I have a tendency to stick with kefir because 1) it's totally raw 2) it has more benefits than yogurt and 3) it's so much easier! But there really is nothing like a healthy yogurt with berries and granola!
Unfortunately, flavored yogurt from the store often contains more sugar than Lucky Charms! Making it homemade is cheap, healthier, and far more rewarding!
But making yogurt from raw milk and getting it thick can be tricky, but it can be especially tricky with goats' milk. Since we raise goats for milk, I had to figure out a way to make it work! And because I'm really not a big fan of heating the milk to 180* (thereby destroying the beneficial enzymes) to make yogurt, my goal was to find a way to make goats' milk yogurt thick without pasteurizing the milk. I did, and here's how!
(This recipe can be used to make raw milk yogurt with cow's milk too but I recommend reducing amount of gelatin by 1 tsp per quart.)
1/2 gallon raw milk
4 tsp grass-fed gelatin if goats' milk, 3 tsp if cow's milk
1/2 cup yogurt starter or 4 probiotic capsules*
Heat the milk to 110*F over low-medium heat, being careful not to get it over 118*. Turn off heat and whisk in gelatin very well. Then whisk in yogurt starter*. Place into yogurt-maker cups or another device to keep the yogurt at 110* for 12-14 hours.
The amount of gelatin is enough to make it thick but without being too much like Jello. The health benefits of gelatin are incredible, including helping improve joint health, help heal and seal a leaky gut, reduce likelihood of stretch marks during pregnancy and other skin benefits. Check out Grass Fed Girl's post detailing these and other great health benefits of gelatin! http://www.grassfedgirl.com/top-20-health-benefits-of-gelatin-helps-prevent-arthritis-cellulite-stretch-marks-wrinkles-brittle-bones-and-more/
I use Vital Proteins Pasture-Raised Beef Gelatin (Click for more info.) It is made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.
*After much experimentation, I have found that Life 9 probiotic capsules from Young Living work much better than using yogurt from the grocery store as a starter. The yogurt sets faster (12 hours instead of 14) and gets thicker. Because it gets thicker, I use 1/2 tsp less of gelatin when using Life 9 capsules.
Per popular request, I have lots of posts coming up on homesteading including raising dairy goats and poultry for meat and eggs naturally. Be sure to enter your email address in the box on the right to subscribe to my posts so you don't miss any of it!
Blessings of good health,
~Sara Jo Poff
Natural Health Practitioner
If you own goats, be sure to check out my controversial post CAE: What If We Have It All Wrong.