Episode 10: Probiotics For Breakfast, airs June 19, 2013. Host Nadia Giordana shows how she incorporates probiotics (healthy bacteria) into her diet. She first demonstrates step-by-step how to make fermented oatmeal (tastes much better than it sounds), then shows you how to make homemade yogurt in a slow-cooker. (Recipes are posted below this video.)
Recipe: Fermented Oatmeal
There are several different ways to make fermented oats. This method is fast and easy to prepare:
1. Mix together equal amounts of rolled oats (or steel-cut oats) and plain yogurt. Stir well, cover with a cloth or paper towel and let sit at room temperature overnight, or up to 24 hours. At this point, it can be refrigerated or used to make cooked oatmeal as follows:
2. In a cereal bowl, add ½ cup water and a pinch of salt to ½ cup oatmeal-yogurt mixture and warm in the microwave on a low setting for 20-30 seconds (more heat would destroy the probiotic benefits). Optional: stir in some raisins, dried cherries, and pumpkin seeds (be creative and find your own favorites). I also like to add ground flax seeds (for Omega 3) and even a spoonful of granulated lecithin. (It has a lovely nut like flavor and is known to help break up the fat cells in your body and help flush them away.)
Special note: There are purists who do not cook the fermented oatmeal, but simply add warm water to the desired consistency.
3. To save time, make a larger batch. It will last a few weeks in your refrigerator.
Recipe: Homemade Yogurt Made in a Slow Cooker
This method works best for me in the summertime when my house is warmer. In the winter, I switch to a stove top method.
1. Clean your slow cooker thoroughly with soap and water, then set to low heat (my cooker says 150 degrees on low, yours may be different). Pour in 8 cups of organic, whole milk and let cook for 2 hours & 45 minutes (I have forgotten and left the heat on for 3.5 hours with no negative consequences). Turn off the heat and let sit for 3 hours (the milk should now be at about 110 degrees F when you stir in the fresh yogurt).
2. If a skin has formed on the surface of the milk, skim it off. Whisk in 1/2 c plain, organic yogurt. Wrap the entire crock pot in a large heavy towel to keep in the heat and let sit overnight or for 12 hours in a warm spot. If it sits longer, your yogurt will be more tart. Important: This counter top method works best in a warm house (low 80s). In winter, my house at 69-70 degrees, is too cool and the yogurt does not thicken. In this case, after I stir in the culture, I remove the liner from the slow-cooker with the milk/yogurt mixture (keeping it covered) and place it in my oven with only the light on for about 6-10 hours. The light will keep your oven around 90-100 degrees, and this is perfect. Don’t even THINK about turning your oven on to warm, it will kill your culture and ruin the batch.
3. Spoon yogurt into clean jars and refrigerate. Sometimes you’ll get a yellowish liquid on top (whey). This is fine. Simply stir. If you prefer a thicker yogurt, pour off the excess liquid (it is full of nutrients, so you may want to drink it or add it to smoothies).
Credits: the inspiration for this recipe came from the following website/blog, Everybody likes Sandwiches.
I must add that, if all you have ever tasted is store bought plain yogurt, you may be thinking, “But I don’t like plain yogurt, it’s too sour.” I promise you, this homemade yogurt is light years better than commercial versions, and not sour at all. It is tangy, clean and fresh tasting.