SCD yogurt recipe (step by step)

My first batch of SCD yoghurt was delicious, but it didn’t really agree with me, which is sad. You can read more about it here and here. I’ll try it again in the future when my gut has had more time to heal. If you are able to handle nuts, you should definitely give it a try. The flavour was wonderful.

This week, I attempted to make the yoghurt again, this time using almond nut milk instead of whole (ground) almonds. The yoghurt has turned out wonderfully, though I’d make it a bit thicker next time. Here’s how I did it, step by step.

Ingredients

2 cups blanched almonds

Honey

Vanilla extract

Gelatine

Yogurt starters cultures (lactose free if you’re lactose intolerant)

Tools

Blender

Sieve

Cheesecloth, nut milk bag or clean, unused stocking

Medium-large pots

Thermometer

Sterilised jars and spoons

Yogurt maker

Preparing your almonds

About 3 days before you’d like to have your yogurt (remember, this is SCD, so everything takes a little longer!), take 2 cups of blanched almonds and soak them, uncovered, for up to 2 days. You can soak them overnight to shorten the process, but the longer you leave them, the creamier the milk will be.

Working with unblanched almonds: If you, like me, have unblanched almonds, simply plop them into a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes, and then you’ll easily be able to squeeze them out of their skins. K helped me with this, and we turned it into a bit of a competition!

Preparing your almond nut milk

Once you’ve finished soaking your nuts, give them a good rinse, and then add them to your blender with 2 cups of water per cup of nuts – so four cups of water in total. I did mine in two batches. First, pulse the blender a few times to break up the nuts, and then blend at full speed for 2 minutes. The nuts should be nicely broken down at this stage.

Next, you need to strain your milk. Take a sieve and line it with cheesecloth or, in my case, a nut milk bag. Place it over a clean bowl, and pour the nut milk into it.

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Then, gather up the bag or fabric, being careful not to spill, and squeeze out as much of the milk as you can (using clean hands!). You should get about 2 cups of milk for every 1 cup of nuts.

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Storing your almond milk 

I didn’t have time to make my yogurt right away, so I refrigerated the almond milk in clean jars. There’s debate about how long it can last in the fridge – some say 2 days; others say 2 weeks. Your nose will certainly tell you if it has gone off. I added some to my coffee this morning, after 5 days in the fridge, and it seems fine.

Voila - homemade almond milk!

Making your almond milk yogurt

Now the fun part! Heat your almond milk, together with 1 tbsp honey and 1tsp vanilla extract, gently on the stove in a large pot or Dutch oven (I used the latter).  I used 1 litre of milk. Actually, when I say ‘I’, I mean K, because she did this part for me while I was stuck working late!

Keep the heat low and stir constantly to avoid scalding the milk. When it reaches 185F (85C), remove it from the heat. Be sure to stir it before you take temperature readings. Now, let it cool down. I sped up this process by putting the pot in a sink of iced water. Keep an eye on it if you do it this way – it can cool more quickly than you’re expecting.

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In the mean time, mix 4 tsps of gelatin with 1/2 cup room temperature water. I used 3 getaline leaves (1 leaf = 1 tsp), but I definitely think more was required. You might need to play around here.

When the yogurt reaches 110-120F (43-49C), add your gelatine and mix it in using a stick blender. Then, when the yogurt reaches 100F (37/38C), add your yogurt starter, and again use your stick blender to fully incorporate it in the mixture.

How much yogurt starter? The guys at SCDLifestyle.com suggest using 1/8 of a tsp for every 2 quarts, which is what I use. So you’ll need 1/16 of a tsp for 1 litre, if my maths (and conversions!) are correct.

Now, transfer your mixture to your sterilised yogurt maker container (or whatever containers you’re using) and place into your yogurt maker for 12 hours only. Do not touch, shake, move or disturb the yogurt maker at all during this time, as the culturing process is extremely sensitive to movement.

After 12 hours, carefully remove the yogurt from the yogurt maker and allow it to sit for 1 hour. At this point, some people stir the yogurt while others believe that it’s still very sensitive to movement. I don’t touch it. Lastly, place it in the fridge for at least 8 to 10 hours, which allows the gelatine to thicken.

Enjoying your yogurt

My batch is a bit thin, but definitely closer to the consistency and taste of real yoghurt, so I’m really thrilled. I eat mine with some extra honey, as the taste is quite tangy and requires a little sweetening. The honey isn’t necessary though, but you do need to add it to the yogurt to give the cultures something to feed on.

