Benefits of Raw Milk Yogurt and how to make it at home

IMG_3944Raw milk is truly one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and has a nutritional profile unlike any other food. It is even called a traditional super-food. When you combine this super food with live probiotics ( like yogurt cultures and kefir )- you get a nutritional powerhouse that not only feeds your brain and body, but it also feeds your gut with beneficial organisms that keeps pathogens at bay and heals the digestive system.  If you are unsure about whether raw milk is safe, check out this article by Dr. Axe on  5 reasons raw milk benefits are out of this world!

 

The best way to include probiotics in your diet is in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt.  Yogurt and Kefir are my top choices in adding a healthy daily dose of these good guys. And both are super easy to make at home. I’ll show you how below.

IMG_3947In North Carolina, we don’t have access to raw milk. However, South Carolina is just a few miles away and it is for sale there. I buy mine from Milky Way Farm every other week. I grab my cooler and get fresh nutrient dense whole milk and cream to make my yogurt, kefir and butter. But what if you don’t want to drive to SC? There are other choices of milk that you CAN use. It won’t have the same nutritional profile that raw milk does- BUT it can come close. The next best option is buying a milk that is pasteurized but NOT ultra- pasteurized. The ultra pasteurization kills ALL the beneficial enzymes and yogurt and kefir will not culture well with this type of milk. When I run out of my raw milk and the pic up day has not come around yet, I buy Homeland dairy from The Bradford Store right down the road in Huntersville.

Homemade Yogurt

Your first step is to grab your supplies. You will need:

1/2 gallon Raw whole milk

2 quart size mason jars– make sure they are clean and sterile (you can run them through your dishwasher or place upside down in boiling water for 2 minutes)

1/4 cup plain yogurt or 1/4 cup from your last batch of homemade yogurt (you can buy a small 8 oz container of organic plain yogurt at the store for this)

A candy thermometer – (See the picture below)

A spoon or rubber spatula

Step one: Heat your milk to 110 degrees 

yogurt 1

Once your milk is heated- Let it cool to 86 degrees

Step 2: Pour milk into your Mason jars

Step 3: Add 1/4 cup of your plain yogurt to each jar and stir

yogurt 2

Step 4: Let time do the work- Put a cap on each jar and place in your oven with the oven light on. Let it sit overnight or 12-24 hours.

I use a Yogotherm. It keeps the milk at a more consistent temperature to allow the milk to culture. But it’s not mandatory.

yogurt 3

And that’s it! Seriously simple right?! In the morning you have fresh homemade yogurt that is a fraction of the cost that you have to pay at the store.

I serve my yogurt with fresh berries and some local raw honey. Or you can use it in smoothies, as a dip or to make yogurt cheese.

Want to learn more about how to make traditional foods at home? Join me in the upcoming workshop. I’ll teach your how to make homemade sourdough bread, butter, fermented veggies and how to soak/ sprout your grains and turn them into your own nutrient dense flour. To learn more – Click here.

Enjoy!

In Peace and Wellness, 

Chris

Eat Bread? Why…Yes!

sourdough boule

One of the most common food groups that participants of The 30 Clean want to reintroduce back into their diet is grain of some kind. Many people miss bread. However, many also fear the reintroduction of bread will mean bloating, gas and other possibly uncomfortable symptoms. So, what is the best way to introduce bread back into your diet and is there any health benefit?

First, it is important to be mindful during the reintroduction phase, so you can understand if you have any potential intolerance or allergy to grains or gluten. I personally believe sourdough bread is one of the best ways to reintroduce wheat to your diet. Why sourdough bread? The answer is found in the bran part of wheat called phytic acid. It is a safety mechanism that protects the seed but makes it extremely hard for our bodies to digest. In commercial breads, wheat flours and grains, phytic acid is what inhibits enzymes that are needed for the breakdown of proteins and starch; making it difficult to digest. Phytic acid also binds to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc making these important nutrients unavailable for the body to absorb.

But sourdough bread actually predigests the flour and reduces the phylates, which makes this bread easier to digest and releases those necessary micronutrients. Sourdough bread is actually an ally and the wild yeasts in the sourdough starter neutralize phytic acid while the bread rises over a 12-24 hour time period. So, sourdough bread may actually be okay for those intolerant to gluten and it may aid in digestion instead of inhibiting it. Now when you think of piping hot sourdough bread with grass-fed butter, you can actually feel good about the decision to eat it!

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Sourdough bread is truly EASY to make. It just takes intention. I mix up my bread in the morning (a process that only takes about 10 minutes ) and let it sit overnight while the fermentation of the starter does its magic. In the morning I bake it and the smell of freshly baked bread brings smiles to everyone’s face. It has become the most asked for bread that I have made over the years. The ingredients are simple too- flour, water, salt, coconut oil and honey. So when you are ready to reintroduce wheat, give sourdough bread a try. You really can make delicious and nutritious bread that you and your family will not only enjoy, but mostly likely not feel any uncomfortable symptoms from eating.
The sourdough recipe can also double as pizza dough, tortillas and hamburger buns, giving your family healthy choices instead of store bought breads containing artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup and rancid oils that affect your digestion and your health. Get your sourdough recipe HERE and let me know how you like it! Don’t forget to spread it with fresh homemade butter! Don’t forget your sourdough culture, which you can purchase HERE. Once you have your first starter, you will have it forever as long as you take care of it. There are actually starters that are over a hundred years old. Shows just how ancient this bread really is!

Enjoy friends- and if you have any questions- feel free to send me a message.
~ Chris Williams