When meeting new patients, I ask them about their digestion, no matter what their symptoms are. That’s because poor digestion or a disrupted microbiome can be at the root of a wide range of issues from a weak immune system, hormone imbalances, a sluggish metabolism or mood swings and depression. One of the best ways to support your digestion is to eat plenty of probiotics, which help to rebalance healthy gut flora. In my experience, it’s best to get some of these probiotics from food, as well as from probiotics pills. Eating foods such as kombucha, sourkraut, miso, kimchi, and yogurt. To get the best effect you need to feed the probiotics as they travel through your gut by eating prebiotics.
What’s the difference between a preobitic and a prebiotic, I hear you ask! Simply put, prebiotics are fibrous vegetable matter that stimulates the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria. They include legumes, beans, and fibrous green veggies.
One of my favorite ways to consume probiotics is through yogurt, so I wanted to share with you my go-to homemade yogurt recipe!
- Milk (I like to use whole milk, but you can use an alternative like coconut.)
- Live yogurt of choice (If you’re unsure if the yogurt you have is a live yogurt, check the label to see if the terms ‘live cultures’ or ‘active cultures’ are used. If they are, then you’re good to go!)
- I use a wide mouth thermos that can hold a 1-quart mason jar, like this one. In fact, this kit comes with instructions on how to make dairy-free yogurt with coconut milk. However, I use whole milk.
- I heat the milk to blood temperature. (The instructions give exact temperatures, but I just check it with my finger and if it feels lukewarm, it’s the right temperature.) If I have time, I heat the milk on the stove but if not, I heat it in the microwave in a pyrex jug for 2 1/2 minutes.
- While the milk is heating, fill the mason jar and the thermos with hot tap water to preheat them.
- Stir the warmed milk and check the temperature with your finger. When it feels lukewarm, add 3 tbsp of live yogurt to it.
- Pour the hot water out of the mason jar and the thermos to make room for the milk and yogurt mixture.
- Put the milk and yogurt mixture into the mason jar and put the mason jar in the thermos
- Leave it out on the kitchen counter overnight (or at least for 6 hours).
- Take the mason jar out of the thermos and put it in the fridge and you have a quart of yogurt.
- When you want to make more, use 3 tbsp of the yogurt you made to make the next batch.
That’s it! Enjoy!