The yogurt will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you’re just starting out, add it in TINY amounts every day to allow your body to get accustomed to it. The cultures are powerful and you need to be careful. I overdid it on my first go-round, which was a very silly thing to do. It was just so tasty!

My yogurt with a lovely drizzle of pure honey

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How to make dairy-free SCD yoghurt

**Update: I’ve refined this recipe and created other, more successful variations:

SCD Almond nut y0ghurt

I’ve just made my first two batches of SCD yoghurt and I’m so happy with the results. It’s by no means perfect, but the fact that it’s edible and actually quite tasty is, in my opinion, a win. I didn’t realise that I should’ve tested the almond milk before I used it, but I don’t seem to be having any negative reactions to the yoghurt, which means… I can now consume almond milk, honey and yoghurt cultures! It’s like Chrismakkuh for my belly 😀

What you need to make dairy-free SCD yoghurt

Gathering your ingredients can be a little time-consuming and pricey, but worth the investment of both. You’ll need:

–       A yoghurt maker (mine wasn’t very expensive, but I can’t vary the temperature which isn’t ideal)

–       Thermometer

–       Starter cultures (if like me you can’t do dairy, ensure the cultures are lactose free)

–       Disinfectant (I used methylated spirits)

–       2.5 cups blanched almonds

–       2.5 tbsps honey

–       Measuring cups/jug

–       Glass storage jars

–       Cheesecloth, nutmilk bag or coffee filters (optional)

Making your yoghurt

I followed the process outlined in the book Surviving to Thriving by Jordan Reasoner and Steve Wright.

I divided my ingredients into two batches due to space restrictions, but here is how you’d make it if you did the whole batch in one go.

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My ‘blanched’ almonds. I actually peeled all of these! Pour boiling water over them, and they pop out of their skins easily

First, I blended the nuts with honey and water on low speed for ten minutes. I let the mixture settle, stirred it a bit, and blended for another few minutes.

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When it reached 77F, I added the starter (1/8 tsp) and blended briefly for one last time. I cleaned the outside of the starter culture container with meths to kill any germs. In fact, I used meths to clean the thermometer, measuring jug and yoghurt maker too.

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Next, I emptied the mixture into my yoghurt maker. The first batch sat for 9 hours in the machine (this is the minimum you should leave it), and the second batch sat for 12 hours (this is the maximum amount of time). The longer you leave it (up to 12 hours), the more turgid it’s likely to become.

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Batch container filled with the yoghurt

Lastly, you need to transfer it gently to the fridge, and let it chill for at least 8 hours. At this point, the cultures are still very sensitive to movement, so your yoghurt must handled with care.

Just before the time is up, you can boil up your glass jars to sterilise them, and then tip your yoghurt into them. It should last for 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge. I wrote the date on my jars.

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How my yoghurt turned out

I tasted the first batch last night and I loved the flavour, and the second batch is currently chilling in the fridge, and I’ll try it later. My yoghurt machine can only hold 1.2l of liquid at a time (just over a pint), and because my recipe made 2 pints, I needed to divide it into two batches.

I haven’t yet checked my second batch so I’ll let you know what it’s like.

The first batch is very thin, and apparently this is to be expected. Remember, on SCD you can’t add any thickeners or stabilisers like you’d find in shop-bought yoghurt. What you can do, however, is ‘drip’ your yoghurt. I haven’t tried this yet but I plan to.

Dripping the yoghurt involves lining a mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a coffee filter, placing it over a large container, and pouring your yoghurt into it. Over several hours, the liquid will seep out of your yoghurt. The longer you leave it, the thicker your yoghurt will become. Scrape the finished product out of the strainer when you’ve finished dripping it.

I am going to keep reading up about making SCD yoghurt and I’ll continue to tweak my recipe until I’m happy with the consistency. But I’m already so satisfied with the taste and very chuffed with my first batch.

Although it’s a time-consuming process to make it, it’s REALLY easy, especially when you have all the equipment you need. I’m so excited to have introduced something so different and tasty to my diet, not to mention HEALTHY. The benefits of live-culture yoghurt are widely documented and yoghurt is particularly recommended for anyone with GI troubles or digestive diseases.

Have you made your own yoghurt? Share your tips with me. I’d love to have your input.