A friend and I was talking yesterday about the health benefits of yogurt.
Truly homemade yogurt is amazing in taste and health benefits. There are several ways to make homemade yogurt which I am not going to get into today, other than a common method, and that is using a yogurt maker
Using this method is my favorite just because I can set my machine and basically "forget" about my yogurt until it is time to refrigerate...perfect for a hectic day.
The recipe I use for homemade yogurt is the standard recipe that comes with my machine, so anyone can do this too, recipes are included!
The few points I want to make about 'yogurt in a hurry' is even though I buy store bought yogurt from time to time when we run out of milk (it happens!-the picture is proof of this) is that commercially made yogurt is VERY inferior in terms of probiotic benefits.
It does contain live cultures (or is supposed to), but the amount it contains is usually not enough to make a huge impact on the health of your gut; that's why many people still have the need for extra probiotics through supplementation, even when consuming commercial yogurt.
So, this leads me to the next point I want to make, which is, if you choose not to make your own yogurt, then there are a few things I would look for in a store bought yogurt.
1.) Sugar content or added sweeteners (real or artificial)- (Avoid sweetened and go plain, sweeten with stevia.)
2.) Date of expiration- always check for the freshest.
3.) Fat content- always buy full fat versions.
Two brands I buy occasionally are Fage Total Classic and Cabot Greek 10% Milk (both
available at our local Ingles store.) Beware, they are NOT organic,
they just taste great and are full fat, plain yogurts for 'yogurt in a hurry.'
My daughter and I both love homemade the best and enjoy making it and feel good knowing we used the best ingredients we could to make it. We do use raw milk for our yogurt. Here is a very good article on the controversy of heating raw milk or not, if that is a question you have. (We do heat our raw milk since we enjoy the texture best that way.)
Some of our favorite stevia flavors for yogurt are: English Toffee, Chocolate, and Chocolate Raspberry
A highly recommended source for your culture starter is here at Natren.