Homemade Dairy Yoghurt

Homemade Dairy Yoghurt

Yoghurt with strawberries on top

I love yoghurt and always thought it was a healthy breakfast option for my kids and me. Because it is made using lactic acid bacteria, all-natural yoghurt has a lower sugar content than the milk it is made from. The problem is that most commercially produced yoghurts have loads of sugar added to them, making them unhealthy after all. This was discussed in detail by Choice in their article How to Choose a Healthy Yoghurt.

So I decided to make my own yoghurt to ensure that I could have all-natural yoghurt with no added sugar and that the bacteria are still alive and well when I eat the yoghurt. I am looking for a yoghurt with a low sugar count and a high bacteria count, and to do this, I need to ferment my yoghurt for longer.

Long fermentation is recommended in the SCD and GAPS diets and is a great idea for people with digestive issues or for anyone wanting to improve the health of their microbiome. Your 'gut microbiome' is made up of the trillions of microorganisms, and their genetic material, that live in your intestinal tract, mostly in the large intestine.

To do long fermentation, you will need a suitable yoghurt maker. I use an electric yoghurt maker that I designed especially for long fermentation. I found that the thermos style makers that you have to add hot water to work great for about 8-10 hours at holding the temperature. This is great, as that is how long a standard fermentation would take. But I wanted long fermentation of 24 hours, so that was not good enough for me.

So I looked at electric yoghurt makers and, after having a few issues, went ahead and designed my own. The first issue I had was yoghurt makers with timers that turned themselves off when the yoghurt was 'done', none of which were able to be set for 24 hours. The second issue I had was temperature creep, meaning that if they just stayed on till you turned them off, they seemed to slowly creep up in temperature and by the time you got to 24 hours, they were so hot the bacteria have been killed.

So the yoghurt made in these makers looked great, tasted great, but was dead. I even called one company to complain and was told that this heating was a feature because if the bacteria was killed at the end, it gave the yoghurt a longer shelf life in my fridge. In frustration, I created my own, which is how the Green Living Australia Yoghurt Maker was created.

Electric Yoghurt Maker

So now you have a yoghurt maker; you need to get some culture and start making your own yoghurt. Here is my recipe for a great, thick, creamy Greek-style yoghurt that I am sure you will love.

You Will Need The Following Items

Your Ingredients

  • One litre of full cream milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk (the powdered milk adds additional protein, and this is what makes it Greek Style)
  • Two or three drops of calcium chloride -- Optional (While this is optional, I always use it to improve my yoghurt and also to get more calcium.)
  • One dose of yoghurt starter culture
    (Up to 100 doses per sachet culture)

Note: The amount of culture used for one litre is VERY SMALL.

Directions

  • Add the milk powder to your milk, and heat-treat to 90° C for ten minutes, stirring constantly. Calcium chloride can also be added now.
  • Allow the milk to cool to 40° C. Add your starter culture and mix well to ensure the culture is evenly distributed.
  • Pour your milk into the yoghurt maker. Maintain the milk mixture between 37° and 43° C for 8-12 hours. For long fermentation, leave for 24 hours.

If you are in a hurry and want to take a shortcut, you can use UHT, Long Life Milk, and then you will not have to do the step of heating the milk to 90° C and then cooling it to 40° C. I usually warm the Long Life Milk up to 40° by placing the unopened packet into a sink of hot water for a few minutes while I get the rest of my supplies together.

The culture I use comes in a packet that does 100 litres. I do two litres a week, so the packet lasts me a whole year. I like the fact that it is pure culture and that it costs me about twenty-five cents a batch, plus the cost of the milk. I hope that you can use this information to make yourself great yoghurt and save yourself some money at the same time.

As always, live well.

Valerie

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