As I mentioned in my first post, I found Whole30 about 4 years ago. Since then, I have completed 2 full Whole30 challenges and each time, I learned something different about how different foods affect my body, my skin, my energy, my moods and ultimately, my health. Whole30 helped jump start my journey to better health by way of food. As a result, about a year ago, I happened to stumble upon a book entitled “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall B.A., M.Sc. This book outlines the dietary tools that a person needs to reclaim their health when battling Chrohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis, Celiac Disease, Cystic Fibrosis and even Autism. It is within the pages of this book that I have found a way of eating that works to not only control my symptoms, but also heal my damaged gut.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ (otherwise known as SCD) is very similar to Whole30 in that it is an elimination diet that gives your body a complete rest from inflammatory foods. Like Whole30, when following SCD a person completely cuts out ALL Grains and ALL Processed Sugar. In their own way, each diet has their advantages (example: Whole30 allows all potatoes while SCD does not, but hey, SCD allows wine, sooooo??) I recently made a commitment to follow the principles of the SCD for two years…. yes, your read that correctly, two YEARS! According to the creator of the diet, a person who suffers from Chrohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis must commit to at least 2 years on the SCD in order to see true progress in the healing process. In perspective, SCD makes Whole30 seem like a cakewalk (mmmmm, cake).
One of the big factors in being successful on SCD is eliminating all foods that contribute to a nasty overgrowth of bad bacteria, and replacing them with foods that contribute to replenishing good bacteria in your system… thus, promoting a healthy gut flora. So, we cut out starch, grains, sugar (the only exception being Honey), and lactose containing dairy products. Something I eat daily on the SCD is homemade Lactose Free Yogurt. The probiotics in the yogurt help to promote a healthy gut flora, but the 24 hour fermentation process of SCD yogurt removes all lactose. Once you get the steps down, this yogurt is not only easy to make, it’s also delicious! If you’d like to learn how to make 24 Hour SCD Lactose Free Yogurt, then keep reading!
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 Quarts of Milk of Choice (I prefer Horizon Organic Half and Half for a thick, rich and creamy consistency, but Skim, 2%, and Whole milk will work just fine as well if you are watching your calories – the yogurt just won’t be quite as thick)
- Yogurt Culture “Starter” (1/4 Cup Plain Dannon Yogurt made with whole milk is what I prefer to use because it contains only cultured Grade A milk)
- Large Glass or Pyrex Bowl with lid (should be big enough to hold at least 8 cups)
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Electric Candle Warmer (You may use an official Yogurt Maker, InstantPot, or your oven to heat your yogurt, but I choose to use a cheap electric candle warmer purchased at Walmart because it’s easy and it just works for me)
- Dish Towel
*Note: If it is your very first time making this yogurt (which I’m assuming it is since you are reading the recipe for it), just relax. Don’t fret, and don’t stress out. It takes some getting used to in order to get the steps just right. Depending on your altitude, climate, kitchen, etc. there are so many outside factors that can affect your yogurt fermentation process. These steps are things that I have found to give me perfect results every time, however, your kitchen may be different, so the first time you make it, you may have to tweak parts of steps 5-7 in order to create the necessary temperature to ferment your yogurt correctly in order to remove ALL the lactose.
- Heat your milk on medium heat to a temperature of at least 180 degrees F and maintain at this temperature for 2 minutes. Be sure to stir at regular intervals to prevent burning the milk. Watch closely as it starts to bubble up just before the boiling point as this will happen quickly and your milk can easily boil over if left unattended for too long – trust me on this!
- Once your milk has heated to 180 degrees F for at least 2 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. The book suggests letting it cool to room temperature, however I found that it’s easier to just let it cool to about 100 degrees since this is the ideal temperature that you will start the fermentation process anyway. You can leave the milk on the counter to cool, or you can place in a sink of cold water to speed up the process. When I place my pot of milk in the cold sink of water, I set a timer for 15 minute intervals and check the temperature regularly (it can easily drop way below your desired temperature if left too long). Usually in about 45 minutes my milk is cool enough to be able to add the starter without killing the culture.
- At this point, stir the milk with a wooden or plastic spoon and skim the top layer off that usually has settled on top by now. Transfer to glass bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of Dannon Whole Milk Plain Yogurt and stir.
- Place the glass bowl on top of the candle warmer and turn on. Gently place the lid on top of the bowl to cover leaving just enough space in order to be able to insert your thermometer. Check that the temperature reads somewhere between 100-110 degrees F. Cover the entire bowl with a dish towel.
- Allow the yogurt to remain on the heat for a minimum of 24 hours hours to ensure that all the lactose is completely “digested”.
- Periodically check the yogurt temperature to make sure that it is still within the acceptable range and make adjustments as necessary. (I’ve occasionally had to add an additional towel to maintain the heat in especially during the winter when my kitchen is cooler)
- After 24 hours remove from the heat and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to “set” the yogurt.
There are about a million and one different ways you can enjoy your homemade SCD Lactose Free yogurt… Just straight out of the bowl with a spoon, or you can make a homemade parfait with an assortment of berries and nuts and a drizzle of honey (my personal favorite), “cream cheese”, cheesecake, and even homemade lactose free Fro-Yo (more on that later!) Literally, this is one of the most versatile foods. I even use it as a base for different cream sauces in various savory dishes. If you are following the SCD or if you are just a person with lactose issues who would like to enjoy yogurt without the gut-wrenching pain that usually comes along with it, then this recipe is for you! Let me know in the comments how this method works for you! Also, if you have any tried and true tips that have helped you to get perfect SCD yogurt results every time, feel free to share with the rest of us in the comments as well!
Till next time,