I’m very excited about this recipe. Raw milk yogurt – or any homemade yogurt for that matter – tends to come out a little runnier than standard store bought yogurt. There’s a reason for that, of course. When you make yogurt at home, generally you are making it only with milk and a culture. To keep their yogurt thick, yogurt from the store may contain all sorts of thickeners that might make you raise an eyebrow – “modified corn starch” anyone? Blech.
Sure, if you want to make your yogurt thick, you could always strain it. This does have it’s advantages, like being an easy way to collect whey for fermentation. But the texture of strained yogurt can be a bit on the pasty side, depending on how much whey you strain out. So, what if you don’t want to strain your yogurt? What if you want to ferment your yogurt to be nice and thick while keeping it’s creamy texture? What if you wanted to do all those things, and you also want to keep your yogurt healthy and natural?
As it turns out, we can learn something from yogurt manufacturers. (Whaa?! I know!) Adding a thickener to your yogurt doesn’t have to be a scary thing, especially when the additive is as healthy as gelatin. Gelatin is essentially animal collagen – it’s what gives Jello it’s wiggle, it’s what gives homemade broth it’s ‘meat jello-like’ appearance, and it also happens to be an excellent thickener. As for it’s health benefits, it’s one of the main reasons broth is recommended for people with digestion issues, it’s been used as a supplement to maintain healthy bones and joints as well as reducing arthritis, it’s recommended as a supplement for hair, skin & nails, and there have even been some reports (though anecdotal) that taken as a supplement it can reduce wrinkles.
So, I feel ok adding gelatin to my yogurt. And also, I got to break out my new toy:
I purchased the Euro Cuisine YM80 yogurt maker. I love it. I think this is the perfect machine to make 24-hour SCD style yogurt, and I’ll tell you why.
1. It does NOT have an auto shut off. It looks like it does, but it doesn’t. This is a bonus for 24-hour yogurt. Most auto shut offs are somewhere between 8 and 12 hours – which means, for one batch, you would have to turn the machine back on 2 or 3 times. Without an auto shut off, I don’t have to think about it for a full 24 hours.
2. It keeps yogurt at exactly the right temperature the entire time. I saw one review for this model that said the temperature rose to between 130 and 140 degrees. That is totally unacceptable – especially for raw milk yogurt. However, I checked the temperature on my yogurt a few times and it never left the acceptable range.
3. It comes with 7 glass jars – perfect for portable yogurt. Ferment the yogurt in the glass jars, throw a lid on each one, store them in the refrigerator and then you can grab one on the way out the door as an easy snack.
So, I’m a fan of this machine. If you are in the market for a yogurt maker, I highly recommend it. It makes an amazing yogurt!
Now, on to the recipe! (And don’t forget, you can also make yogurt in a crock pot.)
Raw Milk Yogurt (Extra Thick!) Recipe
(See printer friendly recipe below)
Step 1: Add the milk and gelatin to a saucepan. Gently heat until the milk reaches 110 degrees. (I usually stop at 105 because my thermometer will go up to 110 from residual heat. Do not go over 110. See notes below.)
Stir to fully incorporate the gelatin. No lumps!
Note about temperature: This is for raw milk yogurt. If you are using pasteurized milk, you should heat the milk 180 instead of 110 to kill off any bacteria. Then, let it cool to about 110 before adding the culture.
Step 2: Add the whey and stir to incorporate.
Step 3: Pour the mixture into the glass jars that came with the yogurt maker – each jar holds 6oz – leaving the jar lids off.
Step 4: Cover the yogurt maker with the yogurt maker lid and turn on.
Step 5: Let heat for 24 hours.
Step 6: After 24 hours, add a lid to each jar and store in the refrigerator. It will thicken up nicely as it chills.
Step 7: Eat and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Generally, raw milk is not recommended for people without robust immune systems because it is not pasteurized. The warning on my current jug of raw milk reads “Warning: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and persons with lowered resistance to disease have the highest risk of harm from the use of this product.” So, you need to decide for yourself whether or not raw milk is a good food to include in your diet. I have only decided raw milk is a good food to include in my diet. Any risk you may encounter from trying out this recipe is yours and yours alone. I don’t know if you are buying your milk from a reputable source, if you have sufficiently sterilized your tools/yogurt maker or if you did something else to introduce bad bacteria into your yogurt. So, use this recipe at your own risk, but please… do your research and be careful!