Friday, June 19, 2009

Goat's Milk Yogurt SCD


One conclusion I have reached through my recent dabblings in this 'O' type / SCD crossover diet is that cows milk is not my friend.

I love cows dearly, grew up hand milking some particularly gorgeous auburn flanked, long lashed jerseys and really appreciate the gift of steak, but milk, nah-ah.

Now you can buy delicious goat and sheep yogurt if you don't want to make it yourself. I recommend St Helen's Farm goat yogurt - (a silky, thick, mild and creamy yogurt) and Woodlands Park Dairy sheep yogurt - (a thick set, mild yogurt with a creamy crust on top, the non organic version tastes less sheepy). However, we SCD folks (and anyone with lactose intolerance) need to eliminate the lactose in our yogurt, and that means allowing the lovely yogurt culture 24 hours to gobble it all up.

I have heard many SCD folks say that they struggle to make goat yogurt that isn't sour and thin. The late Elaine Gottschall even claimed that it was impossible to make SCD yogurt with pasteurised goat's milk. Well I'm here to tell you that (in my humble opinion) it is possible!

Making satisfactory goat's yogurt at home took quite a bit of tweaking, but the most important discovery I made is that you need to evaporate the milk in order to thicken the yogurt and avoid that unpleasant sour taste. This is a process of trial and error, finding the right pan, having a stove with a gentle enough flame not to scorch the milk.

As goat's milk is more delicate than cow's milk you mustn't allow it to boil at any point in the process, or you will harm the structure and taste.

I advise you to start with a small batch - just 1 litre - and go from there.

SCD Goat's Milk Yogurt

1 litre Whole Goat's Milk

140ml Live Goat's or Sheep's Yogurt (see recommended above) or yogurt starter as per instructions

wet the inside of a clean stainless steel or enamel pan, pour out excess water and pour in the milk.

Put on the lowest possible heat and don't be tempted to raise it in order to get the milk up to temperature, just be patient.

Go and do something else for 20-30 mins. Then shake the pan to loosen the skin that has formed on the top of the milk. Repeat this until the milk has reduced by about a third - about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Allow to cool to blood temperature (hold your finger in the milk for a count of ten - if it is comfortable when you get to ten then it's ok). It's better to err on the side of caution temperature-wise to avoid killing your culture.

Remove the skin from the top of the milk and give it to your cat - or similar - who will love you for it.

Whisk in your yogurt or starter culture and pour into your yogurt maker.

Leave for 24 hours and then chill for at least four before eating. Keeps for 10 days at least.

If you don't have a yogurt maker then pour into pots, or a large pot and wrap up warmly, keep in the airing cupboard for 24 hours. This will only work if you have a really warm airing cupboard of around 20c. If you live somewhere hot then just wrap it up.

My Severin yogurt maker gets too hot for delicate goat yogurt so I put a circle of cardboard box in the base and leave the lid very slightly ajar for the proving time.

You can also add 150ml goat's cream to the yogurt when you add the yogurt starter. This produces a slightly thicker and creamier yogurt - but is higher in calories, so bear this in mind.

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