Yoghurt is one of the most widely available and popular “health” foods on sale today. Once a product that had to be sought out in health food shops, it now occupies prime shelf space in supermarket chillers everywhere.

Yoghurt’s Benefits

Yoghurt’s popularity is not surprising when you consider its health benefits.

  • Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium and can assist in bone growth and the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • “Active” or “live” yoghurt contains bacteria beneficial to the healthy functioning of the digestive system and can aid in strengthening the immune system, improving the absorption of nutrients from food, reducing the incidence of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Regularly eating yoghurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to dramatically reduce vaginal yeast infections.
  • Yoghurt is a good source of complete protein.
  • Yoghurt is rich in B vitamins, potassium and magnesium.

What is it?

Yoghurt is a fermented dairy food made by adding bacterial cultures to either cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk. These cultures multiply in the milk turning its lactose (the sugar found in milk) into lactic acid and producing a tangy food the consistency of thickened cream.

The most beneficial yoghurts are those in which the bacterial cultures are “live”, as these have the greatest likelihood of promoting colonies of good bacteria in the gut. Many supermarket yoghurts are not live and additionally contain high  levels of added sugar.

One of the best ways to be sure your yoghurt is live and avoid that damaging sugar is to make your own. It’s a simple process that requires very little in the way of equipment or ingredients.

Making Yoghurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre of milk (can be full fat or low fat).
  • 120 grams of a good quality plain, unsweetened, live yoghurt.

Method:

  • In a saucepan gently warm the milk until it is just above blood temperature – about 43˚ Celsius – and remove from the heat. Temperature is important – if the milk is too hot or too cold the culture will not grow.
  • Place your starter yoghurt in a bowl and gently add an equal amount of warmed milk to it. Stir to form a loose paste.
  • Stir your milk/yoghurt mix back into the saucepan with your remaining warm milk.
  • Transfer the contents of the saucepan into a warmed glass or ceramic container.
  • Cover the container and place it somewhere that will allow it to maintain it’s lukewarm temperature. A chilli bin or inside the oven will work for this. Alternatively you can wrap the container in a blanket.
  • Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 8 hours.

Storage

After 8 hours the bacteria should have colonised the milk and your container will be full of delicious, healthy yoghurt. You can refrigerate it now, or leave it to sit for up to 24 hours if you want a stronger tasting yoghurt with higher levels of beneficial bacteria.

How to Make Yoghurt at Home, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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Comments

  1. I love the word yoghurt and used to have fun pronouncing it ‘yoggit’ when I lived in the UK. Those ready made yoghurt containers and sachets you can buy at the supermarket are pretty good too. Nice and easy and tastes like the real thing when you get the knack.

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