Exposure to homemade yogurt
I have been exposed to making my own homemade yogurt since I was a kid. I Learnt it from my mother by the time I was 8. She used to keep the milk ready at the right temperature and asked me to add the culture. When we grew up we had no supermarkets so we saved up the culture and reused it again and again.
Yogurt was a must in our meals especially in the afternoon to close off our lunch.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
There are many health benefits to eating yogurt. What has been scientifically accepted now is that there are many good bacterias which help heal your gut and keep your digestive system healthy. Many ancient cultures have had yogurt in their diet for thousands of years.
“Yogurt is made by fermenting many types of milk — including whole, skim, and evaporated milk — with lactic acid bacteria. These beneficial bacteria are usually from the types called lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Depending on how yogurt is made and what kind of milk is used, the resulting product can have different flavors and textures, and contain different strains of good bacteria.”
I usually make yogurt with Bifidobacterium ( also known as a Bifidus in the local stores in Switzerland) .
Since I didn’t have a good live culture for the video, I have used Lactobacillus bulgaricus which was in hand.
Switzerland is world famous high quality of milk, cheese, chocolates and yogurt. We have also easy access to get raw and biodynamic agriculture milk easily.
For more than 2 decades, I have been buying raw milk directly from the Swiss farmers. For a period of 7 years we lived close to a farm where we could just go with our container and fill up the milk ourselves and paid him at the end of the month. Living in such small villages we knew the farmers well.
I hate all these supermarket milks due to high amount of wasteful packaging. Therefore always bought it directly from the farmers or in recyclable glass bottles which had a deposit in it. These bottles will be sterilised again before reuse.
Yogurt making experience
Moving to Switzerland I had to learn different ways to keep the temperature constant so that the culture will start multiplying and convert the milk to yogurt in a few hours.
In our family we like the home made due to its texture and non plastic packaging.
We eat it almost everyday. I love to end my mid-day meal with yogurt rice mixed with a little salt.
We use it on muesli’s, smoothies, lassi or butter milk in the summer. I also make salad dressing with yogurt and use it in certain recipes for cooking and baking.
How to make Yogurt
- First boil the milk well in a clean pot and let it cool till you are able to do the finger test. Your finger should not get burned nor the milk should be too cold, otherwise the culture will not work. Just about lukewarm or slightly more.
- Add 2 -3 teaspoons preferably good fresh culture into a clean and dried glass jar and mix in the milk. ( I have used recycled 500 ml jars ).
- Mix well and close the lid and keep in a pre-heated and slightly cooled oven. ( pre heat to about 60-70 deg centigrade) and cool for 5 to 10 minutes without opening the oven door and place the jar inside. Close the oven door. I used a heating drawer in my kitchen and set the temperature to 40 deg. Since it does very soft heating it doesn’t kill the live culture and the yogurt works like a dream.
- Keep it in the oven without disturbing for about 8 hours. And when done use them immediately or store them in the fridge. Storing in the fridge sets it a little and its not very runny. If there are no power fluctuations this yogurt lasts upto 3 weeks or more. As long it doesn’t rot or smell bad its still edible.
Finally to sum it up, I would say that its worth while to try your hand at making your own yogurt from good sources of milk. It works best with raw milk.
You will also reduce the waste by using up cycled glass jars. Its as easy as that.
You can read more about how yogurt works here https://science.howstuffworks.com