GAPS Yogurt

Here is a simple, step-by-step approach to making GAPS yogurt:

1. Slowly heat full fat milk (of any animal) to 180 Fahrenheit.
2. Let cool to 68-77 Fahrenheit (20-25 Celsius).
3. Add starter. Stir to completely dissolve. A hand whisk works well.
4. Pour into containers. (Canning jars work well.)
5. Cover. (Canning jar lids work well.)
6. Set into a place that brings the yogurt (not just the surrounding air) back up to, then maintaining, 95-110 F for 24-36 hours (the latter for people especially sensitive to lactose).

Equipment that may keep your yogurt sufficiently warm includes: oven with a regular lightbulb in it (be sure to remove this bulb before again using the oven as intended); box near a heat source; heating pad; dehydrator; some commercial yogurt makers plugged into a dimming extension.

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76 thoughts on “GAPS Yogurt

  1. Baden,

    Hi!

    Some of the recipes I find call for dry curd cottage cheese.
    Is this the homemade yogurt strained through a cheesecloth? I am doing this process to make yogurt cheese (looks like cream cheese strained for 24 hrs.) but when I think of dry curd cottage cheese that you purchase in the store it looks totally different than what I am getting.

    Jackie

  2. I live in Southern California. When it is warm I have had success with leaving it in the pot and placing it on the counter or stove top with a thick bath towel wraped around it. I recently obtained a warming tray with a low and high setting and will try this in cooler weather. Has anyone tried a warming tray? Let me know if it worked.
    In good health
    Rosann Volmert D.O.
    Osteopathic Family Physician

    • Hi Janet,

      Yogurt starter can generally be found online, in health food or whole food stores, and sometimes in grocery stores.

      Best,
      Baden

    • Hi Henrik,

      Yes, it does. (Goat milk is all I used until I found raw cow’s.) I’ve now updated the post to clarify that.

      Best,
      Baden

  3. Is it true that you can make yoghurt out of raw milk without first heating it? I’m trying this, but the yoghurt seems to be way too liquid-y so far after 12 hours.

    • Hi Jessica,

      Apparently it can be done, but many folks are reporting the same liquidiness that you are finding. Thus, some people are heating their raw milk very gently first to kill off competing bacteria. I haven’t tried doing raw yogurt myself. I suggest posting to the support list, as several people there have experimented with it.

      All my best,
      Baden

  4. I have just started making yoghurt with raw milk. I don’t heat it first, as Natasha C-M says there is no need with raw milk. I’m using a Moulinex yoghurt maker, and pressing the button again after 12 hours to give it another 12. I then cool it right down in the fridge before eating it. It is firm, only slightly viscous, but utterly, delicious.

    Prem

  5. Hi Asta,

    Fermenting the yogurt at temperatures higher than the 95-110 F recommended or for longer than the recommended time of 24-29 hours will kill off some of the beneficial bacteria.

    All my best,
    Baden

  6. I was chatting with a woman originally from Albania (I that’s where she said she had come from). She said sheep’s milk yogurt was the best. It was so thick you could slice it and it tasted like dessert. I did find a place to buy sheep’s milk but the cost is significant! I would love to try it at least once though!!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Skip all dairy, including ghee. Proceed with intro as otherwise laid out. Test ghee again in about six weeks.

      All my best,
      Baden

  7. Another way to get the goodies from kefir is water kefir. This is the use of water kefir grains (very similar to milk kefir) that feed off of sugar and dried fruit (and the sugar gets used up as food for the kefir grains – not problematic for the diet). You’ll start out with a small amount of kefir grains and if you treat them right, they’ll grow beyond belief and you’ll be looking for homes for them (-;

    Water kefir is a slightly bubbly drink with the good bacteria from kefir present that is flavored by whatever dried fruit you use. Adding crystalized ginger too – yum!

    Google water kefir, but basically the process is water kefir grains plus sugar plus filtered water (but the grains REALLY like minerals, so some mineral water or liquid mineral supplement makes them very happy) into a liter canning jar. Let it sit at room temp for a couple of days or so, then refrigerate (to slow the fermentation) and drink (doesn’t hurt to drink the grains, but basically you’re saving them for the next batch – and if they’re happy, they will grow and grow and grow). The drink is yummy for me and I’ve never been into soft drinks or any carbonated beverage.

    The kefir grains are like a pet. You do have to feed them regularly. You should wash them periodically or they get other microorganisms with them that are problematic. And keep the process going.

    Sorry you are so allergic to milk! I’ve been allergic to all grains (including rice) for maybe 12 years? I don’t feel deprived. It’s an interesting challenge in cooking based on our culture and upbringing, but it’s also very cool and creative.

    A gluten intolerant friend of mine (been BFF since highschool) was prepping her then 21 year old’s favorite food of hers for her daughter’s birthday: Southern fried chicken. My friend prepped it for everyone else the normal floured way, but made some of it with ground nuts instead for just her and me. We both took one taste and said “OURS! Screw everyone else. Let them think they’re eating something special. Ground nut coated chicken is the BEST!”

