L. Reuteri yogurt is easy to make and keeps the probiotic species growing. While I’m not a big fan of most dairy, especially low-fat and adulterated dairy, I do see a valuable place for fermented dairy in our human diet.
Traditional ferments, like yogurt, kefir, and skyr, provide optimal conditions for probiotics species to thrive AND to survive our gastrointestinal tract to confer a benefit for our intestines. Thus, when using probiotics, fermented dairy is an incredible functional food.
Probiotic capsules and tablets have a shelf-life because they are living organisms which die off over time. However, when put into an optimal environment, they can also proliferate and thrive beyond their labelled numbers. They simply need substrate (i.e. a place to grow) and fodder (i.e. something to feed on).
Lactose, a milk sugar, is an excellent fuel source for many species. As they proliferate, they digest the lactose and change its structure. (This is similar to the sugar that is used as fodder in brewing Kombucha. The final product has only digested sugars. re: Fermentation)
Making homemade L. Reuteri yogurt using the Instant Pot is very simple! I won’t say foolproof because a number of things can go wrong. But, if you find success, you’ll be rewarded with very tasty, functional fermented dairy that keeps on giving! You can continue to use a bit of L. Reuteri yogurt from the mother batch for many more.
Simple steps to make thick at-home yogurt:
What you’ll need:
- Potato Starch or Inulin Powder. (This helps proliferate the bacteria)
- 2 Qts. Organic Half and Half or Heavy Cream + Whole Milk
- BioGaia Gastrus Probiotic – L. Reuteri yogurt species
- Instant Pot
- Select 10 of the Biogaia Probiotic Tablets and crush into a fine powder. (This is the part that makes you feel a bit like a druggie). If you have a mortar and pestle, great. If not, I find that the bottom of a glass works just as well.
- In a small dish, combine 2 tablespoons of starch or inulin and a small amount of half and half or cream. The idea is to mix this into a slurry. If you’ve used starch in baking before, you know that it is a thickener. Don’t skip this step or you’ll end up with weird clumpy yogurt.
- Once you have a smooth slurry of starch and half and half, mix in the crushed probiotics.* [Note at this step, if you are using yogurt from a previous batch simply stir in 3-4 tablespoons instead of the probiotics. I’ve had success on 4-5 batches in a row. You’ll know when you need to start over with fresh tablets as the yogurt will not turn out]
- Add the mixture with the rest of the half and half or heavy cream and milk into the large pot of the Instant Pot.
- Press the ‘Yogurt’ Function, and set the time to 34:00 (34 hours). This function simply keeps the instant pot at a warm temperature, it doesn’t actually use pressure. You MAY be able to replicate this using a slow cooker, but I haven’t attempted it myself.
- Leave it alone and wait. No need to stir or open the lid. This can introduce new bacteria into the batch and contaminate the yogurt before it is ready.
- At the end of the cycle, you should have thick, yogurt-y goodness. It may have some uneven liquid and possibly some yellow spots. This is ok. If you have any black or green mold OR the yogurt tastes off … throw it out and start over.
- Pour the yogurt into jars and allow to thicken up in the fridge. And thicken up it will. This yogurt can stand up on its own on a plate it’s so thiccck. THICK with three C’s.
*You may use almost any probiotic strain that is most beneficial to YOU here. I like the L. Reuteri yogurt for gut health. If you have been prescribed or suggested a certain strain, this is a great way to maximize the species and proliferate it from one base batch!
How to Enjoy Instant Pot L. Reuteri Yogurt:
The yogurt will keep for a week or more in the refrigerator. Remember to save a small amount to use as starter for the next batch (and to begin the next batch in advance, 34 hours is a long time to wait!)
Consume the yogurt plain or sweeten and top as desired.
My go-to lately is a drizzle of raw honey + bee pollen + fresh berries. I always order my specialty toppings from Thrive Market for the best deals on organic granola, honey, dried fruit, and nuts!
Want to work with a nutritionist to personalize your diet?
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I’m surprised by your Reuteri yogurt recipe that you do not preheat your 1/2 & 1/2 to 180* and cool it before adding your starter. Is that preheat step not necessary? Why does every other recipe require it?
I’ve found that the preheating is not necessary and I’ve had success with every batch. It is meant to prevent harmful bacterial growth, but with today’s pasteurization of store-bought dairy I think it is excessive.
Love your article, especially using the IP. Looks very easy to make.
Dr. Davis’ recipe calls for one quart of half-and-half while yours call for two quarts. Does this mean that your recipe will produce twice as much? If so, will the bacteria end up as half of Dr. Davis’ when it is done?
The bacteria will proliferate in the substrate provided, so you’ll end up with an adequate “dose” of bacteria even with the same amount of starter. The yogurt lasts the same amount of time, so make sure to eat it up in larger quantities!
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Thanks for this recipe! If I half the recipe do I still keep it in for 34 hours?
Hello, I made a batch of this and it has a little bit of a pink discoloration on the top. Is that normal? Also, it smells sooo bad. I’m hoping I didn’t mess this up, but afraid to try it of that pink stuff is mold or a bad bacteria.