Homemade yogurt is healthy and full of those beneficial probiotics. We have yogurt for breakfast muesli, lassi an Indian yogurt drink and for lunch too. Learn how to make yogurt from organic raw milk without any fancy tools or set up.
WHY I MAKE MY OWN 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. The next day, we enjoyed the yogurt for lunch. When we grew up we had no supermarkets but could get them in small shops or even from neighbors. Therefore, we saved up the culture and used it again and again and managed to keep it healthy and strong.
Yogurt was a must in our meals especially in the afternoon to close off our lunch. According to Ayurveda, eating yogurt at the end of meal, closes up your stomach to prepare for the digestion process. Yogurt at the end of the meal is also satiating.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGURT
There are many health benefits to eating yogurt. What has been scientifically accepted now is that there are many good bacteria which help heal your gut and keep your digestive system healthy. The best way to do that is to eat fermented foods. And yogurt is an easy way to incorporate that into your diet. Many ancient cultures have had yogurt in their diet for thousands of years.
Switzerland is world famous for high quality of milk, cheese, chocolates and yogurt. We have easy access to raw and biodynamic agriculture milk.
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 has advantages, moreover we knew the source of our food and knew the farmers personally too.
HOMEMADE YOGURT IS ZERO WASTE
I hate all these supermarket milk and yogurt due to the high amount of wasteful packaging. Therefore we always bought it directly from the farmers or in recyclable glass bottles which has a deposit in it. We simply have to exchange these empty bottles for fresh new milk bottles. These bottles are sterilised again before the farmer fills them up for re-use.
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HOW TO MAKE YOGURT FROM RAW MILK ?
For making yogurt all you need is fresh raw milk and a yogurt starter culture. You make yogurt by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria, also known as starter culture. The flavor and texture of yogurt depends very much on the type of milk you are using. Raw milk gives the best result according to me. The texture will be different if you are using skim or evaporated milk.
WHAT IS YOGURT STARTER CULTURE ?
You will need live lactic acid bacteria to make yogurt. The yogurt starter turns lactose into yogurt with the fermentation process. The beneficial bacteria is 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. Make sure to check the packaging to see if the yogurt has live culture in it.
Another option is buying a powdered yogurt starter. I have never tried this out, since I use the culture from Coop, Switzerland.
HOW MUCH STARTER CULTURE WILL YOU NEED ?
I have 500 ml honey jars. I usually use around 2 tablespoons of the starter culture. First place the starter culture into a clean and sterilized glass jar. Then add in the warm milk and mix it in.
HOW LONG CAN YOU USE THE SAME STARTER CULTURE ?
I save up a little from each fresh batch I make and use that to make the next batch. Somehow, I manage to keep this starter going for a really long time, sometimes even 6 months. But if the yogurt doesn’t work then, I replace it with a fresh starter culture.
HOW TO MAKE YOGURT IN COLD CLIMATES ?
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.
I learnt a trick from a good friend here who was initially helping us out till we found our first apartment to live. She used to heat up the oven to 70 degrees centigrade and switch off the heat. Then she placed the milk and yogurt culture mixture into it, and next day we had a perfect yogurt. I have been following this method till I moved to this house.
In this house, we opted to fit in a warm drawer below the oven. This helps me to maintain a constant temperature for fermenting . I switch on the heat to 40 degrees. This doesn’t heat up the live culture, but maintains a constant temperature.
HOW LONG DO YOU NEED TO MAKE FRESH YOGURT
If you live in a warm climate, you will not need these ovens or warm proofing drawers. You can make it on the kitchen counter top. It is usually done in 4 hours. Since, I live in a colder climate it takes between 6 to 8 hours. Sometimes, I leave it for almost 10 to 12 hours. The beauty of the proofing drawer is that it doesn’t make it too sour either.
HOW TO MAKE YOGURT FROM RAW MILK VIDEO TUTORIAL
HOW TO MAKE YOGURT FROM RAW MILK
- 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 use 500 ml honey 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 use 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 in an air tight glass jar.
- Storing in the fridge sets it a little and its not very runny. If there are no power fluctuations this yogurt lasts up to 3 weeks or more. As long it doesn’t rot or smell bad its still edible.
- Use fresh milk to make yogurt. Milk older than 3 days can produce a stringy yogurt.
- The stringy consistency can also be due to not the right temperature.
- The yogurt is done, when there is some transparent liquid on the top. This is normal and it is just the whey separating from the milk. You can either dispose that or mix it it. I found that storing it in the refrigerator helps without removing the liquid.
- Any yogurt starter culture will work, make sure it is an active culture.
WHEN SHOULD YOU AVOID EATING YOGURT
According to Ayurveda, you eat yogurt only when the sun is shining. Yogurt is mucous forming therefore, when one is sick with a fever, cold or cough avoid it. Avoid eating yogurt at night too. Yogurt can also increase acidity, therefore, we dilute it with water and add salt and serve it as lassi. This is called buttermilk and has many health benefits too. Easy to digest and if you spice it with ginger and fresh green chilies it will avoid mucous formation too.
Yogurt is the main ingredient for our famous Swiss Muesli. I also use yogurt for smoothies and curries.
OTHER RAW MILK RECIPES