  8. We have been doing GAPS for about 2 years. Making good progress except my 10 y/o who likes to cheat when we go to pot luck dinners. I make my yogurt in the oven. I cut off the end of an extension cord and put a light bulb socket on it. I only need about 25 watts in the summer but more like 40 watts in the winter. I lay it on the bottom of the oven and then put my quart jars on an aluminum cookie sheet that is just above the light. I think the aluminum helps to distribute the heat. I never have to worry about the mistake of turning the oven on when I have yogurt in it because I always have the cord coming out of the door. I just try to keep the door as tight as I can.

    I make my yogurt with raw goats milk and warm it to 110F. It never comes out firm like when I use pasteurized cows milk from the store. but it is still really tasty and great for smoothies. I use Stoneyfield whole milk yogurt for culture because it has 5 strains and Dannon only has 1. For each gallon of milk I use 3/4 C. of Stoneyfield yogurt plus 1 capsule of Acidophilus & Bibidus(10billion) which a Dr. recommended to me.

    I just got water kefir grains from a friend. I found a recipe on the internet for making it in a 2 quart jar. I use 1 tsp.(5 ml) molasses, 1/8 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp crushed egg shells(from hard boiled eggs), 1/2 C. sugar (I use 1/4 C. Rapadura, 1/4 C. white sugar). Fill the jar 3/4 full with water, mix well, and then add about 3/4 C. of grains. I leave mine on the counter for 2 days and the grains double by then. Buying the dried fruit was too expensive for me.

    • Diane: Thank you so much for sharing all of this wonderful information with us all! I know many will really appreciate it!

      All my best,
      Baden

  9. Baden,
    Thanks for the yogurt recipe- you don’t indicate measurements though: specifically the milk and kefir grains amounts. Please let me know. Thanks, Chanah

  10. Hi Baden,
    My daughter and I have a question about 24 hour yogurt. We use Yogourmet starter with Casei+Bifidus+Acidophilus in it, and we brew it 24h in a Yolife hatchery that allows us to do 3 quarts at a time. But we are wondering about a few things:
    1. Does letting it go 24hours, presummably to remove all remaining lactose, also diminish the probiotic content? That is, if eating live food is the goal, then maybe there is a knee in the curve where yogurt needs to come off the heat, possibly before the arbitrary 24 hour cycle, to maximize the army of good guys?
    2. Can fully brewed 24 hour yogurt be used as starter? This question is driven by a desire to save money, but it got us thinking about the possible tradeoff discussed in item 1 above.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m so glad about your dental results and conversation! Thanks for sharing that with us all!

      Pre-GAPS I had been taught several things: that we ferment dairy for a minimum of 24 hours so as to eliminate as much of the lactose as possible; that we ferment a maximum of 29 hours so as to not start killing off the bacteria; that it is after about three weeks in the fridge that the probiotic count in yogurt starts to reduce; that homemade yogurt as starter made ever-weaker subsequent batches; that commercial was considered stronger thus able to support one subsequent batch.

      As of very recently, though, Dr Natasha’s FAQs page included the following information:

      -people having trouble with 24 hour fermented yogurt or kefir can try fermenting it 36 hours or more, to remove more lactose (no info about probiotic levels),
      -yogurt stored in the fridge after the initial fermentation time will continue to be a powerful food for several months, and that one can make a subsequent batch from it

      In terms of saving money, kefir starter (“grains”) will also propagate themselves for a lifetime. My son loves the taste and texture of yogurt, so I make it occasionally per his requests, but otherwise I stick now with the easier-to-make kefir.

      All my best,
      Baden

  11. Thanks Baden,
    Kefir is so much easier, does not require heating and cooling, or special equipment. We do both kefir and yogurt. I will try making yogurt from a previous batch, see how we fare.

    By the way, my lipomas are still shrinking! Some of the results we see on GAPS make it harder for others to accept its validity?!

    Our Nubians put out 10 cups this morning! 6 more tonight. We have friends who do not understand why we ferment ALL of it. There are 4 trillion reasons why, but that is not enough for some minds.

    Keep up the good work. Our next strange result will be forwarded, once it happens. :)

    Give Dr. Natasha a squeeze for us next time you see her!

    God Bless,
    Mike

  12. HI Baden,

    I just made my first batch of goat milk yogurt and suddenly wondered if there would be any casin in it. I fermented it over 36 hrs. The lab test said I was sensitive to casin not lactose. Does the casin get destroyed in the fermentation process?

    Thanks Chanah

    P.S I have been doing GAPS for almost 3 weeks now ( with a 3 day period in the middle where I ate non GAPS food once or twice per day) and my belly bloating is still constant ( as it was before the diet) and sometimes very big. When can I expect to see results? I am on daily probiotics ( high strength, prescribed by my Natropath), sauerkraut, digestive enzymes and Pepsin. Any idea?

