A Toast to your Health
Yoghurt or yogurt is a dairy product that is made from the bacterial fermentation of milk. According to the history books, people have been making and consuming yoghurt for over 4,500 years. The earliest known yoghurts were probably spontaneously made by wild bacteria. A known cure for acidity and an upset stomach, yoghurt is also rich in many nutrients like proteins, vitamins, calcium, and riboflavin. Moderately lactose intolerant people can partake in the many benefits of yoghurt. This is because of the bacteria, which converts the lactose in the milk to lactic acid. The lactic acid is also said to promote good gum health.
The active culture of bacteria in the yoghurt helps the digestive process. The best way to consume yoghurt is to have it fresh with the active cultures in it. Most people generally tend to eat it as a dessert although frozen yoghurt may not have the same health benefits associated with it. Adding fresh fruits to the yoghurt can make it a delicious after-meal serving, although the idea is definitely to add the fruit to fresh yoghurt rather than purchasing the pre-packaged, fruit flavored yoghurts.
The lactic acid in yoghurt helps digest lactose. This is the key ingredient that makes yoghurt such a wonderfully healthy product. It is easy to make fresh yoghurt too. All you need is a starter (an active yoghurt is probably the least expensive), milk (cow or goat), a large enough saucepan to heat the milk, and a cup or container to keep the yoghurt. Heat the milk in the saucepan slowly. Let it become hot without reaching the boiling point. The heat helps to change the milk proteins. After heating, let the milk cool until the saucepan is warm to touch. Now add the yoghurt starter to the milk and mix well. Pour the milk into the container and let it ferment for seven to eight hours. The container has to sit undisturbed in a warm place – an oven with a pilot light works well. After eight hours, you can refrigerate the yoghurt and enjoy it after any meal.