We’re talking all about fermented and cultured dairy! Everything from the health benefits, the history and why you should absolutely be consuming fermented dairy on a regular basis. Not just fermented dairy, but HOMEMADE fermented dairy and why it’s so much better for you!
Learning how to make cultured and fermented dairy products such as homemade yogurt and homemade cultured buttermilk is a beautiful thing to do for your health. Additionally it increases the shelf-life of your dairy products regardless if made from store bought milk or fresh milk from your dairy cow. It's also more frugal than purchasing these products at the grocery store or specialty food market, and it’s really fun!
This is exactly what we're discussing in today's Pioneering Today Podcast, episode #295.
Not only is making fermented dairy products increasing your homesteading self-sufficiency skills, but I also love that making these products is a great stepping stone to getting into homemade cheese making (which is a brand new course in the Pioneering Today Academy!).
One of the reasons I love having fermented or cultured dairy products on hand is because for years it was a long-standing goal of mine to learn about cheesemaking. Little did I know, you can actually use these cultured and fermented dairy products as starter cultures for your homemade cheeses.
This means you don’t need to buy dehydrated or freeze-dried cultures in order to make cheese, you can use your fermented dairy products over and over again!
This isn’t to say these dehydrated or freeze-dried cultures are bad, they’re actually great to have on hand to either start your first batch of a ferment, or to keep on hand as a backup (but I've got a more frugal tip on this below!).
When you're starting your first batch of fermented or cultured dairy, however, you'll either need to purchase a culture or get one from a close friend.
Cultured vs. Fermented
You may be wondering if cultured dairy and fermented dairy products are the same or different. The answer is “the same AND different”. Very helpful, right?
In actuality, all fermented foods are cultured, but not all cultured foods are fermented.
Yogurt, for example, is a cultured and fermented food. Live cultures are added to milk and then allowed to ferment. Whereas certain cheeses are cultured but not fermented.
Types of Cultured and Fermented Dairy
There are many different types of fermented and cultured dairy products. Most of us are familiar with yogurt and maybe even milk kefir, but this really just scratches the surface. Here are some other products that can be fermented an/or cultured:
This list doesn't even go into the fact that within the yogurt family alone, there are even more varieties such as Greek yogurt, Bulgarian yogurt, even vegan yogurt that can be made from coconut or other nut milk.
Health Benefits of Fermented Dairy Products
There have been quite a few tests done on the health benefits of fermented dairy, but one, in particular, showed that “fermented dairy foods have been associated with obesity prevention and reduction of the risk of metabolic disorders and immune-related pathologies.” (Source)
Cultured dairy products contain probiotics and we all know that the more probiotics we consume, the healthier our gut is. A healthy gut will consist of a large diversity of flora and fauna which equates to better digestion, a healthier immune system, and so on.
Lactose in Fermented Dairy
Kefir and yogurt are two fermented dairy products that are lower in lactose. Because there are so many today that seem to suffer from lactose-intolerance, these may be two fermented dairy products they can enjoy.
This is only for those with lactose-sensitivities, not true allergies. But, much the same way those with gluten sensitivities can consume true sourdough bread, those with lactose-intolerance can oftentimes enjoy fermented dairy products.
The reason for this is that when you ferment these dairy products, the lactic acid within these products breaks down the lactose, reducing the overall amount of lactose to be digested by the body, which then allows people who are sensitive to lactose the ability to eat it.
History of Fermented Dairy
When we look at history, we can learn a lot about how people learned to ferment just based on living life. For example, shepherds or travelers who would be out for days at a time would take milk from either a goat, camel, sheep, etc., and put that milk into a leather bag to drink on their travels.
After a day or two, that milk was no longer fresh and when they went to drink it they would notice that the milk was much thicker and tangier than the fresh milk from days prior. Hence, it had fermented!
This will happen naturally with raw milk, however pasteurized milk needs to be inoculated with a previous culture or it will just turn bad.
In the 1940s and 1950s, traditionally fermented foods began to fall to the wayside as more pasteurization, packaged products, and refrigeration were invented.
Using fermentation was how people preserved their dairy products before refrigeration. In a previous podcast that I did with my dad, he shared some great self-sufficiency tips that they used as he was raised through the Great Depression, including the fermented dairy products his mom used to make.
Store-Bought vs. Homemade Fermented Dairy
In the past decade, it's been wonderful to see that more fermented foods are becoming mainstream again. Things like kombucha and milk kefir can actually be found on regular grocery store shelves now instead of having to seek out specialty stores for these items.
However, these mainstream products tend to have a lot more sugar than the homemade equivalent. Take yogurt, for example, a typical container of fruit-flavored yogurt has a lot more sugar in it than the homemade yogurt I make at home. Even when I stir in some honey and fresh or frozen fruit, the sugar content is still significantly different.
The same goes for the milk kefir and even some of the kombucha or water kefir you find at the grocery store.
How are Foods Fermented?
Depending on the food being fermented, you will feed it a “food source”. If it’s milk kefir, that food source is milk. If it’s a sourdough starter, that food source is flour, etc.
The food then sits out at room temperature for about 8-24 hours while it ferments.
