but we’ve found it’s pretty hard to mess up. In fact, we get delicious, creamy yogurt every time.
After 24 hours, your super healthy live culture yogurt is done. Cover each jar with their individual tops and carefully put the jars in the fridge. Let them rest and cool for 8 hours, and then they’re ready to enjoy.
And there you go. Your yogurt cultures will remain active in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Enjoy! Have a happy and healthy week!
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How To Make Delicious 24-Hour Probiotic Yogurt Every Time
- 42 ounces organic grass fed whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon GI ProStart yogurt starter
- Slowly heat milk in a clean 3-quart pot over a medium flame until it reaches 180℉. Stir occasionally to keep the milk from scorching. This is to kill any bacteria present in the milk that might interfere with the yogurt making culture
- Turn off the heat and let the milk cool to room temperature (80-90 ℉). We set our pot in an ice bath in order to speed up the cooling process. Stir the milk before determining the final temperature.
- Add 1/8 teaspoon of GI ProStart yogurt starter to a clean measuring cup. Add 1/4 cup of the room temperature milk. Mix well until dissolved.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir it in very well.
- Now carefully divide your milk with yogurt cultures into your jars and set uncovered jars in the yogurt maker. Cover and switch on for 24 hours.
- *Note: The yogurt should be kept at about 110℉. We found that after 8 hours the yogurt began to overheat so it is a good idea to check it. The first time, we lifted the lid and waited for the temperature to come down. However, we found that plugging the unit into a dimmer switch and dimming the power a bit regulated the temperature even better.
- After 24 hours, your super healthy live culture yogurt is done. Carefully, cover each individual jar and put the jars in the fridge. Let them rest and cool for 8 hours.
- Your yogurt cultures will remain active in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Serve plain or stir in your favorite toppings.