In my blog post about suffering from IBS earlier this month, I mentioned that I’d be sharing some ways that have helped me to calm my digestive system and lessen the intensity/frequency of IBS episodes.
For anyone with IBS, I encourage you to embark on some open-minded discovery of your trigger foods, because every single one of us is different. For me, one amazing discovery and daily addition to my diet has been live yoghurt. It drastically reduces any bloating, discomfort, embarrassment or pain, instead actually plying my belly with the good bacteria that helps digest food.
It’s remarkable actually- the affect that a little (ok, big) bowl of live yoghurt first thing in the morning can have on how I digest my food for the rest of the day. In totally non-scientific terms, it floods your gut with the sort of bacteria you want (the sort that feasts on your food and break down into digestable goodness) rather than the bacteria you don’t want (the sort that feasts on your food and turns it into gas, leading to painful bloating, bad smells and difficulty with digestion.
Anyway, this yoghurt recipe was given to me by my old boss, who I had a conversation with about all fermentation and live bacteria in your diet. Because, y’know, who doesn’t talk to their boss about this stuff quite frankly?
One thing you’ll quickly notice about this recipe… you buy and use live yoghurt (which is readily available in shops) in the recipe. You use it act as the “seed” from which a huge amount of bacteria multiply, equalling a far larger batch of live yoghurt.
So, to be fair, you might just decide to save yourself the hassle in the kitchen, and eat the live yoghurt you flippin’ bought! For new, I just found it really satisfying to create my own jars of yummy creamy yoghurt to eat over the week!
Before you make the yoghurt, you need to STERILISE your jars and tablespoon
Do this by thoroughly washing the jars and tablespoon in boiling kettle water. Ideally then heat it all in the oven for 10 minutes at 150C. Then turn off the oven and leave to cool.
When they’re cool, try to only pick them up using fresh kitchen paper (eg. Don’t use your bare hands or a pair of oven gloves that have been sitting in the kitchen for months- or else you’ll just cover them in bacteria again!) Store them on clean kitchen paper while you make your yoghurt.
Now, onto the good bit – making your yoghurt and several gazillion happy bacteria!
2 litres of while milk
one small pot of full fat, live yoghurt.
- Heat milk in saucepan to 82C. Do it relatively slowly over 15-20 mins, so it doesn’t burn. Keep stirring near the end so it doesn’t catch
- Take milk off heat and allow to cool. This can take ages, so stir/sit pan in sink of cold water to speed it up
- When milk has reached 46C, stir in some live yoghurt – about 1 tablespoon per litre of milk. Mix thoroughly with your sterilised spoon.
- Pour straight into sterilised jars or other container
- Leave overnight in a warm place – oven with only the light on is ideal. I like to leave mine wrapped in a towel too. This could also be boiler cupboard with towels wrapped round jars. Just somewhere where the jars will stay warm but not hot, all night (or for a minimum 6 hours). This warmth means the good gut bacteria will multiply like crazy.
- Put in fridge when you get up- the milk will have solidified into yoghurt and will now set as you chill it.
If you remember you can seed the next batch with the final spoonfuls of the current batch.
And there you have it. Two litres of yummy, lightly set, live yoghurt. And hopefully a less bloated belly full of good bacteria!