    • Hi Chanah,

      The SCD community states that the casein in the yogurt is denatured, ie. That it changes qualities and is not problematic for most.

      At this point, with returning to non-GAPS in the interim, you could say you’ve been doing GAPS for a week or so.

      1. Have you been doing intro in that week? If yes, are you including veggies or not? Marrows or not?

      2. Did you follow the instructions in GAPS Guide about how to start and increase probiotics?

      All my best,
      Baden

  13. HI Baden,
    I have been doing GAPS for 3 weeks. I had 3 days in the middle when I ate ‘illegal’ foods x1 or x2 per day ( it was my birthday- too hard to resist!).

    Probiotics- I have been taking the amount recommended by my natropath: 8 billion ‘viable cells’ ( in powdered form, 1/3 tsp).

    The first week I did the diet fully, mostly just soups, bone broth and some fish and meat. I tried and failed to introduce eggs without a reaction. I am now just eating veggies, bone broth ( x2 /day)and meat and fish, and sauerkraut.

    Due to the labor intensive nature of my work ( and the fact I only get one meal break of 1/2 hr in 7 hours, and two ten min breaks, so i need to eat each time something quick) I find I have to eat fruit to get me through the day (2-3 pieces) – with nut butters on- is this really bad?

    I also ate some coconut ice cream ( with coco powder and agave ooops! ) the last 3 days ( a small amount each time though!).. Do I have to follow it 100% of the time for it to work? I try but it’s hard when my body wants more calories than I can get into it on the diet with my work breaks being so short. PLus I still desire ‘fun’ food like chocolate and ice cream. If I could see some results it would keep me on the diet, but when my belly is as big/bigger than ever it is hard to stick with it!
    Any advice would be great.
    Thanks, Chanah

    • Hi Chanah,

      When a person goes a journey other than what’s presented, I am not able to comment on what type of results a person might expect. Please see the post several back called ‘Doing GAPS Just So’. It will answer many of your questions including those regarding high probiotic amounts from early on, fruit during early intro, etc.

      GAPS offers no shortage of calories in its generous helpings of fats, and food spooned from a thermos is as fast as an apple.

      When a person does a trial run of GAPS for a short period, then reintroduces non-recommended foods, we are ‘doing GAPS’ not for that whole period but from the point we started over strictly. Not to be a stickler, but we cannot gauge time and, accordingly, results except for the time we’ve gone without returning to non-recommended foods. The body is very much impacted by non-recommended foods; without doing the intro progression as set out, gains are further delayed. At the moment, it sounds like you did GAPS for about a week, then did something something else for a few days, then did GAPS for a few days, then did something else for the past few days again. You had asked me what I recommend. It is, in this order:

      1. Read the GAPS Guide book cover to cover.
      2. Follow the steps starting on p. 28. From there, stay on full GAPS for awhile, playing with foods, creating dishes that satisfy your tastebuds, psychological cravings, etc.
      3. When you are truly ready, start intro as presented in GAPS Guide, building back up to full GAPS.

      Any approach outside of the above I am not able to comment on at all. With questions about doing something other than GAPS as set out, please review the post ‘Doing GAPS Just So’.

      All my best,
      Baden

  14. Just a quick general note.

    Re-establishing the probiotics in your gut takes time – LOTS of time I’m guessing. When you’re craving the foods that you know are off the diet, it’s the bad-biotics in your gut making you feel that way. Won’t stop the craving, but might make it easier to intellectualize as “these critters that are destroying my health are making me crave what THEY want to eat, not what’s good for me.”

    We worked up to taking 2 doses of 50 million probiotics a day plus a version that doesn’t have to be refrigerated once or twice during the day. Bone broth every day (love my slow cooker!).

    Suggestion re chocolate for Chanah: get cocoa powder (NOT Dutch – when it’s “Dutched” the anti-oxidants are destroyed). Add it to full fat coconut milk, with a little vanilla extract. If you have a sweet tooth (I fortunately did not inherit my family’s sweet tooth), add honey. OMG!! YUMMY! Or make hot cocoa with just cocoa powder and enough hot water to dissolve it, then add coconut milk (honey if you have to). I had to stop drinking espresso years ago because it pushed my adrenals too much and I never drank sweetened espresso – and that cocoa drink is wonderful!

    I’ve known I was allergic to all grains for 15 years so I’ve been on essentially a variation of the Paleolithic diet for that time period (unfortunately I do not lose weight on this diet, but stress levels for us are ridiculous and that’s part of it). My husband has been a carb addict probably for all his life. His mom took him to the doctor for every sniffle for which he got antibiotics. Had problems with candida early in life (we’re in our 60′s). He’s had multiple concussions and is now considered permanently disabled. We came to the GAPS diet accidentally (long story) and it has made a HUGE difference for him in symptom level, mental clarity, and weight. In 5 months he lost 50 pounds he really needed to lose. He went from not being able to exercise because of the pressure in his skull from increased blood flow to walking 14 miles a day! He says himself he’s on this diet for life. We didn’t do the initial more stringent version of the diet – too many other things going on in our lives for me to take ALL of that on – but even going to the final version of GAPS diet, the difference for my husband has been amazing and incredible.

