Guest Author - Arrow Durfee
Yogurt is incredibly healthful to your large and small intestine and everyone would do well to eat it daily. But if you have a large family it can get kind of expensive and then there is always the question if the product you are buying is really alive and of good quality probiotic. In this recipe you will learn how to maximize the benefits of those expensive probiotic pills that you have purchased..
All these issues can be answered if you learn to make your own yogurt. Itís easy and fun and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving the best to you and your family.
Also, many people who are lactose intolerant can eat yogurt as the lactose is all predigested by the yogurt flora.
Hereís what you will need.
2 quarts of whole milk
One cup heavy cream
One stainless steel or enamel pot to hold 2 quarts
A candy thermometer
2 glass jars with lids. I use Mason jars but any glass jar with a lid will do.
Yogurt culture or a container of fresh yogurt with guaranteed live culture
A picnic cooler
Hot water bottle
Remove one cup of milk and add your cup of cream to equal 2 quarts and put into your pot. Heavy cream will make for a thicker and more satisfying yogurt. The micro-organisms love it. You could also add dried powdered milk for a thicker culture but be sure it is organic and conventional dried milk products use strange methods.
Heat until it hits 180 degrees. You donít want to boil it, but you know if you do it is not the end of it, I have made yogurt with milk I left too long on the stove that even boiled over.
Heating to 180 degrees will eliminate any competitive microbes that might make your yogurt fail. This is a good time to add stevia to sweeten, but donít add too much. You can always add more after according to everyoneís preferences. I always add it per each individual serving.
Cool the milk to 110.
When it is cooled down to it is time to pour it into your jars with your culture.
One packet of culture usually makes one quart of yogurt. If you are using store bought yogurt for your start have about 2 tablespoons in the jar ready at room temperature.
This is also the time to add two capsules of your favorite probiotic. Simply open the capsules and pour it in then give your jar a shake. I use VSL#3 probiotic in capsule form.
Each capsule provides about 125 billion live micro-organisms. Iíve been using 2 capsules but next time I may try one.
Place the jars in the picnic cooler with a hot water bottle in contact with the bottles. Make sure the hot water bottle has pretty very water in it as this will keep your culture warm as it grows.
Close your cooler and let it sit for at least 6 hours.
If you want thicker yogurt let it sit from 12 to even 48 hours. The longer it sits generally the thicker it will get and also the more tart. If it does not get as thick as you would like consider adding 1 cup of powdered milk when you heat your milk up to 180 degrees next time. If you keep it going for longer than 10 hours you will want to put new hot water in your hot water bottle.
After your yogurt is done and things look good, take one jar and scoop it into a clean ice cube tray and freeze. Remove the yogurt cubes from the trays after it is frozen and put into a freezer zip lock bag. These cubes with be the start for your following yogurt batchs. Use two cubes per quart and let them melt before you add your 110 degree milk.
Remember, the longer batches are propagated off of the previous batch the weaker your culture becomes. Usually somewhere around the 4th or 5th batch it will be time to add more probiotics to your batch. You should not need to do it every time.