I was at the store the other day buying my multivitamins and I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of probiotic supplements on the shelf. Probiotics are live bacteria that live in our gut and are beneficial for our digestive health. Research on probiotics is becoming more and more popular because those little bugs in our gut may have more of an affect on the digestion and absorption of nutrients, our immune system, and even controlling our appetite than we originally thought. Probiotics are especially beneficial for individuals with gastrointestinal disorders. I’m an advocate for food before supplementation when possible. Food sources of probiotics include:
- Yogurt – Make sure it contains active live cultures. The best bacterial culture for your gut is lactobacillus. A common culture is lactobacillus acidophilus, you may also see it on the label as L. Acidophilus.
- Keifer – This is like a yogurt drink.
- Kimichi – Typically made with cabbage, radishes, and scallions and is fermented in a red pepper paste.
- Kombucha – This is basically fermented tea.
- Sourdough bread
I have recently been making my own yogurt. I made my yogurt in an Instant Pot, however, if you don’t have an Instant Pot there are recipes available online for making your own yogurt in a Dutch oven or in a large pot on the stove top.
*NOTE: This is plain yogurt so you may wish to add a little sweetener to the yogurt. I usually add Stevia or honey.
Instant Pot Yogurt
- 1 gallon of milk (I used 2% milk)
- 3 Tbs plain Greek yogurt – make sure yogurt contains live and active cultures.
- *Optional: Cheese cloth if you would like to make Greek yogurt
1. Pour the gallon of milk into Instant Pot and press the “Yogurt” button, then press “Adjust” until you see the word “boil”. Attach lid and let the Instant Pot work its magic. This takes ~1 hour.
2. Once the timer goes off, remove the lid and stir the milk. Use thermometer to check the temperature of the milk. You want it to read 180°F, if it has not yet reached 180°F press “Saute” and place lid back on. I would only let this sit on “Saute” for 3-5 minutes and check the temperature again.
3. When your milk has reached 180°F, remove the pot insert from inside the Instant Pot and set it on the counter to cool until it reaches 110°F. This may take about an hour.
4. After the milk has reached ~110°F (it’s okay if it is a little lower), whisk in the 3 Tbs of plain Greek yogurt.
5. Place pot insert back into Instant Pot and, once again, press the “Yogurt” button and then press “Adjust” until “8:00” shows on the screen. This is not showing you the time of day it is, this is showing you that the milk will hang out in the Instant Pot for 8 hours.
6. After the 8 hours is complete, you have a couple of options. You may either pour the yogurt into storing containers and refrigerate immediately, or you can make Greek yogurt!
7. If you would like to make it Greek, line a large colander with a cheese cloth and place in sink. Pour yogurt into colander and allow the yogurt to drip until desired consistency is reached. This may take 1-4 hours.
8. Once the desired thickness has been reached, pour yogurt into storing containers and place in refrigerator. Your homemade yogurt will last about 1-2 weeks. Enjoy!