I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, but something about yogurt has always scared me. I think it has to do with the bacteria, and the fine line between good bacteria and bad.
Growing up, I was constantly asking those around me – first my mom, then later in life my roommate, and now my husband – “Is this yogurt still good?”
To which they would almost always reply: “I don’t know, when is the expiration date? Did you stir it? How does it smell?”
Once I removed dairy from my diet, I didn’t really have to worry about that anymore. I also didn’t eat very much yogurt prior to this either, since I’ve always felt the store bought varieties were lacking.
That was until I decided to try my hand at making my own.
YUM! I quickly discovered that homemade is really the way to go.
When you create your own, you can control the amount of sugar, how thick it is, and what flavor you want to make.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
You may be wondering, is this stuff even healthy?
Why yes, yes it is! Below are the top reasons you’ll want to add this creamy concoction to your diet, maybe even daily.
- Digestive Health. Due to the probiotics in this recipe, it helps to provide good bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. It can help with gut issues like IBS, abdominal cramps, and bloating.
- Boosts Immunity. Healthy bacteria is necessary for a healthy and well-functioning immune system, which is something to remember during the next cold and flu season.
- Fights Overgrowth of Yeast (Candida). Fermented foods provide good gut flora and help remove bad microbes in the body that feed off sugar. This will also help to fight off sugar cravings, providing a potentially beneficial cleansing of your body.
Below is a simple, basic recipe that just about anyone can make, to gain the benefits mentioned above.
After yogurt has been chilled for at least 6 hours, feel free to add to the flavor with one of the suggested combinations below:
1. Dark Chocolate: Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder to the basic version, and mix well.
2. Blueberry Cardamom: Add 2 tablespoons blueberry jam (made without corn syrup or added sweeteners) and 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (or freshly ground cardamom seeds, made with a mortar and pestle) to the basic version, and mix well.
3. Strawberry Chia: Add 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (made without added sweeteners) and 1 tablespoon chia seeds to the basic version, and stir well.
But if you are looking for a plain variation, omit the sweeteners in the recipe. You can use it as the dairy-free base for our savory and tangy tzatziki dip!
I hope you give this recipe a try!
I think everyone should still be able to enjoy the delish taste and potentla health benefits of this fermented recipe.
Vegan, dairy free or lactose intolerant, this recipe is for you. Oh, and make sure you try different flavor combinations once in awhile, for a little variety.
What’s your favorite yogurt flavor, or your go-to way to use it in your cooking? Let us know in the comments!
The staff at Foodal are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
Photo credits: Shutterstock.
About Sarah Hagstrom
Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.