Digestive Health Benefits from Fermented Foods!
We all know that yogurt is one of those healthy foods that can be beneficial to include in our diets. It is full of those great probiotics found in fermented foods (read more about those here.) But did you know that yogurt has evolved into a snack that is as high in sugar content as some desserts? Or that the calcium content is lower in some yogurts than it was a few years ago? This is definitely one of those areas where we have to read labels. Here is an article that compares the nutritional value of various brands of yogurts (however, the article and accompanying charts does not include many of the healthy brands that we carry at Lassen’s–so it is just a beginning to guide you.) Many yogurts are also full of thickeners and stabilizers, so you aren’t exactly getting a natural product.
But if you make your own, you can control everything about your yogurt. It isn’t too complicated and it doesn’t take too much time. Just remember that temperature is the key! I made a batch recently, and here are my step-by-step instructions. I used a yogurt maker, but if you don’t have one, here are instructions for making homemade yogurt in a 2-qt crock pot.
If you like making your own yogurt, then I would advise you to invest in a yogurt maker. It will simplify things!
Makes 7 6-oz servings
5 cups milk. You can use anything from skim to full-fat
1/2 cup active, plain yogurt, or yogurt starter (see amounts on package)
Remove your plain yogurt from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature while you prepare the milk.
Bring the milk not quite to boiling (about 180 degrees, if you have a food thermometer)
Preheat the yogurt maker, and cool the milk to 110-115 degrees.
Mix in the plain yogurt, whisking to blend well
Pour into a yogurt maker, and cover.
Let sit for 8-12 hours (higher fat content milk will take about 8 hours; skim milk will take about 12)
Check to see if the yogurt is your desired consistency. If it is, then stir the yogurt and top with the lids
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Stir in sweeteners and fruit right before serving.