While it only takes a few minutes to screen through the yogurt selection most supermarkets offer and delight yourself with delicious aromas and textures, recent studies have shown that this isn’t the healthiest way to get your probiotic and calcium doses. Many companies add artificial flavors, colorants, or sugar to the final product, making it more enjoyable to the thong but not so pleasant to the gut.
Thus, the alternative of homemade yogurt becomes increasingly more attractive, especially as the method has simplified considerably over the past years. With the best yogurt maker, you can today just mix the ingredients, set the program, and get your favorite treat in 6 to 12 hours. Moreover, you will be in charge of selecting the milk and the flavors, which can be 100% natural this time.
If you prefer the traditional method, it’s good to know that it still stands, and you can find everything you need around the house or with a short, cheap visit to the supermarket. Today we will explore both methods and discuss the advantages of using raw milk instead of pasteurized, processed milk, so read on and learn how to make wholesome, nutritious yogurt for your loved ones.
Why pick fresh milk over pasteurized milk?
First, let’s take a look at the differences between these types of milk. The pasteurization process implies heating the milk to a precise temperature for a well-established amount of time to allow the heat to destroy possible harmful bacteria that may be lurking in it, like salmonella or E-coli. According to some studies, some nutrients are lost in this process, along with a part of the vitamin C contained in the milk. Nonetheless, the milk is safe for consumption, being recommended for babies and pregnant women instead of raw milk.
So, what is fresh milk then? The term refers to the milk that comes directly from the cow without being exposed to any thermal treatment. It is also known as raw milk. There’s a whole controversy around it, many people claiming that it can be more dangerous than beneficial to the health, as it is seen as a source of bad bacteria. Nonetheless, this usually happens if it is obtained from unreliable sources, where the hygiene standards are low. If you get yourself a trustworthy provider, preferably local, you can consume the milk as it is. Or boil it at home and then use it for the yogurt. However, it is still not recommended for kids, pregnant women, and individuals with a weak immune system.
How do you make yogurt from fresh milk?
Now that you’ve picked the type of milk, let’s do a quick list of what you’ll need.
- Organic and local milk
- Starter culture (you can either use a powdered culture, store-bought yogurt, or preferably a previously-made batch of homemade yogurt)
1. Traditional Method
It has been used since the discovery of yogurt, and some people still apply it, as it isn’t actually as complicated as it may seem. The trick here is to provide the proper temperature, so the bacteria used to thicken the milk don’t get killed or inactivated, a phenomenon that can happen either if the temperature is too high or too low.
For this method, you will only need the jars and a warm place where to deposit them during the fermenting process. Here’s how it goes.
- Heat two quarts of milk to a temperature of 180F. Thus, some of the bad bacteria will be killed, but the good stuff will be preserved.
- Let it cool down to 110F. It is the perfect temperature for the bacteria culture you use to start functioning.
- Add the powder culture or 3 to 4 teaspoons of plain yogurt. Even if it may seem that adding more will make the yogurt thicker, it won’t. It will actually make it sour, so make sure to follow the recipe.
- Stir the mixture gently and pour it into the jars. Don’t cover them with their lids.
- For this step, you can either tuck the jars in kitchen towels and place them in a warm room or warm up the oven for 5 minutes on the lowest setting, then turn it off, place the jars in and let the light on. The idea here is to ensure that the yogurt’s temperature doesn’t drop under 100F.
- Leave it overnight or for at least 8 hours for the bacteria to eat the sugar in the milk and make it thick.
2. Yogurt Maker Method
If you are always on the run, this method may work better for you. It implies the use of an electric device known as the yogurt maker. To put it short, it helps you maintain the right temperature without too much hassle. Let’s see how this works.
- The process starts the same way: heat the milk, let it cool down, mix it with a bacteria culture, and pour it into jars. Once again, no lids. You can also add fruits if you wish.
- Place the jars in the device and select the desired program. Now you just have to wait from 6 to 12 hours, and the yogurt maker will let you know when your healthy treat is ready. It is as simple as that.
Yogurt can be a healthy source of nutrients and calcium, as long as it is prepared naturally with high-quality ingredients and without additives. So why leave it to the yogurt companies to decide what you should consume? As you have seen, obtaining a good quantity of fresh and nutritious yogurt per day isn’t that difficult. You can use raw milk, which preserves more of the minerals and vitamin C, and add your favorite fruits. If you like sweetened treats, just add honey or sugar, but in a smaller quantity. Be the yogurt master, mix, and try until you find the perfect recipe.