How to make raw milk yogurt in in instant pot – and some thoughts on why we’ve been able to have raw dairy when we can’t consume other dairy products.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but I feel worried sharing it for some reason! Since I’ve shared other things about my health online I figured I owed you an update.Jump to Recipe
Why I had to quit dairy
In 2019 my lifestyle doctor suggested that I go on a plant based diet to see if it affected my cholesterol levels or my asthma. By cutting out meat, I was able to lower my cholesterol slightly but not enough to justify a totally meat free life. Instead, we work on finding and consuming well sourced meat (grass fed and pasture raised whenever we are able to). We originally thought my cholesterol went down a lot, but it turns out that was my Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroidism) that messed with my levels.
We DID figure out that dairy was something that was affecting me more that I realized. I always thought I was someone who had no issues with dairy since I was able to eat it without any digestive issues. Once I cut out dairy, I realized that I didn’t deal with my asthma or seasonal allergies at all. As someone who has dealt with asthma since I was maybe 6 years old, and had to be on steroids most winters of my adult life…this was life changing!
I have avoided dairy (yes, I miss cheese) for the last few years and can always feel it when I have some dairy! My seasonal allergies usually act up first. We try to avoid it at home but obviously when we’re out at other peoples houses, at restaurants, or on vacation, it’s hard to completely avoid. But my body lets me know every time! Essentially – dairy raises the inflammation in my body, My asthma and allergies are directly affected by my inflammation levels in my body. When I keep my inflammation levels lower, I am able to have my asthma and allergies under control without any medication. What a gift!
Dairy free to raw dairy?
I had heard of people saying that raw dairy was a good alternative for people who have dairy issues. I never thought much of it because I didn’t think it would work for me.
But a friend who lives locally told me we had a farm 5 minutes from me that she gets raw dairy from, and that I should try it. I went to her house and she showed me how she stores it and uses it in her home, and I figured I’d give it a try! So I did … and didn’t react to it at all!
I was kind of shocked. I’ve been consistently consuming raw (grass fed) dairy from our local farm for over 4 months so I feel like that’s a pretty good chunk of time to make sure it’s actually not adding to my inflammation.
Why raw dairy?
The truth is, dairy free products can be filled with a lot of garbage. Some of them are great (we love the Elmhurst brand for milks and Miyokos brand for butter) but they’re very expensive and harder to find. And many times it feels like the dairy free alternatives are giving me something I can consume as a substitute, but they’re not actually providing a lot of nutritional benefits.
Since it seems like I’m able to consume raw dairy with no side effects, I love knowing that this is a much less processed food I’m consuming, and it has health benefits for me as well.
NOTE: Raw dairy is not for everyone. Raw dairy does come with risks. You must trust the farm that you’re getting your raw dairy from, and it is really important that you get a product that isn’t contaminated. I am not giving anyone medical or nutritional advice in this post, but I am just sharing my experience.
Homemade yogurt using raw milk
After consuming raw milk without any issues, I started wondering if I could attempt making my own raw milk yogurt. To make yogurt, you have to heat the milk to 180 degrees, so I wasn’t sure if that would cause me to react to the milk again. However, again, I have not had any issues with homemade raw milk yogurt.
I have LOVED having this on hand. My whole family eats it regularly and we go through one batch a week. It’s very very simple to make in an instant pot, and it’s packed with nutrients and protein!
I made a video to show the steps – just click “play” to see how I do it from start to finish. The full recipe is below the video in this post.
Raw Milk Yogurt Recipe – using the Instant Pot
Raw Milk Yogurt
- 1/2 gallon raw milk
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk greek yogurt
- Use a clean sealing ring in your instant pot
- Sterilize the instant pot with 1 c water
- Drain the water
- Pour the milk into the instant pot insert container and secure the lid in place
- Push the yogurt button + set to "boil". Then press start.
- Once it is finished, read the temperature of the milk. If it's not at 180 degrees, then put on the sauté setting so the milk gets to 180 degrees.
- Remove the insert container so the milk can cool to 110 degrees.
- Add in the yogurt (plain, whole milk yogurt with live active cultures).
- Stir until the yogurt is fully combined with the milk.
- Place the insert container back in the instant pot, and set the yogurt button to 8 hours (you can do more if desired - I just do 8).
- Secure the lid in place and press start. (it will not seal during this process - but don't open it up)
- After 8 hours at the yogurt setting, the yogurt should be slightly set, and a watery jelly-like consistency.
- Pour directly into the strainer, and then place in the refrigerator overnight to drain.
TO MAKE A THINNER FLAVORED YOGURT
- The next morning, take your thick strained Greek yogurt and add a splash of milk, some vanilla, and maple syrup to taste. This is what my kids love to eat!
Equipment needed to make raw milk yogurt:
While you can see how it’s not hard to make, there are a few things you will need to complete the process. Here are the items I use personally and love:
How to use the whey:
When you make greek yogurt using the strainer, it will give you plenty of whey leftover at the end. You can dispose of it, but you can also use it if you don’t want to get rid of it! Here’s some ways you can use the whey once it’s strained from the yogurt:
- Use it in baking
- Use the whey instead of water in recipes like pizza crust, breads, etc.
- Soak grains, nuts, seeds
- By soaking these in whey, it helps to break them down for easiest digestion
- Homemade cheese
- some homemade cheese recipes call for whey from strained yogurt as an ingredient