Recipes, SCD, follow my journey!
I promise to update this post tomorrow but I just made my first batch of scd yogurt and.. It’s just perfect.
So! Here we go! Unfortunately I don’t have pictures to show you a step by step, but maybe I will the next time I make a batch! I was just incredibly scared and anxious about how this batch would turn out. And you see, I am on a budget so I didn’t want to have to waste an entire half gallon (2 quarts/~2 liters) of milk! You might say… Why not make a smaller batch? Well, in case you have never made SCD yogurt or done the research (I’ve stressed over this for months and probably read every forum and blog on the internet space about this!), it takes 24 hours to incubate, and about 2-4 hours to prep and clean, as well as 8 hours in the fridge to set. If you got the time to make it often, good for you! But I wanted a batch to last me for at least 2 weeks, especially with the holidays coming up (happy early Christmas!) and just a busy schedule.
So the appliance I decided to use was a Crock Pot brand crock pot. It was on sale and I didn’t want to have to spend more than 15 dollars on a yogurt maker that was of crap quality. I wanted versatility. I was nervous at first because it seemed this process was not very accurate. Mixed reviews online. And since I have a conventional oven, but no light inside, I was afraid my cultures would never be warm enough. But I combined a few different methods I saw online (using a picnic cooler, steam from a pot) and was able to make it work! I am so proud of my yogurt and have to thank God for it because I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect looking and tasting yogurt! I also like this method because cleanup is easy (even if you burn your milk).
1. Spoon out about 1 Tablespoon of yogurt for every quart of milk into a mixing bowl or cup. Let sit and get active while you prep your milk.
2. Block the vents in your oven. Boil one or two pots of water and let it sit in the oven, rack below where your yogurt will sit. This will create a nice steamy environment for your yogurt to culture. If you have an oven light you don’t have to do this-simply keep the light on. Close the oven door.
3. Pour your milk into your crock pot. On low setting in your crock pot, let warm up til 180-190F. I did this on the stove on low, but it took about the same amount of time plus or minus half an hour, and I got burnt milk on the bottom. Plus I had to keep stirring to make sure the milk was evenly heated. So that’s my suggestion – Leave it in the crock pot! This will take you 2-3 hours but keep an eye on that thermometer! I don’t know now your crock pot works.
4. Prepare a large bowl/fill the sink with cold water and an ice bath. My bowl was 4qt so my pot fit perfectly inside. Don’t fill it so high that water could get in, ruining your milk, but enough so your milk can cool down before you add your cultures in.
5. Yay you’re heated! Move the crock pot insert into the cool ice bath,whisking frequently to distribute the temperature. This is the quickest way unless you want to put it outside on a cold winter day but it’ll be harder to keep track of the temperature. It took about half an hour for my half gallon of milk. Goal: ~110F.
6. Pour in about a 1/4 of your warm milk into the bowl where your lovely yogurt has been hanging out, and whisk gently but thoroughly. Once you think all your little bacteria have gotten around, pour the mixture back into your crock pot and mix thoroughly again. You want the bacteria to evenly distribute. But in case you were keeping track of the temperature, it might have gone down another 10 degrees! Don’t worry, just wrap up your pot (I line the rack where it will sit) around top to bottom. My crock pot lid doesn’t fit perfectly because they stupidly designed some weird inserts for spoons I guess, so I wrapped in aluminum foil before closing. You can remove the thermometer and keep it in the oven to keep track of temperature. I didn’t.
7. Let incubate for 24 hours. After about 4 hours, you can open the oven to see how your yogurt is doing. Mine already started getting thick and letting out some whey. But if you open the oven, I encourage you to boil another pot of water. Now I’ve noticed that my curious dad opened the oven and didn’t close it right around hour 12. I was nervous but boiled two pots and replaced the other two, and it seemed to work. Altogether, I boiled and replaced water 3 times – the first time at the 4 hour mark after checking on the yogurt; the second time about 7 hours after that/11 hours in before bedtime. Then one more time in the morning about 8 hours later/20 hours in.
8. I was so excited I literally watched the clock for 24 hours! I ran to my oven, and uncovered to see a beautifully cultured yogurt! You are tempted now to see the consistency, but as long as it’s not sloshing around in your pot, you should be good to stick it in the fridge for 8 hours (steady hands!). If it’s still thin, you can try to do another 4 hours, with boiling water in the oven again. But if that fails, look up ricotta cheese on Google and follow that recipe. Let’s not waste when we don’t have to!
9. After 8 hours in the fridge, untouched and unshaken (I hope!), I stuck my spoon in and it’s consistency was perfect: a little runner than cream cheese, but not thick like sour cream. Very fluffy. Since it was my first try, I took an 1/8 of a teaspoon and had no problems!
10. I have seen methods where people make it directly in glass cans. I guess that’s even less messy but jars in boiling hot water don’t really make me too excited. My glass jars seem pretty high quality but why risk it? I don’t mind washing my crock pot any how =)
Important: If you’re like me and this is your first time ingesting yogurt, start with 1/8 of a teaspoon. If it’s too much and you get a reaction, wait a few more days and try again. If you’re fine, try 1/4 of a teaspoon. If that’s fine you should be able to have 1/2 cup with no issues. Don’t have more than 2 cups a day.
Remember, you need this. You’ve starved off your bad bacteria but you haven’t destroyed them. Yogurt floods your system with good soldiers to kill them off. I hope this was helpful for you! If you can’t tolerate cows milk, try goat milk. If you still have a reaction, try freezing the milk and trying it. There are no more probiotics but if you have a reaction, it’s the dairy. Sad? That’s ok, I understand. Look up fermented vegetables and try fermenting veggies and fruits (also try this website) you can tolerate. Probiotic pills are less effective than yogurt, but better than nothing. If you go with Probiotic pills, take them before bed on an empty-ish stomach. Read the label for your pills to make sure there is no wheat, soy, gluten, dairy, casein, and random additives that are illegal. Most will have a vegetable casing – – that should be ok.
This stuff gets expensive so save wherever you can! Merry Christmas =)