How to culture your own raw yogurt

Hello from Park City, Utah! I am currently visiting my parents for 10 days. What better thing to do while recovering from an injury? Mothers are the ultimate source of comfort, even semi-tough love moms, like mine.

Before leaving for Utah, I wanted to squeeze in a quick gym session at the rec center. After a decent workout of:

  • pull ups
  • bench press
  • back extensions
  • tricep dips
  • dumb bell push press

I was walking to my car and someone yelled,

“Work that boot, girl!”

My boot-induced swagger was immediately converted to a legit, confident swag, even if only for a moment.

It didn’t hurt either that the yeller was a particularly sexy individual of the species basketball player. 😉

If there is one thing I have learned from this experience (there are many, obviously), it is that whenever I encounter someone with an injury or illness, I am not going to verbalize how sorry I feel for them. Honestly, that usually just makes people feel worse. What is actually helpful is to be positive, and either crack a [respectful] joke about the situation or say something encouraging like “You will only come out stronger!” or “Its only temporary, you can handle it!”

Anyway, to speed the fracture healing I have been making bone broths and homemade yogurt. I will do a bone broth and supplement post a bit later, but today I want to teach y’all how to make your own raw, grass-fed, organic, cultured yogurt.

Step 1: Buy a large mason jar, a small container of yogurt, a thermometer, and a quart of raw, full fat, grass fed, organic milk. In California this can be done at a co-op or Whole Foods. You can also try going directly to a farmer. If raw milk is impossible in your area, at least get your hands on some full fat, grass fed milk.

Step 2: Pour the milk into a large pot and place on the stove. Turn the heat onto medium low. Heat the milk and check the thermometer until it reaches 112 degrees F. Do not go above 112 degrees or else you will begin to degrade the fabulous enzymes in the milk that make raw dairy so much more digestible and beneficial than pasteurized dairy.

Step 3: Once the milk reaches 112, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of regular, plain yogurt. This will provide the needed bacteria. Pour the mixture into the mason jar and seal. Do all of this as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Wrap the mason jar in foil and then wrap in a towel. Place in a dutch oven or a regular oven. This is to keep the milk as close to that temperature for as long as possible.

Step 5: Let the milk sit for 6-24 hours. I did 24 so it would be more thick. Occasionally I would turn the oven on the lowest setting for just a few minutes to raise the heat, but making sure it would not go over 112 degrees. Once the yogurt is fairly thick, store in the fridge, where it will thicken a bit more.

Step 6: Enjoy plain or sweeten with fruit, honey, vanilla extract, stevia, whatever!

Benefits of Raw & Grass Fed Yogurt:

  • Enzymes –  Raw yogurt never reaches temperatures that kill the beneficial bacteria and denature the enzymes that are naturally in the yogurt. These bacteria and enzymes help break down the lactose in the yogurt, which is typically what causes the bloating, gas, and discomfort that people experience when they eat pasteurized dairy. Furthermore, raw yogurt is an excellent source of naturally occurring probiotics, which aid in digestion, regularity, and possibly conditions like IBS and Crohns.
  • Fat – 2/3 of the fat in yogurt is saturated which, as I have written about before, is not the health demon it has been made out to be in the media. Ssaturated fat is needed for making hormones and maintaining cell membranes. What is especially cool about saturated fat is that when it reaches our stomach, it stimulates the release of the hormone CCK. One of CCKs functions is to signal to the brain that we are satiated, so eating a bit of saturated fat can help us feel full and stop eating. The fat that we need to be on the look out for are certain omega 6’s fatty acids, which are found in vegetable oils. Grass fed cows fat contain more omega 3’s instead of omega 6’s because they eat grass, instead of corn and soy and wheat feed.  Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory and beneficial for health, whereas omega 6’s are pro-inflammatory.
  • Vitamins – Raw yogurt is rich in vitamin A, D, E, K, and B vitamins. Vitamins A, D, and K are essential for calcium absorption and work together synergistically for maximal absorption. Yogurt is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D, and we need it!
  • Calcium – one cup of full fat yogurt has 30% of your daily needed calcium and only 160 calories! It also has lots of potassium.

8 thoughts on “How to culture your own raw yogurt

  1. I love this! But here in Canada raw milk is illegal 😥 Its so stupid….I would sign a million petitions to legalize raw milk! Anyway I love your yogurt and bone broth mentions, its really the best you can do for your body.

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