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Yogurt Starter Help

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Judith
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 5:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm trying to find a safe starter for yogurt. I know others have used commercial yogurt as a starter, but that's the problem. For the last several months I have not been able to find a single yogurt that isn't made from "milk ingredients", even organic ones, so that leaves making my own. But what to do about starter? Any starter in a package has to be pretty suspect. Any suggestions?
Jennifer
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 7:35 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are many, many kinds of Lactobaccilus, but the most "common" strain is Lactobaccilus acidophilis for yogurt. A different strain of Lactobaccilus is used to make sauerkraut, but perhaps it can be coaxed into fermenting salted milk.

If you feel like being a mad scientist, try adding some shredded cabbage to 2 cups of milk with 1 TBS of salt added...or a refrigerated "live" sauerkraut if you can tolerate one.

If it ferments, maybe you can try that as a starter.

Or try raw milk, and just let it sour on the countertop naturally -

I've made yogurt before, and I've noticed that it's usually only good for about three generations before things get funky. I can't remember the brand I've used, but I think it was a Danon variant. One TBS. per quart of milk - maybe use the resulting yogurt from that as a starter?

Jennifer
Judith
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Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 7:11 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Jennifer, for your extensive cabbage background! Would the flavor transfer, I wonder? I'm not sure if milk still sours on its own. It seems to me that I read that pasturized milk just goes bad, rather than souring due to the way it is processed now. It would be nice if there was an easy answer for once (don't everyone laugh at once!).
Cherylin
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Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 7:54 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use the starter recommended by Elaine Gottschall and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It makes a fabulous yogurt. Here is where you can get it. It is dairy-free and maltodextrin free.

http://www.giprohealth.com/giprostart.aspx
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 8:40 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Judith, have you tried making yogurt with Stoneyfield organic whole yogurt or Brown Cow, or Nancy's yogurt? I was worried about pectin or milk solids, but the 2 to 4 T. that I added to a quart of organic milk didn't bother me. And then when I made the next batch from the previous one, these additives were even more diluted. Have had no reaction so far.
Judith
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Posted on Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 8:38 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cherylin, does it list filler ingredients on the bottle? I didn't see that information on the site itself.
Judith
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Posted on Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 8:48 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb, I can't find any of those yogurts here, however after looking at the ingredients, they do appear to be similar to organic yogurts I can buy locally. None of our local organic yogurts use pectin, but they all seem to be from "milk ingredients" so I wasn't sure if trying a little of one would be something that would bother me. Perhaps your experience shows that it would work out all right after all. I know that in your book you don't use a yogurt maker but wondered if you or Cherylin know if this makes life any easier to use one? Thanks.
Deb A.
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Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 3:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Judith, I recently bought a yogurt maker at a garage sale, and it works great. It's just easier for me to make a quart batch in a bowl if I'm in a hurry...directions are in the book.
Judith
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Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 5:20 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Deb, I was looking on amazon but I bet yogurt makers are one of those things people get as gifts or buy and don't use, so a garage sale is probably a good place to look. Wouldn't you know, at my healthfood store I found both Stoneyfield and Nancy's yogurt which they never used to carry. But even better, I found a new kind that is just organic milk and culture. It's from Ontario, the company's name is Saugeen Country Dairy. They actually have this on their website:

"At Saugeen Country Dairy we make yogurt from cow's milk, bacterial culture and nothing else. Commercial dairies nowadays often manufacture yogurt with milk ingredients, i.e. milk protein, skim milk powder, stabilizers and gelatin. We strongly believe that yogurt made from pure milk straight from the cow is the best. The shorter the list of ingredients the more natural and better tasting the food will be." I haven't tried it yet but assume it will be just fine.
Cherylin
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Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 9:30 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Judith,
I'm from Ontario and Saugeen makes a superlative yogurt which can be found in all health food stores here. I am surprised it is available in the U.S. I have never tried using it as a starter but imagine it would be fine.
Regarding GIProHealth starter, the only ingredients listed are the three different strains of bacteria + cellulose.
I use a yogurt maker but suggest you try Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites) or Kijiji (http://www.kijiji.com/) for your city to see if you can pick one up used or else freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/) for picking one up for free. Hope this helps.
Deb A.
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Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 9:46 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wish I could find that yogurt made in Ontario. Live too far away! It I eat Stoneyfield or Nancy's for too many days in a row, I begin to react due to, I'm sure, milk powders, whey powders, and pectin, even if they are organic...they contain a lot of glutamate.
EmilyS
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Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 7:20 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wish I could find the Saugeen yogurt too! I use Brown Cow plain yogurt as my starter and do just fine with it. I've never tried eating it by itself (because of the pectin) but as a starter it works great.

The ingredients are: CULTURED PASTEURIZED MILK, PECTIN. CONTAINS LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES: S. THERMOPHILUS, L BULGARICUS, L. ACIDOPHILUS, AND BIFIDUS.
Judith
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Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 10:33 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cherylin, I live in western Canada, so that explains it! However, my store only started carrying this yogurt, so maybe there is the possibility of it being stocked in the U.S. But wow, it is the best-tasting yogurt I've ever eaten! I actually emailed the company and they told me that it was served to President Obama for dessert when he was in Ottawa . I was curious so I looked up the dessert menu and there it is: "Saugeen yogurt pot de creme with a lemon and lavender syrup." Now that sounds yummy. And certainly a culinary coup for a modest plain yogurt.
kristy
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Posted on Monday, June 08, 2009 - 8:06 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I also couldn't find any yogurt anywhere around here that I would feel comfortable using even as just a starter. I found yogurt starter with three strains and no milk powder from http://www.customprobiotics.com. I make yogurt using mason jars, a stove-top canner, temperature probe, and an insulated food bag with heating pad - it is super easy and delicious. Custom Probiotics starter makes really great yogurt and I am able to save some from each batch to start the next batch (when I remember before it is gone) so this amount will last a really long time.

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