I have been making my own yogurt for quite awhile now and after doing more research on the benefits of fermented foods and running into more clients with lactose intolerance, I decided to start fermenting my yogurt for 24 hours. The result is an almost lactose free ( I can’t promise that it is lactose free) yogurt and lower sugar yogurt as well. This is in my opinion the healthiest version of yogurt and the easiest on the body to digest. Fermented foods are essential to our diet for a number of reasons. Most of all it is to introduce beneficial bacteria to our body (gut) which help our ability to fight off infections, destroy harmful bacteria and the enzymes created help us digest the food and therefore get the most nutrients from it as possible. Here is some information I found on the Healing Crow website on the benefits of real yogurt vs a probiotic pill:
The Great Yogurt (and Kefir) Conspiracy
If you’re a health conscious person, you’ve probably seen the hype over probiotic supplements. However, some of the literature from the probiotic supplement manufacturers has become a little overzealous. These manufacturers are forgetting their roots, in that yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods serve as the basis for their entire industry. We asked ourselves, is it fair for a probiotic supplement manufacturer or reseller to produce literature against yogurt, kefir, and other fermented milk products in order to increase their market share? Here’s what we found:
Claim 1. “Our product contains 15 billion bacteria at the time of manufacture. It would take ten tubs of yogurt and a dozen bottles of kefir to get the same amount of bacteria.”
To answer this claim we went digging into the scientific literature. From several different references, we were able to determine an average concentration of yogurt. Homemade yogurt that is fermented for 24 hours, as recommended in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, will have an average concentration of 3 billion cfu/mL of yogurt. What does this mean? Well, if you were to eat a small bowl (500 ml) of 24 hour fermented homemade yogurt, you would receive 1.5 trillion beneficial bacteria – 100 times more bacteria than a 15 billion capsule.
Save money on expensive probiotic pills and simply make your own yogurt! Here is a link to a website to buy a yogurt starter without dried milk added. Custom Probiotics If you have access to raw milk, fermenting your yogurt will result in a very beneficial food for your gut as it will not only be virtually lactose free but will still contain lactase which allows one to digest the lactose in milk. Here is my original yogurt recipe with the instructions for fermenting for 24 hours added.
Organic greek yogurt (or regular)
- whole milk, nonhomogenized from grass fed cows
- 4-6oz plain yogurt
- My yogurt maker and candy thermometer, you want a thermometer that will clip to your pot. This also goes for making ricotta cheese, mozzarella, etc...a good thermometer is great to have.
- The milk makes a huge difference in taste. I go with Kalona SuperNatural whole milk.
- So here's the deal, my yogurt maker came with 7, 6oz glass jars, those jars are now spice jars. If you want to make different flavors of yogurts, those individual jars are perfect. If you plan on straining your yogurt to make greek yogurt then those 7 jars are going to be a pain in the butt and extra work to clean. So I use my 7 cup pyrex glass bowl and use that amount of milk. But if you are using a different method or found a larger bowl that fits than just pour your desired amount of milk into a pot and slowly heat it to 110-180 degrees or when it just starts to boil. If you are lucky enough to have raw milk on hand thanks to a family cow or live where you can legally buy raw milk, only heat the milk to 110 degrees. The milk just needs to be at room temp. The same goes for nonraw milk too. I keep meaning to play around with different temps but usually I forget to check the milk until it is around 180.
- Cool the milk to 110 degrees and stir in your 4-6oz of plain yogurt. The yogurt needs to be plain, best if organic and whole milk, it has to contain active cultures. I try to keep a 1/2 cup from a previous batch to use in the next batch. Place in your yogurt maker, crockpot or oven and leave it alone for at least 8 hours.
- When the yogurt has set (may take up to 10 hours for nonfat yogurt...another reason to always use whole milk!) then remove, cover and cool for at least 3 hours. You are done at this step for regular creamy yogurt. If you want greek yogurt you just have one more step! NOTE: FOR LACTOSE FREE YOGURT AND IN MY OPINION THE HEALTHIEST YOGURT- FERMENT FOR 24 HOURS AND CHILL FOR 5 HOURS.
- Place the yogurt in a cheese cloth, or nonfuzzy kitchen towel lined strainer and place over a bowl to let the whey run out.
- Whenever your yogurt is at your desired consistency then simply transfer it to a container and enjoy. If you leave it overnight and it has turned into cream cheese then just stir back in some of the whey.
- I use my leftover whey to ferment vegetables and make things just as sauerkraut, pickled ginger, breads...the list goes on.