The Benefits of Homemade Yogurt

The Benefits of Homemade YogurtFrom scarily-colored Go-Gurt to creamy, uber-expensive Fage, the yogurt market is packed with flavors, textures, and  options. But sometimes, simpler is better. If you’re trying to get more yogurt in your diet, or worried about creepily omnipresent additives, maybe it’s time to invest in a yogurt maker.  (If you’re brave, you can make yogurt without a maker, but a yogurt maker takes the guesswork out of the process by regulating the temperature for you.)

But life is busy, clutter is bad, and making yogurt sounds like something a pioneer woman would shy away from. So why bother?

1. It’s good for you.

Yogurt is full of protein, B vitamins, calcium, and healthy bacteria cultures that keep your digestive system happy, your intestinal microflora balanced, and your immune system strong. But you’ll only get these bacterial benefits from yogurt with “live and active cultures,” and homemade yogurt definitely fits the bill (see #4).

2. It’s cheap!

I absolutely love Greek yogurt, but I can’t always afford it. At $4-7 for 32 ounces or less, it’s a habit I occasionally have to break. But to make a batch of your own plain yogurt, all you need is milk and “starter”–a.k.a. a little bit of yogurt. Last time I checked, a gallon of milk was, what, $3? And you can get your own yogurt maker for around $20-40, so it’ll pay for itself in a few batches.

3. You control the ingredients–every single one.

Worried about additives, thickeners, scary flavors, and artificial coloring? Not in this batch. When you make your own yogurt, you make it your way. Lactose intolerant? Vegan? Make yogurt with almond or coconut milk. Craving something sweet? Flavor it yourself with extracts, maple syrup, or fruit juice.

4. It’s fresh.

The live bacteria in yogurt are what makes it so healthy, but the longer yogurt sits around, the lower the bacteria count. When you make your own yogurt, you’ll be eating it just hours later. Doesn’t get much fresher (or more bacteria-friendly) than that!

How often do you eat yogurt? Do you have a yogurt maker? Let us know in the comments! 

photo attribute: By Ned Jelyazkov (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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