Hey there everyone! I hope you and your families are finding time to just be. I so enjoy the rhythm to our days this time of year. Happy, dirty and exhausted from running around outside, napping hard or resting...coming together for a story..... I'm trying hard to s-l-o-w down and just be with them. That is my most important job. Being available and attentive to my little ones. (Besides being a child of God and wife.) It is easy to get too busy....and my recent goals include taking away some of the things that take too much time away from them. It's all good.
My husband just recently got a new job....after 5 months of unemployment! Yes, that is not a time I want to relive. Well, I would like to say he was eating just as healthy when he went back to work.....but I wasn't packing him lunches...(naughty, naughty wife!), and I tell you what.
It has caught up with him.
He told me about his "stomach problems" that he's had for a week, and I knew what the answer was.
No more eating out!
Wifey to the rescue, with good food filled with probiotics to get his digestive system back in tip-top shape! Okay, first I decided to make homemade raw yogurt....so simple!...and full of probiotics to boot! Probiotics are basically the good guy bacteria that help us to get back to or maintain a healthy digestive system. They are excellent to make a part of your normal, healthy diet. Also, if you are needing to take an antibiotic for any reason, you especially would need these good guys, because antibiotics get rid of all bacteria in your digestive tract, good or bad. You need the good! So, I make sure my family and I get a decent amount of probiotics in our diet. Plus, it's a tasty way to eat!
Starter: To get started you will need a yogurt culture to add to your milk to culture it. Your "starter" can be any yogurt that contains live and active cultures. I recommend a plain store-bought organic yogurt. Once you have made a batch of yogurt with your store-bought starter, you can use your homemade yogurt as a starter for the next batch. However, after about 4 batches of yogurt, the strength of the cultures will decline, and you'll want to go back to the store-bought starter again.
This was the starter I chose to use: (Me likes organic valley....but the cost is too high to not make my own!)
Whoa! Bad, bad fuzzy picture.....as I say below, my daughter confiscated what possibly might be a camera of hers that I possibly use on a daily basis. I possibly irritate her immensely doing so.....so I assume she gladly finagled it and took it with her on her trip. She doesn't need it...I do!
- 8 cups of raw milk
- In a large saucepan, heat milk just to 110 degrees (these keeps it raw, including keeping all of it's enzymes intact.), then remove from heat.
- Add yogurt starter and mix well.
- Pour mixture in containers of choice, (I like glass pyrex containers), cover with lids, and let sit to culture for about eight hours. It needs to stay at a consistent temperature of 110 degrees for the full 8 hours to fully culture. More on this below.
Before it sits to culture and after heating, pour honey and vanilla, fruit of your favorite flavor, or maple syrup into the containers. When yogurt is done culturing, just stir and enjoy!
Here is my yogurt, ready to culture!
Ooh, look! A clear picture!
This is my method of incubating, or keeping my yogurt consistently at 110 degrees:
You know, I think the yogurt is making my shelves bow in the middle. Good little shelves, don't break now. You'll be alright. You have many years of hard work ahead....so buck it up, please! I apologize for my picture fuzziness. Again, I miss my daughter's camera. Well, gotta do with watcha got, right?
Side note: The almonds are "crispy almonds" made the Nourishing Traditions cookbook way. I soaked 4 cups of them in tablespoon of sea salt, and covered with water overnight. Then drained and threw on the tray. 12 hours later you have wonderful crunchy, crispy almonds. (Soaking removes the phytates, and makes the nuts digestible, and allows you to absorb all the good nutrients they have to offer.)
- Pour yogurt into glass containers and cover. Place them in the oven with just the oven light or pilot light on.
- Pour the yogurt into glass containers and cover....place in a crockpot with warm water in it. Then wrap the crockpot with a towel to keep it insulated.
- A yogurt maker or dehydrator are the easiest, due to the fact that you can regulate the temperature.
- Put yogurt in glass containers and cover...put into a thermos with a lid and place the thermos in an insulated cooler filled with warm water. Wrap the cooler with a towel for insulation.
-All the methods, OTHER than the yogurt maker and dehydrator, must be checked frequently. You want to be sure it is maintaining a 110 degree temperature (or just below), for 8 continuous hours.
***Please note: This won't be creamy or dreamy unless you use a thickener in it of some sort....my top two favorites are knox brand gelatin and xanthan gum.....For the gelatin...use 2 teaspoons for every 8 cups of yogurt. For the xanthan gum use 1 teaspoon every 8 quarts. Sprinkle either one on as the yogurt is warming up, stir in with a spoon, and whisk up with a fork. It will not thicken until it has cooled, so please keep that in mind.
Have a blessed day! Joy