Do you seem to get every cold, flu and sickness that goes around? Ever take antibiotics? Do you eat processed foods more than twice a week?
If you said yes to any of those, there’s a good chance your gut flora is imbalanced. Research shows that our immune system is mostly found in our gut and having balanced gut flora is key to good health. Our highly acidic Standard American Diet coupled with our love for antibiotics is literally killing our healthy bacteria and leaving our digestive tracts as easy prey for bacterial overgrowth and digestive diseases.
I’ve seen general immunity and even life-changing digestive disorders (IBS, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, etc) greatly improve simply by adding quality probiotics to the diet. Of course, as I mention in my post How To Naturally Heal Digestive Disorders (Ulcerative-Colitis, IBS and Crohn’s Disease), I’ve also seen those disorders healed completely when people follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is where I first heard about the benefits of making your own probiotic-rich yogurt.
Last year, I shared a post on how to Fight Cancer and Boost Your Health with Homemade Yogurt. I explained how gut flora is being linked to cancer, digestive diseases, and poor immunity but that you can get billions of live probiotic cultures without spending a fortune on supplements.
Since then, I’ve perfected my yogurt-making skills and want to share my new tips and tricks with you. For starters, while I do love my Yogourmet Yogurt Maker (it’s even better than the EuroCuisine I used originally), if you’re not keen to add another appliance to your kitchen, I have great news! You can make amazing European-style yogurt with nothing but a soup pot/dutch oven, a beach towel, glass bowl, and your oven light!
The reason is, even fancy yogurt-makers are really just low-temperature hot plates. They are not “cooking” the yogurt so much as they are creating a slightly warm environment for the fermentation process. Your oven light actually produces enough heat to have the same effect as a pricey yogurt maker. I even spoke with one man who has made his own yogurt for years using nothing but a camping cooler and a hot water bottle!
Domestica’s Tangy Oven Yogurt
6 cups milk (I suggest using organic, grass-fed whole milk)
2 packets of Yogourmet Starter
You Will Need
– a large soup pot or Dutch Oven, with lid
– small bath towel
– a large glass bowl that fits up to 6 cups liquid and will fit INSIDE your soup pot/Dutch Oven
– an oven with a working light
- Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat, being mindful to not let the milk boil. Using a candy or meat thermometer, remove from heat when it hits 185˚ to 200˚ F. This heating process kills all the bacteria cultures in the milk so the good bacterias in your starter can do their job. Skip it and you will most likely end up with runny soup instead of yogurt! You’ve been warned!
- Once milk has cooled to room temp, pour a few cups of the cooled milk into a large glass bowl. Whisk in two packets of Yogourmet freeze-dried culture until fully dissolved and then pour the remaining milk into the bowl.
If you have a yogurt maker, now is when you put the milk inside it, turn the baby on, and let it make yogurt-magic on your counter for the next 24-30 hours.
- To make the yogurt in your oven, place your small bath towel inside a large soup pot or Dutch Oven, letting it cover the bottom and sides to create a layer of insulation. Carefully place the bowl of milk/yogurt starter inside and cover the Dutch Oven with a lid.
- Turn your oven light on but DO NOT turn your oven heat on! Situate the oven rack so that the Dutch Oven is directly underneath the oven light (or as close to it as possible) and let ferment for 24 – 30 hours. Try not to open the oven before that!
Domestica’s Yogurt Tips
- I prefer whole milk as low-fat milks make runny, watery yogurt. And why are you eating nonfat milk anyway?! Shame on you. You know what I think about that.
- The longer you ferment, the more tangy (or European) the yogurt will taste.
- In order to have the best probiotics (and to have your yogurt be lactose-free), make sure to ferment for at least 24 hours (and up to 30).
N.B.: If you are highly sensitive to dairy, homemade yogurt should be okay for you but be aware that you may need to ease your system into it. It’s recommended that people with highly-sensitive lactose intolerance start with 1 tbsp of the yogurt and then build up from there each day.