And that's it! Fermentation is one of the easiest preservation methods there is! You literally just feed it then set it and forget it.
Direct Set vs. Heirloom Cultures
When buying a culture for your first ferment, you'll want to be sure to know the different between a direct set culture versus an heirloom culture.
Direct set cultures are one-time use only. They will not produce a product that can culture future batches. Whereas an heirloom culture will continue to culture future batches as long as it's properly fed and cared for on a consistent basis.
If you want to get into cheese making, or if you always want to have homemade buttermilk on hand, etc., you’re definitely going to want to start with an heirloom culture. This will allow you to reuse the culture indefinitely.
For example, in my homemade cultured buttermilk recipe, you’ll see I use a culture that’s an heirloom culture. This then allows me to use that buttermilk again and again for future batches. I simply keep a little bit of buttermilk back each time to start my next batch.
As long as I care for my culture, I will never have to buy buttermilk again.
How to Save Cultures
While you’re making a ferment, as long as you've used an heirloom culture, after about 8-24 hours, your ferment is at its peak strength. It's at this time that I will take a few tablespoons of the cultured food and freeze it to save for the next time I need a culture.
Saving some of your cultures in the freezer is also a great “backup” in case your culture or ferment accidentally gets used up without reserving some to start your next culture.
Alternatively, you can just reserve some of your cultures in the refrigerator to use in your next batch. I will mention, that if you just save it in the refrigerator and don’t use it within a week or two, the culture will continue to get tangier and tangier which can affect the flavor of your future batches.
This is why I recommend freezing a small portion at the peak of fermentation (between 8-24 hours).
Mesophillic vs. Thermophillic
- A mesophilic culture will ferment or culture at room temperature without the addition of heat.
- A thermophilic culture needs to maintain a consistently higher temperature in order for those cultures to develop. (Example, yogurt needs to culture between 108-112 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4-24 hours.)
Join the Pioneering Today Academy!
As I mentioned in this podcast, enrollment for the Pioneering Today Academy is going to be open SOON! Join the waitlist if you want to be notified with an invitation once membership is open.
- Homemade yogurt
- Homemade buttermilk
- Dehydrated buttermilk culture
- Self-Sufficiency Tips from the Great Depression Era
- Pioneering Today Academy enrollment waitlist
- Verse of the week: 3 John 1:5
More Fermentation Articles
- Fermentation for Health Benefits
- Ultimate Guide to Fermenting Vegetables
- Fermented Pickles – Quick & Easy Old Fashioned Recipe
- How to Make a Sourdough Starter + Tips for Success
- 8 Tips for Strengthening Your Immune System Now
Hey pioneers, and welcome to episode number 295.
Today's episode we're going to be diving in to talking about fermented dairy, the health benefits and history, and why you should absolutely be consuming fermented dairy on a regular basis, but especially [ho-made 00:00:24] fermented and or cultured dairy products.
This is something that we are learning right now inside the Pioneering Today Academy. We just launched our fermented dairy course, as well as a challenge, and we are going to be opening for new members this month. This is the first time we have been open for new general membership inside the Pioneering Today Academy since last fall. I will have a link in the show notes, or you can just go to melissaknorris.com/pta, which I know sounds like, what is it? Parent-teachers something, but it's actually short for Pioneering Today Academy. But I'll have it in today's show notes, as well at the blog post, so you can go and check that out and get on the notify list so when we officially open, which is going to be March 24th, you will be first to get the email with the invite to join the membership.
But I'm excited to dive into this topic. One of the reasons I'm excited to dive into this is because I feel like I was intimidated by fermented dairy and especially cheesemaking. So if you are a longtime listener, if you've been listening to a few episodes, then you know or probably know, or have heard that cheesemaking was something that was on my homesteading bucket list for a really long time and not something that I tackled. Now, you can definitely do fermented or cultured dairy products without making cheese, but if you're interested in doing cheesemaking, having fermented dairy products on hand means that you don't have to buy those individual direct-set cultures when you want to make cheese.
So if we look at the history of fermented dairy, which also goes hand-in-hand with cheesemaking, we didn't have obviously back in the day where you could just go online or maybe to the store and order all these different types of dehydrated and or freeze-dried cultures to just have at the ready. And especially when it came to cheesemaking, you weren't just opening up a little packet or buying a direct-set culture every single time you wanted to make a batch of cheese.
Now, there's nothing wrong per se with getting those, or if you've been making cheese with those, some of the reasons that we have those is one, because people need a starter culture. But that's where the difference between getting direct-set and heirloom dairy cultures come in, which we're going to be talking about. And two, a lot of times with direct-sets they really are for convenience and also they can give a very predictable result, which when you're first beginning is something that you're probably after.
But if you plan on doing cheesemaking, and hopefully my goal is always when I start a new skill set is to get it to be accomplished enough that I'm getting very consistent results, that it becomes a part soon of my regular routine and just something that I'm doing, I get used to it and then I don't even really think about it. And then once it becomes habit, then I move on to the next skill set so that I'm always adding to my skill set, but I'm never overwhelming myself. That's something I talked about in some of the previous episodes on time management, which we can link to in today's show notes and you can check those out too.
