My foray into probiotics amounts to making my own Greek yogurt. It’s the live/active bacterial cultures in the yogurt that produce the probiotic effect in one’s gut. Commercial yogurts have added sugars and you can’t guarantee their effectiveness as a probiotic. I would probably get a greater probiotic effect if I was a regular drinker of Kombucha or other fermented products, but I just really like yogurt, so…
It takes a half-gallon of milk (I use whole organic) to make a batch of yogurt in my crock pot. It’s a somewhat tedious operation of having to devote a whole day of checking the thermometer. It heats up to 180 degrees to kill off any unwanted bacteria, then has to cool to 110 degrees before adding the bit of yogurt starter so you don’t kill the good bacteria. It then sits overnight in an oven with just the lightbulb on to keep it warm. When I check in the morning it’s like Christmas day, coming in to check on it–did it set up right? Yes!
At that point it is just regular yogurt. To get it to the “Greek” stage I then strain it through cheesecloth to remove the whey and get it to that nice thick consistency. Voila! Homemade Greek Yogurt!
Yogurt is one of my favorite foods; it’s the only dairy I (mostly) allow myself, so in order to justify eating it, this is my answer–no added sugars, homemade goodness.
Recently I compared the cost of making my own vs. purchasing a brand like Fage whole milk Greek yogurt. They are virtually the same. So in a pinch, I will buy the commercial brand, but there is something quite satisfying in whipping up a batch in my own kitchen.
Total Investment: Cost of 1/2 gallon of whole milk ($3-5.00) per batch (yields about 35 oz.)