Yogurt, whether traditional or Greek Yogurt, has become a “superfood” in today’s society and people flock to the store to stock up on their yogurt for their weight loss journeys. In addition to being healthful, yogurt is just delicious! Unfortunately, most name brand yogurts have a number of unhealthy additives – sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and dyes, among other ingredients – that end up making the store-bought yogurt not as healthful.
These ingredients can almost balance out the health benefits of yogurt, making your delicious snack a wash. Fresh, homemade yogurt has good bacteria that help with digestion and kill harmful viruses; store-bought yogurt, on the hand, is difficult to digest and the quantity of good bacteria decreases after being refrigerated for so long. Additionally, store-bought yogurt is generally fermented for a short amount of time, which does not allow the good bacteria to develop and gain the strength necessary to be helpful to your body. The short fermenting time does not allow the yogurt to become as thick and creamy as we see in the grocery store, so the manufacturers must add unnatural ingredients to make it the thick substance with which we are familiar. Finally, because store-bought yogurt is so cold and heavy, it can actually increase weight gain instead of help unwitting customers drop the pounds. Buying organic yogurt is certainly healthier than buying regular, store-bought yogurt, but it can be an expensive habit.
Health Benefits of Homemade Yogurt
Your homemade yogurt will be rich in calcium, protein, riboflavin and various vitamins. There are a great many additional benefits to your homemade yogurt – fat loss, muscle gain, combat stomach problems, and much more, including cancer prevention and immune system benefits. Even better, you will be able to add flavors such as fruits and nuts without having to add sugar and other artificial ingredients. In that vein, you will also have total control over what flavors and how much of the flavors go into your yogurt. The health benefits to making your own yogurt along with the ease of doing so makes the practice of making yogurt easy to get into; not to mention it will help cut your grocery bill, a benefit that can’t be overemphasized for most of us!
Using a Yogurt Maker
You can certainly buy an electronic yogurt-maker to begin your yogurt practice but it is also just as easy to make it by hand; all you need is a quart of organic whole milk – the best is to use organic, whole milk from a local supplier – and two tablespoons of yogurt. Though you will need to use store-bought yogurt as the base in the beginning of your yogurt making, you will eventually be able to make your own yogurt with milk and previously made yogurt. When you make your yogurt, remember that every pioneer project takes some time to perfect; don’t be nervous! Your first batch or two may come out a bit funny, but keep trying until you make the yogurt you find tasty. When you do find that perfect batch, make sure to set two tablespoons aside for your next batch. Your homemade yogurt will typically last five to seven days in the refrigerator and be a little runnier than what we find in grocery stores.