You’ve probably heard that fermented foods are great for you, and they are, if they are made with good quality ingredients, and include a healthy, healing mix of probiotic cultures, and they don’t have sugar in them. But products that meet all those criteria are not easy to find in grocery stores! So I’ve put together this set of instructions to guide you in making your own yogurt, kefir, and sour cream – it’s super easy, and the end results are so delicious and good for you, you might never want to go back to store-bought!
While these instructions will work using dairy products, for optimal health, I recommend using coconut milk or coconut cream instead of dairy. Be sure to choose coconut milk and coconut cream that do not have any additives or thickeners such as guar gum (which is a gut irritant for many).
- Pour 2 cans of coconut milk into a saucepan and heat to 145°F, stirring frequently.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, that’s fine, just heat the milk until it is just barely starting to bubble/simmer.
- Note: This gentle heat treatment helps to create a neutral bacterial environment into which to introduce the specific bacteria we want to create our healthy homemade yogurt.
- Remove from heat, cover (to keep out bacteria from the environment), and let sit and cool gradually until it is around 100°F (= slightly warm to the touch).
- If you are in a hurry, you can speed up the cooling process by putting the saucepan in a cold water bath and then stirring the milk frequently.
- When the milk is ~100°F, gently mix in ½ packet (~1Tbsp) of powdered probiotic starter into the slightly warm milk, gently stirring or whisking until it is well mixed in.
- Pour the mixture into glass jars, put lids on, and keep at ~100 degrees, undisturbed, for at least 24 and up to 36 hours.
- [Here’s a quick how-to on prepping your jars in 60 seconds.]
Methods for keeping mixture at ~100°F degrees:
- put in a yogurt maker
- sit them on top of a heating pad kept on low
- put in the oven with the incandescent light bulb on
- keep in the oven turned on lowest setting beforehand and then turned off and kept closed
- while still warm, wrap in a towel and place in an insulated cooler or in a high, warm cupboard
- Voila! Done.
- Place yogurt in fridge and enjoy some every day.
- If you like it thicker, strain it through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to remove some of the excess liquid.