Yogurt is liked by a large number of people around the globe - both for its taste and health benefits. It is a rich source of essential minerals like Zinc (for cell growth and repair), Calcium (for healthy bones), Phosphorus (works with Calcium to enhance bone strength and growth) and Potassium (for proper functioning of muscles). It is also a great source of multiple B vitamins like Riboflavin or Vitamin B2, B8, B1 and B5, and also a rich source of Thiamin and Foliate. Eating it regularly may boost several bodily functions. For instance, it has been found that yogurt reduces the risk of heart disease and Osteoporosis. It also aids in weight loss.
Yogurt is made by fermentation of milk using bacteria, called ‘yogurt cultures’. They ferment a natural sugar found in milk, called lactose and produce lactic acid. It thickens milk proteins and gives a unique flavor and texture to yogurt.
You must have tried store bought yogurt - which tastes delicious but contains many unhealthy substances, like sugars, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and thickeners, like gelatin (glue made from animal bones), pectin (a bio-polymer acid, lab-made ingredient) and powdered milk. It is also heat processed to increase shelf life, which may destroy live bacterial cultures. As a result, almost all the good stuff is processed out. But why go for store bought yogurt when you can make this healthy, delicious dairy product at home.
All you need is a breathable (semi-porous) pot, milk (raw or pasteurized) and live culture (leftover yogurt from the previous batch)! The conventional metal pots don’t let excess water filter out which then calls for straining. But in a breathable pot, excess water evaporates, leaving the yogurt thick and creamy and altogether eliminating the tedious process of straining.
I personally use MEC’s pure-clay™ pot for this purpose. It is free from chemicals and metal toxins, so the natural taste of yogurt is not altered. Once you have the right pot, the process is quite easy:
Heat the milk: Pour milk into your pot and set it on the stove top. Start the stove on low and in 5 minutes increase to medium. In about 30 minutes, you should see tiny bubbles forming on the surface. When at least a quarter of the top surface is covered in bubbles, the milk has reached temperature, turn the stove off.
Add the live-cultures: Open the lid and let the milk cool a bit. With clean hands put your little finger in the milk and if you can hold it there for 5 seconds, the milk is ready for the culture. If you can’t hold your finger in for 5 seconds, wait some more. When buy online , add the culture to the milk and briefly stir it in.