Introducing microorganisms into your body for beneficial properties is the definition of probiotics. Probiotics, more specifically, are bacteria and yeasts that are healthy for you. When I first started making water kefir (a wonderful probiotic option) I taught my kids the basic science of the process and was met with numerous exclamations of how they were not going to drink anything they had to feed like a pet!
We‘ve been making water kefir for several years now and numerous family members have gone from cringing at the thought to asking me how soon I can make more when our current refrigerated stock is depleted. This form of probiotics has definitely strengthened our immune systems.
This post is dedicated to another type of probiotic, which is easy to make and tremendously beneficial to your health: Homemade yogurt. You may have hesitated to try making yogurt in the past because you read complex instructions that involve coolers, incubation systems and other complicated things that make it all seem like more work than it might be worth. Enter: The crock pot.
As a busy homeschooling mom with five students to teach every day and a work-from-home job plus all the other typical things we average moms do in a week, I am all about simple, inexpensive and quick means for keeping my family healthy. The following instructions will make approximately 4 and 1/2 quarts of homemade yogurt that can be the first step toward probiotic goodness in your household:
*Pour a gallon of milk into a crock pot. (Raw cows’ milk is even better but if you use store bought, at least try to find some that does not contain the disgusting bovine steroid hormones. Any whole milk will make the yogurt just fine but why not use the healthiest options available?)
*Turn your crock pot on high for two hours.
*Turn your crock pot off for two hours.
*Stir in one cup of plain flavored, organic yogurt. (Use Greek style of you like it best. Also, you can make yogurt with as little as ½ cup of the starter yogurt but through the years, I have found 1 cup to work best.)
*Remove your crock pot from its base (with lid still on) and wrap it tightly in a light-weight blanket or towel.
*Place it on a counter or under your stove light (That‘s what I do.) for approximately 8-10 hours. I just leave mine overnight and it works great!
In the morning, you will want to strain off some of the liquid that will likely be floating on top. Then use a funnel and ladle to spoon batches of yogurt into mason jars. Keep it refrigerated and flavor as you like with toppings, such as walnuts, bananas, berries, pure honey and more! Your body will thank you for it!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.