Yogurt is one of the most consumed food. It can be eaten as snacks, at breakfast in different cereals and fruit combinations, it can be added in sauces or used in cakes. Before showing you How to Make Yogurt from Scratch let’s see what benefits brings Yogurt to our health.
There are many benefits of eating yogurt, it is a complex and very healthy food.
It helps strengthen bones. There are many people who are lactose intolerant (lack of an enzyme needed to digest lactose) and therefore can not consume milk – so can not benefit from calcium to maintain bone. Yogurt can be an alternative because it contains microorganisms who digest lactose before it can reach our body. So, people with lactose intolerance can eat yogurt without suffering from bloating or other unpleasant symptoms.
Yogurt can be associated with weight loss, especially from the belly, where the adipose tissue accumulates most of the time. Therefore, experts recommend eating low-fat or low-fat dairy as part of a controlled diet in terms of calories. Yogurts with a low-fat or fat-free diet adapted to allow their integration into nutritional needs at any age and in any pathology, except allergies to milk proteins.
Other benefits of yogurt are the effects on the immune system. It encourages good bacteria to multiply. They help digestion and prevent diseases of the stomach. They are also very useful in preventing vaginal infections.
Yeast and yogurt may have anticancer properties, removes nitrite cells, which reduce cancer incidence.
Yogurt has extraordinary actions over intestinal flora. Lactic ferments of yogurt help to balance intestinal flora. Moreover, it is traditionally indicated to persons undergoing antibiotic treatment. Many scientific studies demonstrate yogurt action on certain types of diarrhea. Active Bifidus is a natural yeast contained in certain yogurts and is a precious asset for the digestive system, when consumed daily, helping to fight constipation. It also stimulates bowel and intestinal secretions.
Yogurt can be prepared easily at home, and is much healthier than the one you find in the grocery store. Grocery store yogurt contains other ingredients besides milk, as thickening agents may be used gelatine, starch, milk powder, milk protein or other synthetic thickeners unnecessarily increasing the nutritional value of yogurt. I do not know what is used in “Greek” yogurt, but certainly the simple fact that has 10% fat, does not lead to it’s known density. In such a “Greek” yogurt I have seen on it label that it contains milk powder, so this might be one of the reasons for it’s thickness. Anyways, let’s get back to our homemade yogurt.
So, everything you need to prepare yogurt at home is: unprocessed milk directly from the farm, live cultures of yogurt bacteria and a heat source which can be a special yogurt maker, a heater or radiator or your oven, set to a temperature of about 115 degrees F (45 degrees C) for 2.5-3 hours.
Live cultures of bacteria or yogurt starter cultures, because the bacteria are actually dealing with yoghurt,can be bought from specialty shops, but you can easily get your bacteria from yogurt. I buy yogurt from local stores who sell yogurt made by local producers who still use traditional recipes and I make sure it says on it’s label that it contains live bacteria cultures.
Homemade yogurt is super fresh, the taste is sweet, pleasant and delicate, is thinner, it’s true, and you have control over it’s composition and you know what you and your children will eat.
I make my own yogurt and we eat it in several combinations such as yogurt with cereals, various fresh or dried fruit and nuts. It is simply delicious and truly healthy so I recommend you to do the same. If you find it difficult to prepare Homemade yogurt, or you do not have a reliable source of milk, then search for plain yogurt with no other ingredients besides pasteurized milk and live bacteria cultures.
- For Homemade Yogurt (serves 6)
- Unprocessed milk - 4 cups(1 liter)
- Yogurt that contains already selected lactic cultures - 4 Tablespoons
Bring milk to a boil and let it cool down to a temperature between (110-118 degrees F) 43-48 degrees C, then mix with 4 tablespoons of yogurt and strain through a fine sieve to distribute as evenly the culture used for seeding yogurt. By doing so you get a creamier yogurt and a uniform curd. Then empty the mixture into clean jars, cover with lids and put them into our special yogurt machine as directed or in a preheated oven at 115 degrees F (45 degrees C) for 2.5 to 3 hours. After that turn the heat off and keep inside the oven until they reach room temperature then place the jars in the refrigerator. The least expensive option is to let the jars near a heat source overnight, or until you see the clot formed.
Thus prepared yogurt last in the refrigerator for about 1 week. When doing yogurt again you can use as starter culture 4 tablespoon from your yogurt if you still have in your fridge…
So it’s quite simple to have your own homemade yogurt and I hope I've convinced you to start making yours. In my next post I will give you an excellent breakfast idea using our yogurt.