    My guess is whatever version of the GAPS diet you can include in your life will help, but it will help more and quicker if you go through the procedure Dr. Campbell-McBride suggests. We couldn’t fit her protocol into our chaotic lives and it’s still making a difference, even for me. After 15 years of no grains, with probiotics and bone broth daily, even my digestion is improving.

    Good luck all!

    • Thanks so much for all that, Miranda! Your detailed post will be very encouraging for many!

      Just a note to newbies: cocoa is not a recommended food until well into healing; coconut milk from cans is also not, but it can be made at home.

      All my best,
      Baden

  15. Baden,
    Thanks for your input. I have read the guide book and studied the intro diet carefully. In the first week I was re-reading the intro daily, sometimes 3 x a day! I think one of the troubles I was having when I was doing it ‘super strictly’ was that every food in the new stages I am sensitive to and I would get a big reaction to them, them skip that one and try the next, I did this twice and both times I reacted a lot. I will try again, leaving a week between reaction and trying it again. I was just getting so fed up with soup and veggies and as I say at work I was hungry and tired. I have dropped from 118 lbs to 110 ( in one week!) and I am 5.6′- so I didn’t need to loose that weight. I load my soups up with fats but a few mouthfuls of that doesn’t go as far energy-wise as fruit and nuts together with my metabolism and my job. How long into the diet can we eat fruit? The whole self-assessment thing, judging each new stage food by one’s reaction was really hard for me as I am bloated all the time, so it’s hard to tell what my body is ready for. How can I tell?

    • Hi Chanah,

      As I said in my last reply, I would just go to full GAPS for now, until you are feeling up for doing intro as laid out.

      While you are eating full GAPS, keep reading all the posts and comments that come up on this blog during the group intro. You’ll start getting a good sense of how to approach intro next time. (The one I post in the next couple of days, about pacing, when to move forward, etc, will be helpful to you. Note: That information is already in the GAPS Guide book and stated more clearly in the ‘Book Updates’ page.)

      I also strongly recommend, again, that you re-start the probiotics at the amounts laid out in GAPS Guide, and work those up only in the increments suggested there.

      All my best,
      Baden

  16. Miranda,

    Thanks for the email. I used to drink my cocoa like that sometimes anyway! I am apparently not meant to eat chocolate or coconut milk ( from a can) for a while anyway… It’s great that you and your husband have such good results.

    best, Chanah

  17. Mike,
    Thanks for the input about casein goat milk versus cow.
    As for sticking to the intro diet strictly, how long did u do it for?

    I only had the stamina for one week untill I ended up feeling so frustrated and angry about the fact i had to stay on the diet that I quit. I was just too bored with the soups to carry on, and was not able to introduce the eggs or yogurt…

    How long untill u ate fruit?

    I find the lack of structured time plan really hard too as I never know if I am ‘ready’ to go onto the next stage since I am bloated whatever I eat. Any tips?

    Thanks, Chanah

  18. Mike,
    Thanks for the input. I think the yogurt is fine actually! How can one tell if it is fully fermented? Mine was left ofr about 36 hours or more in a warmish place ( part of the time in the sun) and it tastes tart and yummy. I don’t get any extra bloating on top of the regular bloating I alway have from it, so I guess when measuring these things I should take my regular bloated belly shape/size to e ‘ground zero’ and if there is no extra bloating than I can take it as being digested ok. Or at least that I am not having a sensitivity reaction to it. I wish my bloating was as simple as yours was with the buddha Belly! I It is still a mystery what is going on here for me as many people report after they’ve cut out their senstivity foods and been on the diet only a week the bloating eases/goes away. PLus I went to see a colonic therapist and had my first irrigation the other day and she said I had ‘a happy colon’ and the problem was not really in that area, but the sm intestine. Many people also feel a relief from Bloating when they have a colonic, but it made no difference to me. WHy am I so different!!!! It is so frustrating!

    Th Pepsin ( & HCI) pills are taken with protein meal ( ALL my meals now) to provide Hydocholric Acid ( I produce non at all) to break proteins down.

    Chanah

    • How do I start a new link/post subject?

      Hi Chanah,

      Not sure what you mean. Right now we’re all commenting via my blog. To start a discussion in a specific matter, one would use the online support forums. See this blog’s ‘Support’ page to find several options.

      All my best,
      Baden

  19. I just wanted to throw in a way of making yogurt that has worked every time for me (I had many failures until I started making it this way). I had a very cold NE kitchen and this method keeps the yogurt consistantly at a good temperature for the yogurt to bloom and grow. Heat the milk to about 180 F. Cool to 115 F. Add culture. Place in quart jar (s). Lid the jar (s) and place in a small 6 pack size cooler that has warm water (120 F) in it. You need the warm water to come up to but no higher than the neck of the jar. Let ferment for as long as you need. It can ready in as little as 6 hours. This method has never failed–and it’s easy and cheap.

