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Homemade Yogurt

More than 20 years ago, on a trip to Mexico, we found a little streetside cafe that was selling fresh yogurt and fruit. Every morning we went there and had it for breakfast. Every time I eat homemade yogurt with fruit it reminds me of that trip. And because I have yogurt as part of my breakfast almost every day, I think about that Mexico trip a lot. It’s amazing how foods and flavors trigger memories.

 

Strictly speaking, yogurt is not a Paleo food. Dairy products are a fairly recent addition to the human diet, which is why so many people are lactose intolerant… many people simply don’t have the digestive enzymes necessary to digest the sugars in milk. That said, yogurt is a fermented food, and fermented foods are very Paleo. And fermented foods are important to keeping our guts healthy.

Homemade yogurt is really easy to make and rich in those important probiotics. Yogurt is pretty much the only dairy product that I eat. And I’m very careful about the type of milk that I use to make it.

 

I use Organic Valley Grassmilk, which is just what it sounds like… It’s organic, so no hormones are added and it’s made from cows that are grass fed. It’s also not homogenized, which is a good thing. Funny thing about homogenization - it actually changes the size of the fat globules in the milk, causing differences in the way your body digests them.  

 

Raw milk works too if you can find it. And I have used raw milk to make yogurt. But I’ve never been able to get consistent results. It’s often lumpy, the liquids separate from the solids and it’s frustrating to ferment yogurt for a day and then have a mess at the end. I’ve tried adding gelatin to it, but even then I’ve gotten inconsistent results. So I don’t bother.

 

 

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 24 hours

Makes about 8 servings

 

Note that I always double this. See notes on the yogurt maker below.

 
Equipment

 

Ingredients
  • 1/2 gallon Organic Valley Grassmilk Whole Milk

  • 3 T commercial yogurt. I like Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain

 
Instructions
  • Scald the milk: Put the milk in a large pan or stock pot on medium/high heat and almost bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off when bubbles are forming around the edges of the pan.

 

 

  • Let the milk cool to 105-110 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check it. This is important. If you do the next step too soon, you’ll kill the yogurt cultures and you won’t have yogurt. It’s okay if the milk cools even further. Sometimes I have more milk than fits in the jars and I’ll refrigerate what’s left and then put it in the yogurt maker when the first batch is done.

  • Take about 2 cups of the milk out of the pan and put it in a bow or large measuring cupl. Whisk in 3T of commercial yogurt. Make sure it’s blended really well.

  • Pour that milk and yogurt mixture back into the pot and whisk very well

  • Pour the mixture into the jars in the yogurt maker. Do not put the caps on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Turn the yogurt maker on and leave it alone for 24 hours. You don’t even want to move it around while it’s doing it’s thing because the movement can cause lumpy separated yogurt.

  • The instructions that come with the yogurt maker say that your yogurt is ready after about 7 hours. Leave it in for a full 24 hours. This way you can be sure that all of the lactose has been fermented and it’s pretty much lactose free/sugar free. It also gives all those great probiotics time to multiply.

  • After 24 hours put the caps on the jars and put in the refrigerator.

  • Serve with fresh fruit of your choice and maybe a little bit of organic honey.