It is becoming more and more well known that yogurt is a healthful food to consume, particularly for it’s probiotic effect. The problem is, commercial yogurt does not truly contain the benefits that make yogurt such a super food. In order to truly reap the excellent nourishment from yogurt, it must be cultured properly. Consuming yogurt made from raw milk obtained from healthy grass fed cows is the best option available. It’s also very simple to do in your own home. If you have access to raw milk, making your own yogurt is a cinch.
Yogurt contains the friendly bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus. It is this very bacteria that will work in your body to fight off bad bacteria. Nowadays, bad bacteria is prevalent in our guts, it is critical to consume as many probiotic foods as possible to keep bad bacteria at bay. Raw milk yogurt also contains more enzymes, another important key to vitality missing in the modern day diet. These enzymes are critical for your overall digestive health, as well as your immune system. Raw milk also contains lactase, the enzyme that is needed to break down the milk sugar, lactose. Many people are intolerant to lactose, this is often due to having used pasteurized milk that does not have the ability to break down the lactose. Raw milk solves this problem in most people.
Methods to Make Raw Milk Yogurt
First, you need to decide which method you will use. There are three that I will recommend. First, you can use a yogurt maker if you have one. Though it is not necessary to buy one. Secondly, you can use a dehydrator if you have one, again it is not necessary to purchase one just to make yogurt. Thirdly, you can use a stainless steel thermos. This last method is the most affordable.
All three of the above options will use the same heating method for the milk and adding the culture. Each will vary in the final steps of ‘incubating’ the yogurt. For a yogurt maker follow the instructions of the manufacturer. For a dehydrator, simply place the finished yogurt product in your dehydrator at 95 degrees for at least 8 hours to overnight. And lastly, the thermos method, you simply place your final yogurt mixture into a thermos and set on the counter overnight. Super simple!
If you want your yogurt to have an even thick consistency you will need to heat the milk first. Heating the raw milk just to about 110 degrees will help to keep the live enzymes in the milk intact. It is possible to make raw milk yogurt without heating the milk whatsoever, but your results will vary and the consistency could be rather runny or lumpy.
1 quart raw milk
2 tablespoons plus2 teaspoons yogurt with live bacteria
Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches 110 degrees. Pour the milk into your thermos or a quart jar. Add 2 Tbsp. yogurt to the milk and stir. Cap the thermos and leave on the counter overnight or up to 24 hours. Or the quart jar, if using and place in dehydrator at 95 degrees overnight and up to 24 hours. Or, pour the mixture into the cups for your yogurt maker and proceed with the manufacturers instructions. Transfer your vessel to the refrigerator once done! It’s as easy as that!
Remember to keep some of your homemade yogurt to serve as a starter for your next batch!
Have you tried to make raw milk yogurt in your home? If so, what has your experience been like?