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks so much for sharing this tip!

      Just to clarify for all readers: For yogurt to be suitable for GAPS, it must ferment at least 24 hours. It may be hard to maintain a warm enough temperature for this long by this method, but if you can, great!

      All my best,
      Baden

      • Julie and Baden

        As a suggestion to maintain the temperature needed for 24 hours drain some water off, most eskys [Australian for cooler] have a drain hole on the side, and top up with more warm/hot water. You may have to do this once or twice making sure not to disturb your mix.

        I haven’t done it but it could be worth a try. I imagine it would be similar to the feedback I read where they just turned the yoghurt maker back on once it had switched off.

    • Hi Abi,

      Yes, it totally fits to make it in a crockpot. What’s important is the time (24 hrs +) and the temperature maintained.

      All my best,
      Baden

  20. A relative newbie to GAPS, I’m worried about the casein in yogurt, so I make coconut milk yogurt, with the TetraPak coconut (Aroy-D to be precise), not any canned variety. I only ferment it 8 to 12 hours since there’s no lactose to get rid of. Do you think this is a good substitute for milk 24-hour yogurt? Or are there other things than the probiotics that makes the milk yogurt an essential part of the GAPS diet?

    • Hi Odile,

      Many people intolerant of casein tolerate it well in the 24-hour fermented yogurt. This said, I’m not aware of any other benefits specific to the yogurt -many do GAPS with no dairy whatsoever. So long as one’s fats needs are met through other foods, any fermented food is a great choice bringing equal probiotic benefits, yes. Please still ferment it for the normal time period to allow lots of probiotic to develop. Any kefired drink (milk, coconut water, water, etc) is also an excellent choice, adding beneficial yeasts to the picture. My only concerns about coconut -and I’m not sure if this applies to fermented coconut products or not- is that coconut oil can trigger a lot of die-off while coconut water triggers diarrhea in some. With some healing under one’s belt, though, all aspects of a coconut are wonderful!

      All my best,
      Baden

    • Hi Odile,
      There are different types of casein, type A1 beta casein, which is found in most cow’s milk in North America, and type A2 beta casein, which is found in all goat’s milk and in some lines of cattle in Asia and Africa, and selectively bred into cow’s milk in Australia and New Zealand. “The Devil in the Milk” by Keith Woodford is an excellent reference on the subject. Most people have trouble with the peptide BCM7, which forms from the A1 milk, not the A2 milk.

      I hope this helps.

      Mike

  21. Hi Baden,
    I’ve been on GAPS for about one month now and it’s the first thing I’ve tried that is consistently changing my health for the better! I’ve tried making yogurt once, and sour cream twice, and have a few questions:
    1. One of the issues I struggle with, both in making sour cream and yogurt, is that once I get the milk/cream cooled down to 110 degrees, by the time I immediately add the starter (freeze-dried powder), and pour it into jars, the temp is down to 100 degrees. I have all of my equipment ready and move swiftly through the process, yet it still cools to below the recommended 105 degrees. I believe part of the problem is that when I mixed the starter with some of the cooled milk/cream, it was a bit lumpy, so I used a hand-blender to fully incorporate it – I think that’s what caused it to cool down too much. Any suggestions?
    2. When I made my first batch of yogurt, it was more liquid than I desired, so I drained it through cheese cloth for a few hours. Can the liquid that drained out be used as starter for the next batch of yogurt or sour cream? If so, in what ratio?
    Thanks,
    Merrilee

    • Hi Merrilee,

      So glad of your health gains to date!!

      1. For dairy ferments, I actually cool it all the way to room temperature before adding the starter, then slowly bring the temp back up to 110 via its fermentation container. Please see this post: http://gapsguide.com/2009/09/15/gaps-yogurt/ This said, Dr Natasha suggests adding the culture at the fermentation temperature, so that’s fine, but Dr Natasha also notes a runnier result than I get. As you’ll note in the instructions I just linked to, I cool all the way to room temp before adding my cultures and, even in using the famously runny goat milk, I get a thick yogurt every time.

      2. The liquid you strain out is whey, and is an awesome food (and starter for some things). I’m not sure about it one way or the other as a starter for yogurt. I only know people to use the yogurt itself as starter for more, in which case they add about 1/3 cup yogurt from the previous batch to one litre of new fluid.

