The Health Benefits of Yogurt

September 30, 2014

To say that my family loves yogurt is an understatement, we eat yogurt a lot and it’s pretty expensive. I try to eat Probiotic yogurt pretty frequently because it has so many health benefits:

  • It’s a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to inhibit the growth and migration of breast cancer cells
  • It’s chock full of calcium – Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth, and keeps them strong throughout your lifetime.
  • Protein helps build strong muscles and works along with calcium and vitamin D, for strong bones. Yogurt is a high protein food and protein has the benefit of helping to curb hunger cravings.
  • Probiotics – Although scientist are still trying to work out the benefits of probiotics, here are a few they may help with:
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Produces substances that prevent infection.
  • Prevents harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut lining and growing there.
  • Sends signals to your cells to strengthen the mucus in your intestine and help it act as a barrier against infection.
  • Inhibits or destroy toxins released by certain “bad” bacteria that can make you sick.
  • Produces B vitamins necessary for metabolizing the food*
  • In addition, yogurt is loaded with vitamins, yogurt is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc..

So when I read online that you can make yogurt in your Crockpot I had to try it. Homemade yogurt has a different consistency to store bought yogurt because store bought yogurts tend to use gelatin, pectin or milk solids (dried milk).  But if you would like a thicker version try straining the yogurt through a strainer with a piece of cheese cloth on top.  The more of the liquid (whey) you remove the thicker and more like Greek yogurt it will become.

Crockpot yogurt recipe:
½ gallon of organic milk
½ cup of probiotic yogurt or 3 teaspoons of probiotic yogurt starter (to be used as yogurt starter)

You will also need
1 cheese cloth (for thicker yogurt)
1 strainer

1. Pour milk into crock pot, set to high and allow the milk to sit until it reaches 185 degrees (approximately 2 ½ hours).
2. Once at 185 degrees, crack the lid and allow to cool to 110 degrees (approximately 1 and ½ hours.  Add the culture–either 1/2 cup plain yogurt OR 3 tablespoons powdered yogurt culture.
3. Cover, wrap the whole crock pot in a blanket for a minimum of 5 hours up to 24 hours.  That’s it, you’re done, refrigerate and serve.  It gets even better the next day.

Greek yogurt is simply yogurt strained through a strainer with a cheese cloth on the top. It is much thicker and delicious but you get a lot less yogurt this way.  Chill the yogurt for two hours before straining.  Remember to save ½ cup of your yogurt to be used as starter for the next batch.

My daughter likes plain yogurt with honey or blended with fresh or frozen mangoes, no sugar added. Yum!

* Source -American Gastroenterological Association

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