“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Making SCD Friendly Yogurt

Here are directions for making great SCD friendly yogurt, in the kind of detail I wish I would have had when I started the diet.

Note of caution: My family likes this yogurt so much, they won't eat store bought yogurt anymore.

Equipment you'll need:
-1 Gallon Soup Pot (I make it a gallon at a time, makes the measurements easy. You can use an expensive yogurt maker, but I didn't see the point, when I could get the necessary equipment at Wal Mart, Target, or some other chain store for ~$15)
-Electric Heating Pad (think, drug store, my back's sore, $12 no more, heating pad)
-Candy Thermometer (~$3 at Wal Mart, Target, pick your store)

-1 Gallon (organic) Milk. Why mess around, organic is the way to go.
-1 Cup PLAIN Yogurt.

Now, Elaine and others say you can use any starter yogurt you want so long as you avoid Bifidus bacteria. Sure that's fine, if you'll eat just any yogurt--runny, thin, yogurt. But if you want thick, rich, yummy yogurt, you should use Plain Greek Yogurt as your starter. It's strained and makes thick, wonderful yogurt. Be sure to stick to the bacteria constraints Elaine outlines in her book.

-Slowly bring the milk to ~200 degrees. Stir often to keep milk from burning. If the milk burns, and you accidentally stir in that burnt stuff, your yogurt will suck. Promise.

-Cover, put on a rack in the fridge for about 1:45 until it's 100-110 degrees, optimal growing temp.

-Whisk in 1 cup yogurt.

-Cover and place the pot on the hot pad (I use medium setting), to maintain temp of about 100 degrees. -Yogurt bacteria will grow between 80 and 110, but 90-100 is ideal. You'll need to check this periodically (every 3-4 hours) for your first few batches to figure out what setting on your hot pad keeps the milk/yogurt mixture at ~100 degrees.

-Let the mixture ferment for 24-36 hours. 24hrs is the MINIMUM. I do 32-36 hours. Makes great, thick yogurt.

-Remove from hot pad, place directly in fridge for 4-6 hours or until it comes to equilibrium temperature with the fridge.

Pull out the pot, and divide into clean containers. I've kept it for 12 days. but 7-10 is probably the safe range. If you want to ensure the integrity of your yogurt you can sterilize your containers with boiling water or 10% bleach solution (be sure to rinse with LOTS of water after, if you choose to use DILUTED bleach).

Total Time commitment:
25 min to heat the milk
~1:45-2 hrs to cool the milk
3 min to whisk in the yogurt


  1. Hi Matt - Katie Waterhouse from church - I saw your link on Michelle's FB page. We have lactose issues and go through a lot of yogurt. I don't like most yogurts because they have so much sugar and coloring added but good yogurts can be really expensive. I am going to try this recipe and see if my kids will eat it. Do you add fruit or anything else?

    Also, as long as I'm here. What brand of probiotics do you use? I've started using it recently because my kids complain so frequently of belly aches. Michelle said to look for the ones with the highest amount - something in the billions. I have one right now that says 4 billion CFUs. Do you have a recommendation? Thanks.

  2. Hi Katie! I have a few thoughts in response to your comment.
    I do add fruit, honey, etc., but not to the whole batch. Without preservatives, it wouldn't last as long once you added stuff to it. So I just dollop out what I want, add some fruit and honey, or granola, whatever and eat. In my mind that maintains the integrity of the rest of the batch.
    I use NATREN brand probiotics. www.natren.com
    They are the best. They send you live (inactive by the cold, but live) bacteria, whereas other companies do not. They also do things right in the lab and are upfront and honest about lab proceedures, strains, growing media, etc. As a bio-geek, I need to know that stuff.
    Probiotics measure dose and potency in CFU, or colony forming units. You need to be careful, some companies will put the dosage on the back (#CFU/Pill or teaspoon), but they cannot guarantee that you will get that potency from the bottle/package. Natren will guarantee that. They have a bunch of information on their website. I think for kids, 1-2 BCFU/day is fine.

    If they are lactose intolerant, they will do fine with this homemade yogurt, as it is lactose free, for all intents and purposes. Also aged block cheese (cheese aged more than 30 days) has a negligable amount of lactose.