      All my best,
      Baden

      • Hi Baden,
        I just made another batch of yogurt following your directions above, so am anxiously awaiting the results! I use a yogurt maker to ferment my dairy (Yolife brand) – it will be a good test to see if it brings it back up to 95-110 degrees from room temp. On my previous few attempts the dairy was around 100 degrees when I put it in the maker, and after 24 hours the yogurt was the same 100 degree temp., so I believe it will work.
        Thank you so much for this helpful info. When I first embarked on GAPS I ordered Dr. Natasha’s Gut & Psychology Syndrome book plus the Internal Bliss cookbook. I wasn’t aware until I found your blog that you had written the GAPS Guide – which I promptly ordered and it arrived yesterday – can’t wait to carve out some time to read it! Thanks for your invaluable help!!
        Gratefully,
        Merrilee

    • Merrilee,
      We almost always let ours cool to room temp before adding culture. As long as it is not too hot you are OK. The only difference we have seen with less runny yogurt is to add more culture, then we get a thicker batch, sometimes thicker than others. I do reuse my yogurt a few times to start the next batch.

      Glad you are feeling better on GAPS.

      Ann

      • Thanks for the confirmation, Ann. I just made another batch using some yogurt from a previous batch, so am anxious to see how it turns out.
        Thanks,
        Merrilee

    • Hi, Merrilee,

      You can make yogurt out of coconut milk and it is out of this world for taste! Added benefits: really easy to make, don’t have to wait 24 hours (no lactose to eliminate), and the healing properties of coconut oil which coconut milk is full of.

      My recipe is at http://odddlycrunchy.blogspot.com/2011/10/quick-and-easy-coconut-milk-yogurt.html. I only use the coconut milk in tetrapak, which has no additives and is already flash-heated so doesn’t need to be boiled first.

      Hope you try it!

      Odile

      • Hi Odile,
        Love your online name :) The coconut yogurt sounds great – when you buy the coconut milk in tetrapak is it ‘legal’ on GAPS? (Dr. Natasha’s book only references homemade coconut milk as far as I can find.)
        Thanks,
        Merrilee

        • I don’t really know if it’s GAPS legal. The package only lists coconut and water as ingredients, and if you look it up (Aroy-D – look at http://importfood.com/cfch1301.html for example) you’ll see it’s preservative-free and award-winning. It has 60% coconut to 40% water so it’s very thick, more like coconut cream than milk. We dilute it for drinking.

  22. After having spent a semester trying to eat in food service with severe allergies, I wound up in the emergency room during Christmas break. After that I went to go see a health professional that had helped a family friend. And now I’m trying the GAPS Diet while at college in Kentucky, USA. It’s taken about a month of work to convince the college firstly to let me off food service and in about a day or two I’ll be refunded my money. The plan is to then budget it out and hit this diet full throttle. The areas of confusion I’m running into are these: 1) when making yogurt and kefir is there a particular brand or starter culture that is recommended? 2) I’ve search online and discovered yogurt makers. Are these worth buying especially since I still live in a dorm? 3) How on earth do you make saurkraut?? and 4) What if I simply can’t find any milk that is non-homogenized or pasteurized? Heck finding organic foods is hard enough. Lastly, 5) What specific cooking supplies do I need? I’ve borrowed a crockpot, blender, and juicer from friends. Then, I’m also borrowing small saucepans from my roommate. Is there anything else I need.

    If you have any additional advice aside from my questions, feel free to give it. I’m really struggling here. I only found out about my allergies before going to college and changing my diet to fit those needs was impossible enough.

    • Wow, Sarah, congratulations on taking on the college food status quo head on!

      Also congratulations on catching your food “allergies” so soon (I say “allergies” because humans are capable of eating a lot of foods that are slow poisons and the effects only show up late in life with many of the reactions being what we consider “normal” aging. There are “canaries” out there showing us earlier in their lives how toxic the current human diet is, not just for those who are “allergic,” but for all humans. You’re getting an early chance to change your own elder years in very positive ways).

      I suspect you’ll get other responses but:

      Yogurt makers are simple machines and wouldn’t be a problem in a dorm. The problem might be how much refrigeration space to you have once you’ve made yogurt/kefir. I’ve found, essentially by accident (i.e lack of time), that store bought kefir with live cultures does still continue to grow over a month or so, even in my refrigerator. What started off as liquid ended up partially solid (not quite yogurt consistency but close) because it sat in my fridge for several weeks. I suspect commercial yogurts and kefirs might continue to grow to where they best need to be for GAPS diet if left unrefrigerated for a period (that period dependent on ambient temp). Worth an experiment anyway before buying a yogurt maker. A yogurt strainer would be worthwhile. You can drain the whey from the yogurt, get yogurt cheese (requiring less refrigeration space) and have whey to produce lacto-fermented yummies.

      Fermented veggies, such as sauerkraut, and fermented beverages such as beet kvass (SO yum!), came out of situations with our ancestorrs where refrigeration didn’t exist. They can be made with just salt or they can be lacto-fermented (hence the leftover whey mentioned above). If you’ve got a store that carries Bubbies Sauerkraut, it is a fermented, not pickled, sauerkraut (i.e. probiotic) and is worthwhile. I’d strongly suggest you buy the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig for more information on fermenting all sorts of tasty foods. A lot of what’s in that book isn’t appropriate for GAPS, but a lot of it is and it’s chock full of excellent nutritional information. I’ve had mine for years and am still learning from it.

