Yoghurt is a universal food and has been around since the Neolithic period or around 5000 BC found in all cultures around the world where animals which produce milk are kept.
Yoghurt at its best and most natural only contains milk, live cultures and bacteria and as part of a balanced diet is excellent for your health.
Yoghurt at its worst contains added sugars, cream, gums, thickeners, starches, artificial colours and flavours.
One of those artificial colours comes from insects and I know that insects are used for colouring or eaten in many cultures and the red colour comes from a cockroach variety called Carmine the colour is also known as cochineal or Natural red…That I can accept as we eat many animals and insects in our diets it is when the waters get muddied by the pesky manufacturers who add to the preparation fish glue and gelatin and who knows what else in their quest for the cheapest production possible and have proved so many times that they don’t have a care about the consumers health???
But as with anything be it plant based, insect based it may cause reactions in humans and such is the case in this instance used as a colouring not only in yoghurt but fruit juices, ice cream, confectionary (sweets) and also in cosmetics lipsticks and eyeshadow is Carmine/cochineal has been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people.
Isn’t that a cute picture of a child feeding himself and doesn’t he look pleased and why wouldn’t he?
Kids yoghurt line those supermarket chillers and they act like a magnet with labels which promote the latest kids fad …I.E…Ben 10, Barbie, Frozen, Munch Bunch, YoKids, Frubes, Smarties, too many to mention all designed in bright colours to attract kids…many labelled as deserts rather than yoghurt and that in itself should set those alarm bells ringing… They come in pots, pouches, tubes, little Fromage Frais pots so cute…
Do you know what is in them???
Most are very high in added sugars which all have an effect on the taste buds and if kids eat so much of this sugar-laden food then real food just doesn’t have that same taste…It ruins the taste buds and of course is a major factor in childhood diseases, obesity and that is as well as probably ruining their teeth.
Manufacturers have proven time and time again that all they care about is profit…They don’t care about the EFFECT on the nations children’s health and would say if challenged that you don’t have to buy them…NO…YOU DON’T!
Packaged breakfasts with muesli or fruit which I used to eat years ago working on the assumption that they were healthy I since found out they are anything but healthy… An average container contains 2.25 servings but the label shows the ingredients and quotes for 100gm but working on the basis that most people would eat the pot and not 100gm again sneaky manufacturers hiding true figures. It doesn’t take much to work out that if 100gm is stated to contain 594 KJ then if you eat the whole pot you are now looking at 1339 kJ plus 42 gm od added sugars…NOT such a healthy breakfast…
It is a sad world when you have to not only read the label but check the weight to get an accurate figure of what you are actually consuming…
I will now look at some individual types of yoghurt…
Coconut yoghurt just screams healthy, doesn’t it? Many contain per 100gm 785 KJ and 11.5 saturated fat and no calcium.
Probiotic yoghurt is marketed as healthy for your gut They can’t do any harm as part of a balanced diet BUT to really be of benefit to your gut you would have to consume many pots on a daily basis to benefit and then if you suffered from say IBS it could aggravate your condition so it would be more beneficial to seek advice from a dietician who specialises in gut health.
Again WHEN manufacturers are advertising the benefits of these the yoghurt how many you would have to consume is very conveniently not mentioned …IS IT?
Greek Yoghurt… Pure proper traditionally made yoghurt.
Greek yoghurt is a delicious thing it is made from sheep or goats milk which is strained to filter out excess liquid …whey…leaving a thicker yoghurt which is tart and higher in protein than other yoghurt.
BUT… Isn’t there always a but? Because there is no definite legal definition of true Greek Yoghurt some companies have found cheaper ways to produce a yoghurt with a similar taste and texture and get away with calling it Greek Style Yoghurt.
Greek Style Yogurt contains milk protein concentrates ( MPC), whey protein concentrates (WPC) as well as fillers like gelatin or modified corn starch. Now many MPC’S come from anywhere in the world the import of them is pretty much unregulated…That always sets of alarm bells for me as so many unregulated or very lax with regulated products and they have been since proven to be detrimental to our health.
