The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Frequently Asked Questions
Yogurt making is fairly foolproof as long as you respect the fact that the yogurt making process involves a living organism that is temperature sensitive - too hot and you kill it; too cold and it won't work or multiply. This will probably be more detail than you need, but there may be something useful in it for you. SCD yogurt is also an important part of the SCDiet, because the live culture in the yogurt repopulates the gut with 'good' bacteria, thereby bringing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria under control.
The flavour and texture of the yogurt depends on the kind of milk you use. The richer the milk, i.e. the more butterfat or milk fat it contains, the less tart and the thicker the yogurt will be. No matter what kind of milk or cream you use, make sure that it has no additives such as carrageenan, xanthum gum, dextrose, or other emulsifiers or sweeteners. It should contain nothing but milk, and sometimes cream. If you cannot find regular commercial dairy products that are additive free, you may need to use organic products.
For those who are sensitive to cow milk, you may find that you tolerate homemade yogurt made with goat milk. The protein molecules in goat milk are shorter than the protein molecules in cow milk, and are more delicate therefore. Instructions for making cow milk and goat milk yogurt are below, as well as the different methods you can use to make yogurt.
Finally, for those who find that they are sensitive to both types of yogurt, you may try draining some of the liquid off the yogurt to make it easier to tolerate. Instructions for 'dripping' cow milk yogurt can be found in BTVC on page 134, and for goat milk yogurt, at the Upper Canada Lower Bowel Society site. Once drained, the yogurt is referred to as dripped yogurt, yogurt cheese, or SCD cream cheese. It can be eaten plain, or used in recipes as a substitute for dry curd cottage cheese.
Making SCD Yogurt in a Yogurt Maker
1.) Put one or two liters (quarts) of milk into a clean pot and heat slowly on a medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 degrees F.* Stir the milk from time to time to keep the bottom from scorching, and again before you take a final temp reading to make sure that the entire contents have reached 180 degrees. The purpose in heating the milk to this temperature is to kill any bacteria that might be present and interfere with the yogurt making culture.
*Both cow milk and goat milk must be heated to just past 180 degrees F, in order to sterilize them. However, cow milk can tolerate temperatures up to about 212 degrees F, while goat milk is more delicate and should not be heated above 185 degrees F.
2.) Turn the heat off and allow to cool to 70 degrees F. Stir well before determining the final temperature. You may cover the pot with a clean tea towel while it cools.
3.) Pour the milk through a little sieve into the yogurt maker insert, to remove the film that forms on the top of the milk as it cools. You do not have to, but it will make for smoother yogurt.
4.) If you use freeze-dried Yogourmet yogurt starter, put it into a measuring cup, add several tablespoons of the milk and mix it well until it seems well dissolved. Then add about half a cup more of the milk, mix well, and pour all of that back into the milk in the yogurt container. Again, mix it well. Put the lid onto the yogurt maker insert, making sure it is secure.
If you use store bought yogurt as your starter. The yogurt you buy can contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Streptococcus Thermophilus, and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. It must not contain Bifidus/Bifidum bacteria. Nor should it contain gums, sugars, or additives, or flavors of any kind. The culture must be active. Use ¼ cup per liter of milk, and follow the instructions as listed above, for freeze-dried starter. You should not use once batch of homemade yogurt as starter for another.
5.) Fill the outer container of the yogurt machine with warm water to the appropriate mark (i.e. for 1 liter or 2 liters... or as instructed for individual cup yogurt makers)
6.) Put the yogurt maker liner, containing your milk and yogurt culture into the machine - in some models, it may feel as if it is floating in the water slightly. This is fine. Put the top of the yogurt maker on, plug it in and forget about it for at least 24 hours. I put a sticky note on the top with the time so you will know when 24 hours has elapsed.
7.) After at least 24 hours, unplug the machine and remove the inner container. Carefully, (remember - it's ALIVE), put the container into the fridge and let it rest for about 8 hours until it has cooled.
8.) Gently but thoroughly, stir the yogurt with a spoon or metal whisk to make it smooth. THAT''S IT! If you stir it too much it can separate, so remember to treat it gently.
Making SCD Yogurt in the Oven
Follow steps 1 through 3 for making yogurt in a yogurt maker.
4.) In a separate bowl, place either 1 cup of plain commercial yogurt or freeze-dried yogurt starter and slowly add some of the cooled milk, mixing it well with a whisk or electric hand mixer. When this solution is blended well, add it slowly back into the pot, again mixing it well.
5.) Place the covered pot in oven with a 60 watt light bulb on. Keep a thermometer (you can purchase a nice big outdoor one at Home Depot for about $3.99) in the oven and maintain the temperature at 100 to 110 degrees F. If the oven becomes too warm, use a pen to prop open the door just a bit. Once you have done this a few times, you will get a feel for how your oven best maintains this temperature. Ferment the yogurt this way for 24 hours.
6.) After 24 hours, remove the pot from the oven and put it in the fridge for about 8 hours. Do not disturb the yogurt until it is set up properly, or you will change the consistency.
7.) Gently but thoroughly, stir the yogurt with a spoon or metal whisk to make it smooth.
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