Say Goodbye to Store Bought Yogurt – Benefits of Making Yogurt at Home
Making yogurt at home is much healthier than the store-bought yogurt, but some still go for the store bought yogurt because of the difficulty involved making yogurt, and understandably so! This article aims at focusing on the homemade yogurt benefits, while providing solutions that make yogurt-making far more convenient. With yogurt-making made easy, you can say goodbye to store bought yogurt and embrace the wonderful healthfulness of homemade yogurt!
Why Yogurt is so Good For You – Yogurt as a Superfood
Yogurt is a complete superfood and an excellent part of your healthy diet. It is full of health benefits and can be combined with a variety of foods. Yogurt is a great probiotic, detoxifier, and a perfect food for weight loss. On top of that, it is great for your gut health and healthy skin!
Why is Yogurt a Super-Food?
Yogurt is loaded with good bacteria which can improve your gastrointestinal system. It is rich in zinc and has anti-inflammatory properties. When combined with other nutritious fruits and vegetables, it makes for a healthy combo that can even shield you from health problems including some forms of cancer and tumors.
It is also good for skin and hair, which is why, it is a key ingredient in certain home remedies for sunburn and hair fall.
The Science Behind Yogurt
Certain bacterial species (like Streptococcus thermophilus (S. thermophilus); Lactobacillus bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus); L. acidophilus; L. casei; L. rhamnosus; Bifidobacterium animalis or Bifidus; and B. bifidum) can ferment lactose – a natural sugar found in milk, and produce lactic acid. The lactic acid thickens milk proteins and gives a unique tart flavor and texture to the yogurt.
The bacteria partially breaks down the milk which makes yogurt easier to digest than milk itself. Furthermore, eating yogurt regularly helps replenish the healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which are lost when you have an upset stomach or you take antibiotics.
The Benefits of Making Yogurt at Home
Making yogurt at home is not only healthier and more nutritious, it also saves you from unhealthy additives and sugars in the store bought yogurt. Homemade yogurt- when made right- turns out thick, creamy, and naturally flavorful, so you don’t need artificial thickeners, sweeteners, or other additives.
Making your own yogurt empowers you to try out different flavors by combining it with other foods and trying different recipes. You can use a single batch of yogurt for different uses and recipes, for instance: as plain yogurt, as yogurt salad, and in hair remedies. It is less expensive and has much more to offer in terms of health benefits and taste, compared to the store bought yogurt.
Why is Store-Bought Yogurt Not as Healthy?
Store bought yogurt is heavily processed and treated with unhealthy preservatives, thickeners like gelatin (glue made from animal bones), pectin (a bio-polymer acid, lab-made ingredient), powdered milk etc., and artificial sweeteners. Also, almost all the probiotics and nutrients are processed out, which restrains its potential health benefits from reaching your body.
Some Cons of Making Homemade Yogurt, and Our Solution
The task of making yogurt comes with its own issues and even the most expensive yogurt maker pots fail to make the process as convenient as it should be. This often makes people compromise on the health benefits of homemade yogurt and turn to less healthy store version.
The Main Issues With Making Yogurt
The most common issue is yogurt turning out watery or runny. This happens because the pot doesn’t allow for any excess water to evaporate. Straining might help but the good bacteria also go out with water while straining.
Some people also complain of yogurt turning out sour. There could be multiple reasons for this – milk not heated to the right temperature, the pot leaching into milk while heating and making it acidic, the inability of the pot to retain heat for long enough, not using the right quantity or quality of live starter cultures and so on. The same factors can also sometimes result in yogurt not setting up at all.
Here is an easy solution to all such issues that will also make your yogurt thick and delicious without additives.
An Excellent Natural Solution to These Problems
Using the right pot for heating milk and setting yogurt is crucial for the incubation process to be successful. An unglazed primary clay pot is the healthiest and natural option to carry out the natural fermentation of milk.
Miriam’s Earthen Cookware – a US-based cookware brand offers pots and pans made from lab tested primary clay without any additives, glazes or chemicals. Keep reading to discover how using such a pot resolves all the issues discussed above.
MEC pots have semi-porous walls that make them breathable. They let excess water evaporate while the yogurt is setting up and makes it thick and creamy. The naturally non-toxic primary clay ensures no leaching when milk is heated. Also, MEC pots are great retainers of heat so they maintain the temperature of milk required for making yogurt. There is no need to wrap the pot with a blanket. And it turns making yogurt into a simple 3 step process that takes only 10-minutes hands-on:
- Heat the milk (raw milk or pasteurized)
- Add the starter culture, and
- Let it ferment at room temperature
Here are some detailed instructions for making yogurt at home!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much culture should I use?
If your live culture is strong, the minimum required starter culture to yogurt ratio is 2 Tbsp. to 1/2 gallon of whole milk. If you are just beginning to make yogurt and are buying starter cultures from store, usually the bacterium or culture is weaker, and you might need 1/2 cup culture to 1/2-gallon milk. But once you start making it at home and your yogurt starter culture is from the prior batch of MEC yogurt, then 2 Tbsp. live cultures for every half gallon is adequate to make thick yogurt.
Does homemade yogurt have more probiotics than store bought?
Certainly. The heavy processing and use of additives in regular yogurt you buy from store destroy probiotics. On the other hand, you can prepare homemade yogurt by natural fermentation of milk minus the processing and with no additives. The rich probiotics keep getting stronger the longer it stays in the clay pot.
Does the homemade yogurt taste different from store bought yogurt?
Yes, unlike store-bought yogurts, your homemade yogurt has no artificial flavors or sweeteners. It has a rich and creamy taste it naturally acquires during the incubation process.