It seems that the US is far more lax and does not and this is my opinion seem to put much store on the nation’s health and well-being in the words of the FDA “found no evidence of any significant hazard to the health of the human population”
The European Food Safety Organisation ( EFSA) on the other hand had concerns about the use of Carmine in foods and set up a committee to evaluate because of the number of recorded allergic reactions by the usage. The Carmine has now been replaced with a synthesized version made from plant extract using Calcium Oxide. A step in the right direction but I would like to know more about what the synthesized product is made up of…too many times things have been found to NOT be as they were touted to be…Yes, I know I am suspicious but past performance of committee’s and health organisations does not fill me with trust.
Pot set yoghurt the makers claim it is healthier and more nutritious because they don’t add thickeners or stabilizers but really there is rarely little difference…READ THE LABELS.
Natural or plain yoghurt is simply yoghurt with no sweeteners or flavourings or they should be again READ THE LABEL.
Lactose-free yoghurt… Are made using soy, almond or rice milk and can contain whey (milk proteins) not sugars…
Pouring yoghurt or drinks… Made the same as other fruit yoghurt just less or no thickeners to make them portable. But they are aimed again at kids much of the time and check the label because they may have less thickeners but what about the colouring and the sugars???
Your safest options are natural or plain yoghurt, Greek Yoghurt ( not Greek Style) and this is what irks me as tradition Greek yoghurt takes longer to make it is more expensive but although the Greek style yoghurt are cheaper to produce you will notice that they will be higher in cost than normal yoghurt and there will also not be hardly any difference in cost to the traditional Greek yoghurt…
I think we really need to be sending manufacturers a big message by reading labels and I know it is time-consuming but once you find a yoghurt that is healthy and not loaded with added sugar and preservatives then you won’t need to read the label every time you can also check from your comfy chair if you have the make as to what they contain and the longer the list the less inclined I am to buy the product .
Or… You could make own yoghurt get the kids to help choose their favourite fruits and if they help make it they are more inclined to eat it.
Making your own natural yoghurt is quite easy and you can either buy a yoghurt maker or if you have a thermometer, a saucepan and an oven or a thermos flask you are ready to go.
I would suggest making a small amount to start with and then take it from there as with anything some like their yoghurt to be quite tart wheras others prefer a milder taste it is a little bit of trial and error until you find what suits your palate.
Firstly you will need to buy some natural yoghurt to make your starter it must be a plain yoghurt not flavoured and must have live cultures…check the label. Once you have made your first batch of yoghurt you will then have the base for the future it is a little like your sourdough starter or ginger beer you need to have a starter.
The milk that you use to make your yoghurt should either be raw milk or locally produced milk which has been produced using a low pasteurisation process that is not homogenized or use goats milk. Just double-check that the milk you use is NOT ultra-pasteurized or homogenized you must use whole milk.
The healthier the milk used the healthier your yoghurt will be.
I would recommend starting off with a small batch first. For each 1 pint of milk you will need 1 tbsp of the natural yoghurt unless you already have a starter and then it is 1 tbsp of your starter.
1 quart of milk
2 tbsp of yoghurt or starter.
Let’s make some yoghurt!
Heat your milk in a stainless steel pan until it reaches 180 F.
Pour the milk into sterilised jars and cool down to 115 F you could also stand the jars in cold water to reduce the temperature quicker.
Then lightly stir in your natural yoghurt or your starter.
You can now either put your jars in your oven with just the light on which will produce a temperature of around 110 F and leave in the oven for 12-24 hours the longer it is left the tarter the yoghurt will be which is why I suggested making a couple of small batches until you get the flavour correct for you.
AT THIS POINT IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO USE THE OVEN THEN YOU CAN PUT THE MIX INTO A THERMOS FLASK AND LEAVE FOR THE SAME 12-24 HOURS.
Lastly, put the jars into the fridge until the yoghurt is cold and set. Then pour off the whey which has separated or pass the yoghurt through a muslin or cheesecloth to make a thicker yoghurt.
Once this is done then store in the fridge and eat as req and also keep some as a starter for your next batch of yoghurt.
This is where you can now sweeten the yoghurt with some honey or fresh fruit whatever your fancy is or just eat with fresh fruit or muesli. Once you have made your own yoghurt you will not want to buy any from a store it really is very easily made and much healthier and with no fillers or sweeteners.
Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed if you did please feel free to share…Sharing is caring… x
Connect to Carol( Moi)
Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot xx