THE ORIGIN OF YOGURT
It is thought that yogurt was first found as early as 2000 BC in Mid Eastern civilizations as a way to preserve milk. Fermented and cultured milks may actually predate recorded history however. A type of yogurt is thought to have originated by nomadic tribes of Eastern Europe and western Asia. The word yogurt is Turkish in origin. The ancient Assyrian word for yogurt, "lebeny" meant life. It's interesting to note that the modern word 'probiotic' can literally be translated to "For Life". There has been a longstanding belief that eating yogurt or the consumption of some type of cultured milk product is associated with longevity due to the friendly bacteria’s ability to fight disease.
These cultures, known as probiotics, are beneficial bacteria that naturally reside your digestive tract and improve intestinal function, promote good digestive health, and lead your body's defenses against a number of ailments.
Studies have shown that these probiotic cultures benefit your health in a variety of ways:
- LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS L. acidophilus provides various health benefits in the gastrointestinal tract. Several studies indicate that L. acidophilus helps lower cholesterol by interfering with cholesterol re-absorption in the intestine.
- BIFIDOBACTERIA (BIFIDUS) Bifidus stimulates the immune system, helps prevent common digestive ailments and supports healthy growth and development of the digestive tract.
- LACTOBACILLUS CASEI L. casei enhances positive bacterial balance in the intestine. It enhances the immune system by inhibiting growth of diarrhea-producing organisms, alleviates constipation, reduces hypertension, inhibits the growth of carcinogenic tumors, and suppresses disease-producing microorganisms.
- LACTOBACILLUS Lactobacillus has also been investigated as a potential treatment for life-threatening diarrhea, particularly in children and is already well known for its protective effect of particular strains of thrush.
Yogurt has great potential as a protective, anti-infection agent. Preliminary research indicates that increased yogurt consumption might help increase one's resistance to immune-related diseases such as cancer and infection, particularly gastrointestinal infection. This is believed to be in part due to the live and active cultures (LAC) found in yogurt.
To make their products last longer on store shelves, manufacturers may heat-treat their yogurts after fermentation. While this doesn't affect the calcium content of the yogurt, it does kill the live cultures, the very ingredient many people expect in a yogurt.
Don't be confused by a label that says "made with active cultures." All yogurts are made this way, but only the brands that are not heat-treated after fermentation retain their living cultures.
Freshly made yogurt with live cultures contains about 1 billion bacteria per gram. As it sits on the shelf, however, the yogurt's S. thermophilus eventually die off from the acidic environment.
Yogurt lasts about two weeks at home in the refrigerator. Refrigerated yogurt, even one to two weeks after fermentation, will probably still have about 1 million bacteria per gram. Mold and gas bubbles signal spoilage. However, greenish or clear liquid floating on top may be just the whey, a harmless liquid component of yogurt. Just mix it in before you eat it.
Midvalleyvu Family Farm Yogurt is made from raw, whole milk, not pasteurized. We use the very best certified organic, raw starter culture available from Danlac. To learn more about this culture, or to order it for yourself, please click here: Yoghurt L+
Because it is raw, you will find that our yogurt is not thick like pudding, but a drinkable consistency. In fact, We call it "Yogurt to Go" and sell it in plastic milk bottles (pints and quarts), just open the cap and drink. The process we use to make our yogurt has provided us with a very pleasant and mild flavor. It is made several times a week, insuring that you always have the freshest, most nutritious yogurt available.
Feel free to add your own flavorings or sweeteners. We suggest sweetening it with some of our fresh Maple Syrup or Honey. Organic fruits, fruit spreads, fruit drinks and Jellies also make wonderful flavorings.
We’ve included a few simple recipes here for your enjoyment. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
To strain, place a colander lined with cheesecloth in a bowl. If the colander has legs, it can stand right in the bowl. If it doesn't, rest it on the bowl edge so there is room for the whey to drain off.
Weight the yogurt down with empty glass jars. Straining takes at least six hours. Don't stop until the remaining cheese is about the consistency of cream cheese.
ICY YOGURT POPS
1 cup Yogurt
3/4 cup Frozen Fruit Juice
3/4 cup Whole Milk
* You can use pureed fresh fruit or frozen fruits instead juice. In a 4 cup glass measure, combine yogurt, fruit juice concentrate and milk. Pour into pop molds or use small paper cups and insert a wooden stick in the center of each. Freeze until firm, about 2 - 3 hours. To serve, peel off paper cups.
FROZEN FRUITY YOGURT
2 cups Homemade yogurt
1 cups Frozen or fresh fruit: -banana, orange, strawberry, raspberries, or a combo.
1/4 c Honey
Puree yogurt and fruit in a blender, adding honey once the fruit is well blended.
Pour mixture into a container for the freezer: an
ice cube tray, a shallow plastic container, or 9" square cake pan.
Freeze for 30 minutes.
Spoon frozen mush into the blender container and whip for 1 minute.
Pour mixture into popsicle molds or paper cups.
Freeze for 10 more minutes and return to freezer until firm.