As most people know, yogurt contains healthy bacteria called probiotics aka “Good Belly Bacteria”. Store bought yogurt has the bacteria, but also contains many other additives and preservatives that can have a counter-effect on the probiotics. Making yogurt at home is not only cost effective, but also much healthier for you. Yogurt in general is a great source of valuable proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Since my husband suffers from ulcerative colitis, we decided to start making homemade yogurt about four years ago. There is a theory that the additional good-belly bacteria from yogurt can help balance out the bad bacteria in his digestive tract, therefore making his symptoms less severe.
This is the yogurt maker we use. We purchased it off of Amazon for around $90 so $49.95 seems like a great price. It has worked great for us over the years and we would recommend it to anyone looking to make yogurt at home.
Yogurt starter: We chose a yogurt starter that contains the following bacteria: lactobacillus bulgaricus, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus acidophilus. These are the best bacteria for digestive issues (Crohn’s, IBS, UC).
To make the yogurt, we simply follow the instructions on the Yogourmet starter packet and we have never been disappointed with the end result. We make two quarts at a time, so we use two yogurt starter packets. The following directions are for one quart and one packet.
1. Heat one quart of milk to 108 degrees F. Or bring to boiling point and cool down to 108 degrees F. We always use organic whole milk. The whole milk gives the yogurt a little richer consistency.
2. Dissolve 5g of starter with a small quantity of lukewarm milk in a cup, then pour back into the quart of milk. Mix well.
3. Incubate 4 to 4 ½ hours, or until the desired firmness.
We incubate for 24hrs since at that point almost all of the lactose is eaten by the bacteria, which makes it easier to digest. However, incubating for 24hrs makes the yogurt a bit more tart.
4. Refrigerate to stop incubation.
We like to enjoy our yogurt with a little honey to sweeten it up or vanilla for some added flavor. We also put in fresh fruit and granola!