      When making bone broths (I LOVE my crockpots for these!), remember to add some sort of acid (vinegar, wine, lemon juice) when making them, plus some seaweed and maybe medicinal mushrooms (such as shitaki) for additional minerals/nutrients. The acid draws minerals out of the bones. I strongly recommend making reductions of the sauces once their done (watch them like a hawk or when they get close to actually being reduction sauces, they can quickly turn into a burned pot). 2 quarts of bone broth can be reduced to a pint of reduction and if refrigeration space is limited, that’s great. Also a spoonful of the reduction sauce is so yummy, you could almost finish the pint as dessert (think gravy without any grain and with actually more flavor). With a full kitchen, a spoonful of reduction bone broth makes a tasty addition to almost anything savory you’re cooking.

      We’re on a loose version of the GAPS diet because my husband, disabled from multiple concussions, went from daily seizures to none on even the loose version of GAPS. Due to our life situation which includes a lawsuit (bleah), I haven’t had a chance to experiment as much as I’d like with creating and/or altering recipes for GAPS, but I do have some. One of the keys is creating GAPS acceptable sauces that can be quickly added to even canned meat and some veggies for a meal (thinking dorm life). Feel free to email me at otter1133@nullearthlink.net and I’ll send you recipes that I’ve modified so far (including a couple of nut flour breads if you have access to an oven). Put something in the subject about GAPS diet so I’ll know it’s not spam.

      Stick to your guns! You live is literally at stake.

      • Miranda and Sarah:

        Miranda, thanks for the awesome, comprehensive response to Sarah!
        Ditto to all points :)
        And awesome about even a loose version of GAPS being so helpful to your husband!

        Sarah: To Miranda’ post, I would just add that you might want to skip buying a yogurt maker and just make kefir, making just a small amount each week. Then you don’t need extra equipment nor a lot of fridge space. Kefir packs a real whallop, so when space and money are not an issue, starting with yogurt can be a very helpful transition, but if need be, one might be able to start with a tiny amount of kefir and work up.

        All my best,
        Baden

    • Hi Sarah,

      I replied to your second post a few minutes ago -working my way backwards…

      Awesome advocating for your health needs at school!

      1) Any starter is fine. For kefir, it’s most cost-effective to get live kefir culture from someone, and maintain a batch indefinitely. Sources for kefir starter include: GAPS email support lists (see this blog’s ‘Support for You’ page); local friends or groups doing GAPS, WAPF, dense nutrition, etc; people selling it online.

      2) In my reply earlier to you today I noted that you might skip the yogurt maker re: cost and space, and try starting directly with kefir. Please see that comment for more info.

      3) The simplest way I’ve found to make sauerkraut is laid out here: http://gapsguide.com/2009/11/10/fermented-veggie-recipes/

      4) If you can’t find raw/non-pasteurized/organic/non-homogenized milk, then just use what you can find. For most people, this will be fine. The benefits of this fermented will still be worth it. Same goes for organic food. Just get the best of what you can, considering availability, personal budget, etc.

      5) To start, all you really need is a soup pot, a cutting board, a knife, a wide mouth mason jar, and FOOD :)

      For way more info for beginning GAPS, and to make it as easy (and cheap) as possible, please be sure to read the entire GAPS Guide before starting the program.

      All my best,
      Baden

  23. When making yogurt, could you tell me how much commercial yogurt I would need (for a starter) when culturing a gallon of milk?

    Thank you!
    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle,

      For one litre or quart of milk, use 1/4 cup of commercial yogurt (plain, unsweetened) as the starter.

      All my best,
      Baden

  24. I plan on buying a yogurt maker, but when reading reviews, many comment that the maker goes to 130 degrees. Has anyone tested the temperature of their yogurt and found their yogurt maker maintains the roughly 100-110 degrees?

    I’ve considered the other means of making yogurt and think a yogurt maker is best for me.

  25. I am currently making a batch of goat milk yogurt in my dehydrator for the first time. I had the dehydrator set between 105 and 115 on the dial, but I stuck my hand in there last night and it seemed a bit hot so I put my candy thermometer into the dehydrator and it read around 115. I turned the dehydrator down to close to 95 but it is still reading close to 115 when I check it. I was wondering two things:

    Is a candy thermometer an accurate thermometer for checking inside a dehydrator? And if not, is there a kind that would be better?

    Is my yogurt ruined (probiotic-wise) if it gets up to 115 or maybe even a few degrees hotter?

    Thanks so much for any help,
    Sita

    • Hi Sita,

      You’re catching me online :)

      A couple of thoughts:

      1. A candy thermometer is totally fine. Preferably, the thermometer is one that can be recalibrated, so that we can know its numbers are accurate.

      2. Rather than the surrounding air, test the temperature of the yogurt itself.

      3. If the yogurt itself is a bit too warm, turn the dehydrator down to whatever setting keeps the yogurt at the desired temperature. For some ferments, I set my Excalibur to just barely ‘on’ -not even a labelled temperature. If even that’s too hot in your dehydrator, consider buying a dimmer switch from a hardware store, plugging the dehydrator into that, and lower the temperature even further via the dimmer.

