Yogurt is so easy to make at home that it is crazy to spend money on store bought yogurt. At home, you can control exactly what goes into it — and what stays out of it — like additives such as carregeenan, guar gum, sugars, etc. Why would you want to spend good money on junk? You can use the very best milk available and make a nutrient dense food that can be used in many versatile ways. Making yogurt at home is dirt cheap and much easier than you think. I’ll tell you how.
The most important aspect in making yogurt is deciding on which milk to use. The very best choice would be fresh, unpasteurized milk from grassfed cows. If that is not available, the second best choice would be whole fat, organic milk from grassfed cows, that is unhomogenized. I was able to find this milk at a healthfood supermaket like Whole Foods. The milk from grassfed cows has a much better nutrient profile because the cows are eating the food they are supposed to eat. Cows have four stomachs and are able to turn grass and forage into excellent protein, fat, vitamins and minerals which then goes into the milk. Organic is best.
Homogenization was invented to fool consumers and benefit the milk companies back in the 1950’s. At this time, milk was being delivered to the doorstep in glass jars and the cream would float to the top. Consumers could judge the quality of the milk by how much cream was there. Manufacturers saw that if they could spread the cream throughout the milk, no one could see the layer of cream so they wouldn’t know that less cream was being kept in the milk. The manufacturers then skimmed the cream off the top and sold it separately, reaping a nice profit!
Homogenization breaks up the fat into tiny miceles which mixes into the water component of milk more easily. This is thought to be detrimental because the unnaturally tiny particles of fat can get into the blood vessels and collect there. As far as I am concerned, the less processing done to the milk the better.
People on the SCD or GAPS diet may have yogurt, however it needs to be cultured for 24 hours as this length of time will ferment out the lactose in the milk. Those friendly bacteria love milk sugar and given enough time, they will eat it all up. I love the 24 hour yogurt as it has no sugars and it is still very creamy and delicious. If it is too tart, you can always add some fruit or a little honey.
1/2 gallon milk
culture starter or 1/4 cup plain full fat commercial yogurt (where to buy culture starter)
Yogurt maker or cooler and towel
2 glass quart jars