Homemade Yogurt

I'm gonna get straight to the point about dairy.

It's great.

Real, fresh dairy (that means not the kind of dairy you buy at the store) provides vitamins and nutrients the body can use nourish and heal the gut, brain, and rest of the body. Raw dairy is rich in fatty acids, beneficial bacteria, and enzymes that make it easy to digest, even for those with lactose-intolerance.

A lot of people have told me that they avoid dairy because they've noticed that, when removed from their diet, they experience less abdominal pain or bloating. This is because commercial dairy has been processed, pasteurized, and homogenized to the extent that it damages the active enzymes and natural bacteria found in raw dairy that aid in digestion. Without these enzymes and bacteria, our bodies have to work overtime to break down and digest commercial dairy. Eventually, our bodies get exhausted and run out of resources (pancreatic enzymes and gastric juices and such) to digest dairy at all.

Enter RAW DAIRY!!!  While many people have told me they are unable to drink dairy, an equal number have told me that if they drink raw milk, they are able to consume dairy just fine!! The lactose and casein found in raw milk is accompanied by natural enzymes that break down these sugars and proteins so the body doesn't have to! The body is then able to use the available nutrients easily. It's a miracle!!

However, even on the GAPS diet, all double sugars have to be removed from the diet, including lactose. How then, do I have a delicious, ice cream on my blog???

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Homemade yogurt and sour cream are cultured for 24 hours, during which hungry bacteria feed on the lactose, eating it up, while at the same time breaking down the milk protein, casein.  The process also increases the availability of nutrients and enzymes and increases the number of beneficial bacteria. Cultured dairy is extraordinarily nutritious and will populate your gut with bacteria that balance health throughout the rest of the body. A healthy gut flora is absolutely essential for balancing hormones and regulating metabolism, both of which are essential to weight management. 

So. What do we have after 24 hours of fermentation? A rich, creamy, lactose-free yogurt rich with beneficial bacteria, active enzymes, B vitamins, biotin, vitamin K2, and essential fatty acids. AND get this--it's my favorite part. When you put the yogurt in a mesh bag or container, the drippings are the REAL DEAL WHEY! Like the whey that you buy in protein powder form in the store for workouts!! But THIS contains the high quality protein AND the beneficial bacteria we need to maintain a healthy gut. I add whey to almost every post-workout smoothie I make. Nature is so AWESOME!!

Also don't be fooled by commercial yogurts that claim to help restore gut health. Store-bought yogurt and sour cream are made with milk already stripped of nutrients and are only fermented for a short period. THEN they are often pasteurized again to kill any bacteria that could compromise shelf-life. This kills the delicate beneficial bacteria and strips the yogurt of the nutrients produced in fermentation.



How to Do It

Making yogurt really is not that hard. But you will need to plan out beforehand how you are going to do it. I will show you how I make mine. It's the easiest for me. But I will also link some other sites that show how others without the same materials make it. The most nutritious method is using raw milk (I get mine from Real Foods Market in Orem) but if that's not available, find the the best organic, low-pasteurized, unhomogenized milk you can.

Starter Culture

First, you'll need to make a "starter" or "mother" culture. A mother culture is the jar of yogurt you will use as a starter to make other yogurt batches. It's the same concept as a sourdough starter.

Let's do that first.

yogurt1. In a sauce pot,  heat 1 cup of raw milk to 160° F.

yogurt-32. Remove from heat and let it cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit either in the pot or in a clean, sterilized jar.

yogurt-43. Add about 1/4 packet of yogurt starter to milk.

4. Stir to combine.

yogurt-75. Culture at 110º for 12 hours.

Note: If you are using a yogurt maker, and are only making 1 cup of a starter batch, you may need to fill the other jars with water so that the one jar of yogurt does not get too hot and kill the cultures. You can also do a test run with just water before you try with milk.

Note: As this milk cultures, keep the rest of the milk in the very back of your fridge so that it stays as cold as possible. If you are not planning on using the raw milk within the next couple days, freeze it so it does not turn sour.

You now have a starter batch! If you don't make yogurt within a week, you'll need to make a new starter batch. Just re-do the steps above, but instead of adding 1/4 packet of powdered cultures, add 2 tsp of your starter batch.


yogurt-91. Heat 1 quart (4 cups) of raw milk to 110° F.

If you want a more consistent texture for your yogurt you will need to heat it all the way to 160° F, which will gently pasteurize it. Otherwise, your yogurt will have a pretty unpredictable texture, but will contain all possible enzymes and nutrients.

yogurt-22. Cool to 110° F

3. Add 2-3 Tbsp of your starter culture and stir to incorporate

4. Pour into jars

yogurt-105. Culture at 110° F for 24 hours. Place in refrigerator to stop fermentation.

That's it!! You now have traditional, healthy, homemade yogurt! To make sour cream, simply use cream top instead of milk. And now you can find organic, grass-fed cream at Sprouts! For those who struggle with constipation, sour cream is better for loosening stools than yogurt. But for those who struggle with diarrhea, homemade yogurt can do miracles in regulating bowel movements.

The steps below show you how to make sour cream using a dehydrator.

I've also provided some links to other websites that have great resources and recipes for homemade yogurt and sour cream, as well as a few of my own recipes! Check them out! You might become as addicted to cultured dairy as me;)

Sour Cream

sour cream1. Heat 1 quart (4 cups) of cream to 110° F (or if using store-bought cream, heat to 160° to kill lingering unnatural bacteria). Cool to 110 ° F.

sour cream-22.Add 2-3 Tbsp of your starter culture and stir to incorporate

3. Pour into jars

sour cream-35. Culture at 110° F for 24 hours. Place in refrigerator to stop fermentation.


http://www.culturesforhealth.com/     Starter cultures, instructions, tips, and troubleshooting

http://www.realmilk.com/     Resources for finding raw milk near you

http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=30     Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's instructions for cultured dairy

http://ournourishingroots.com/real-food-101-how-to-make-yogurt/    Basics of why and how to make your own yogurt

http://www.lovingourguts.com/gaps-basics-how-to-make-gaps-yogurt/     In-depth blog article on home cultured dairy


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4 Responses to “Homemade Yogurt

  • Hi, I have a question for you about diary. My food sensitivity test showed that I’m off the charts in dairy. I am doing gaps.
    Do you think I should just do GAPS minus the dairy and make homemade coconut keifer yogurt instead? What is recommened in this situation?

    • amoffat
      1 year ago

      Hi Lisa! Dr Campbell-McBride recommends slowly introducing dairy later in GAPS if you seem to have a sensitivity for it. As you heal your gut and seal the gut lining, you should be able to reintroduce dairy slowly later on. Coconut milk kefir is a great idea if you want to do yogurt. You can do a variety of different cultured products like water kefir, beet kvass, fruit kvass (like this one), sauerkraut, etc! Does that help?

  • Please, where do I get this yogurt starter? I want to begin my own home made yogurt. I am tired of these stores yogurts that’s filled with nothing but sugar and sweeteners.
    Please help. I live in Orem.

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