      4. All of this said, small variations are okay and likely the temp will fluctuate over the course of the 24-36 hours. I would not expect the yogurt to be ruined. I would use it.

      All my best,
      Baden

  26. Thanks for all the good tips, Baden. I just checked my actual yogurt instead of the dehydrator and the thermometer stopped going up at 105 so I think I am good. I used raw goat’s milk, and the yogurt looked like it was firming up nicely. :)

  27. I’m new to GAPS and plan on slowly getting into it. (My wife and I spent 2 years on a WAPF-inspired diet about 4 years ago, so we’ll see how it goes). I like everything I’m reading, and we already do some of this stuff. We began buying raw cow and goat milk 2 weeks ago before I heard of GAPS, and already make our own yogurt. My question is this…

    If part of the GAPS protocol is that none of us should ever drink or consume pasteurized milk then why is this yogurt recipe calling for somebody to heat their milk to 180 prior to it cooling/adding yogurt cultures? Heating milk to 180 IS pasteurization, is it not? :) I experimented with my first batch of raw milk yogurt last week, again prior to hearing of GAPS 2 days ago. Heated it to 120, added cold yogurt cultures which brought temp down to 115 or so, and then put it in my dehydrator for 8 hours set on 110. Yes… it was thin and not very sour, whereas store milk heated to 180 and then cultured is quite thick. Next batch will go for full 24 hours and we’ll see how it goes. I might let it cool to room temp as you suggest prior to adding the cultures and putting in dehydrator.

    Just putting in my 2 cents that this recipe at the beginning of the thread needs to change, because it would be ruining good, raw milk to heat it to 180 and would make it just as worthless as milk from the grocery store. Thoughts?

    • Hi Doug,

      Welcome to the community! Good to have you with us…

      Thanks for your comment -I always appreciate hearing where a matter needs more clarity.

      On GAPS, we don’t necessarily avoid pasteurized milk. That is, the optimal choice is raw, but many people cannot access this, either due to cost, regional laws, travel required to obtain it, etc. Thus, many people doing GAPS do need to use the only milk they can access -pasteurized. Pasteurized milk should be heated before fermentation. Raw milk does not need to be, though heating it may result in a more consistent product. Slowly and gently heating raw milk to just below the boiling point is considered within GAPS to be much “kinder” to the milk than commercial pasteurization is.

      Does this help?

      All my best,
      Baden

      • Thank you, Baden! I thought I had read Dr. Natasha say somewhere about why pasteurized milk was bad and should be avoided. (It is dead). However, after thinking about it, I realize that the milk is simply a conduit for the good bacteria from yogurt to grow, so can be made alive again in a beneficial way for those who cannot access raw milk as I am now blessed with!

        Today was milk pickup day, and as we were sick part of the week and didn’t use much of last week’s raw milk (we get 1.5 gallons of cow and 1/2 gallon of goat per week at the moment), I made 3 quarts of yogurt in the dehydrator yesterday and let it cook for 24 hours. Since it was a little old, I heated it to 150, let it cool to 75 and then added the cultures. Like you said, it was definitely thicker this way. I set the Excalibur dehydrator at 110, and I think that may have been a little high. Might lower to 105 next time.

        Prior to chiming in on future topics, I’m going to read the books first! I just received the GAPS book by Dr. Natasha, as well as the Internal Bliss cookbook. I bought them both from Amazon. :) We are going to ease into this diet as we deplete our pantry of once-considered-healthy-but-not-GAPS-friendly items over the next couple of months. Probably go 100% after my wife finishes breastfeeding and we return from our vacation in late August.

        We also have access to an amazing store 1/2 mile from our house where I get grassfed beef, bison, elk, etc… as well as pasture-raised chickens. I have my own backyard flock for eggs, and a large organic garden.

        AND, we have another fish market close by, and my friends who work there are giving me all of the FREE fresh red snapper (or salmon, or anything else I want) carcasses and heads. I made the first fish stock the other day. It will take some getting used to, but my wife loves it. :)

        To say it briefly, let’s do this!!!! :)

        Thank you for having this website, and helping people with GAPS. While I have not read the book, I get the feeling I’m getting ready to discover the remaining pieces of the puzzle I’ve been trying to solve for 15 years regarding my health recovery!

        Doug

  28. Hi all,

    I was wondering if matsoni could be made GAPS-legal? I just discovered this amazing version of yogurt and it is so, so simple… it’s tempting to think about experimenting with it! Does anyone have any experience, or any thoughts?

    Best,
    Taryn

  29. Hi,

    I’ve tried to use the same yogurt maker but the temperature after 20 hours was 120! I live in the UK and can’t seem to find a dimmer extension for under £200. They all seem very very expensive. Has anyone for any suggestions on what to do?

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