Homemade Yogurt – DIY Survival Against the Beasties in Your Gut
Homemade yogurt is good for you and can be a vital aid in keeping you and your family healthy. Best of all, making your own yogurt is not really all that hard. And with food allergies and digestive troubles running rampant from GMOs and sugar-laden processed foods challenging our systems, adding in a daily intake of yogurt is a preventative way to ‘keep things moving’ without complications.
What’s the Big Deal?
Yogurt feeds your gut flora in a way that helps keep the environment in your intestines balanced and problem-free. Sort of like the proverbial “apple a day”. So many people today suffer from all kinds of chronic symptoms, many of which could be alleviated by getting the gut in order. Truly. Yogurt is just one aspect to this, but a very key aspect and a wonderful place to start helping yourself to stay – or get- healthy. Being healthy is intrinsic to survival. Deep thought there, I know. 😉 A great book to read regarding this imbalance is called The Yeast Syndrome by John Parks Trowbridge and Morton Walker. You should check it out. You might even find out why you’ve been experiencing some things that even mystify the doctors. (Anyone ever notice that conventional medicine rarely addresses what you eat? Go figure.).
You CAN Make Your Own!
Purchasing prepared yogurt at the store, however, can get costly. Not good for us thrifty-minded penny-savers. So, once I learned that I could actually make my own, I’ve been doing it for literally decades. It’s just part of my weekly chores: “Make yogurt.” It’s so nice to know you can do things for yourself without needing to go to the grocery store, too.…although you do still need a source for milk (Bessie on the back 40 or bottled) and you need the cultures which will make your milk convert to probiotic-rich yogurt. Making yogurt does take a bit of time, but is worth it.
The ingredient list is as follows:
-4 cups milk
-2/3 cup dried milk
-1 ½ tsp. unflavored gelatin
–Flavoring of choice (I use 5 tsp. Kava instant coffee)
-OPTIONAL: (Sugar feeds the yeast beast!) ¼ cup sugar (I use evaporated cane juice and/or agave nectar) Seriously, this is best omitted for maximum health benefits.
-4 ounces plain yogurt starter (Lately I use a store brand Greek – I love THICK yogurt! Or you can use a dry starter, as in the link)
Start the water in the bottom of a double boiler. In the top section – off of the heat – pour in your milk. Mix in the dried milk, sugar and any flavoring. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the surface and let it sit at least 5 minutes to soften, then whisk it in.
Make sure everything is as dissolved as possible. Place over boiling water. Heat milk until it scalds. It should have the telltale skin showing that it is thoroughly scalded. Remove from heat. Let the milk then cool down to 118⁰-115⁰ or so. You’ll need a candy thermometer for this reading. Whisk a little bit into the yogurt starter, then add it all back into the pot. It should be around 115⁰. Don’t fret if your temps are a little off – I’ve had it go lower and it’s been fine. Pour into a quart sized canning jar. I usually get a quart and about a half pint. Cover with a plastic lid.
Now you need to incubate your formula so it becomes yogurt. I use my dehydrator and set it at 115⁰F. In about 6-8 hours it is finished. YUM!