But back to the fermented dairy, I don't want to go off on too much of a squirrel tangent there. When we look at history, a lot of stories go back, especially for things like dairy kefir, of course, it may have been most likely with goat's milk before it was cow's milk, maybe camel's milk, but they would fill the milk inside probably a leather bag and take it on their trips or wherever they were going, especially with the shepherds who are out with the flocks. And with the natural, good bacteria and different strains of bacteria that were present, it formed. And of course, there was the warmer temperatures, which a lot of times with fermented dairy products or cultures, we talk about how it's really important, it's like Goldilocks and the three bears, you don't want it too hot, you don't want it too cold. It needs to be right in the middle. But typically it's at a warmer temperature, not cold. Cold puts any fermentation or cultured product into hibernation. And if it's kept too long at a cold temperature without any fresh food source, then you can sometimes kill off your cultures.
Back to the story at hand. The shepherd, varying stories kind of been passed around if it was a shepherd or a traveler, et cetera, but goes to drink the milk that he has packed with him and had. And when he goes to drink it, he discovers that it has turned into this fermented, thicker, cultured items. So yogurt, kefir, we have all of those different strains. But in modern mainstream America, most of us are familiar with yogurt. I would say cultured yogurt is probably the most common thing that most people still have in their refrigerators and use in their cooking and consume even in a mainstream modern, the sad, typical American diet. But things like dairy kefir, which has kind of had a comeback along with things like kombucha, which is not a fermented dairy item, but is a fermented cultured beverage. Kefir has really started to become more trendy per se, or making a comeback or more people are aware of kefir. More people are beginning to consume it and or to make it at home.
You'll actually see it on more grocery store shelves. Just in regular grocery stores, you'll see different fermented kefir dairy drinks. Sometimes unflavored, other times flavored with fruit for sale on store shelves. So it's becoming ... Which is fabulous. It feels like a lot of these older, traditional fermented cultured foods that really tended to fall by the wayside for the most part as we moved into really like the 1940s and ‘50s and onwards is really beginning to make a comeback, which is really exciting to see. One of the reasons I wanted to have this episode though, because there's still a lot of people that don't know that much about it, or aren't sure how to go about it at home, or really understanding all of the different benefits that we have by creating a diverse, cultured fermented items into our diets.
So yogurt is one of the most common, and the great thing about our yogurt is it's really easy to make at home and it's frugal, which most of these fermented items are actually extremely easy to make at home. And in every single instance where I have looked at the store bought version versus me making it at home, it is always much, much, much less for me to make it at home. It saves me a lot on my grocery bill.
Some of the other benefits to making it at home is a lot of the products where we purchase them in the store is a two-fold. Oftentimes, they have added ingredients, especially lots of sugar that we don't necessarily want or need to have in our diet. I like to be able to control the sweetness or the amount of fruit that I'm putting in something. I don't want added any high-fructose corn syrup. I don't want any food dye added in there. And I definitely really don't want any added sugar. Now, for my homemade yogurt, if the kids want to have it where they're kind of more like you would be used to buying a store-bought kind that has been sweetened with fruit, we'll sweeten ours with some raw honey and or some maple syrup, and then some fresh and or frozen fruit that we have put up, but we're not adding a pure sugar or a bunch of sugar and especially high-fructose corn syrup to it.
One of the other reasons is with your fermented foods, and this is true if you've listened to any of the sourdough trainings that I have done, as well as the longer a cultured food sits, then the more it consumes whatever food source that you fed it. So of course, with fermented dairy, you're feeding it milk. So it's consuming the milk sugars and the carb. When we're talking about sourdough, it's consuming the flour. But whatever that food source is, when you have fed it, right after you feed it, usually about eight hours after you feed it, it has become a fully cultured item. Meaning that the culture has fermented and has went through the food source, transforming all of that food source, be it the dairy or the flour if we're talking about sourdough into a fully fermented cultured item. So after eight hours of it fermenting or going through an incubation period, you have your fully cultured item.
That means that that culture is at its strongest, most robust and healthiest point. That's why when you are baking bread, for example, with sourdough, you're going to want to bake it when it's in its active state. And that's going to be within a few ... Usually, a few to a couple of ... Well, a few to a couple. That's not very much of a difference there. Within a couple of hours up to four to six hours after feeding, depending on the strength of the sourdough starter, when we're talking about bread baking. But with our fermented dairy culture items, after they have just went through and finished culturing everything, and you have this fully fermented product, which is usually within eight to 24 hours, there's a little bit of variance there, depending on what the item that you're fermenting. It's at its most robust and its strongest. It has the highest colony possible of all of the good lactobacilli and the probiotics and all of the goodness that we get within our fermented foods.
And that is when I will take some of my culture and I will put it in a small freezer container and freeze it for when I'm going to make my next cultured item. I also do it as a backup because with the case of my dairy and as well as cultured buttermilk, I have had it where it's in there refrigerator. Because that's where you store it obviously after it has went through its culturing period. And I would like to blame it on my family, but honest to goodness, it's probably was me the one that did it. You'll go to use it in a recipe, and if you're in a hurry or you're not thinking about it, sometimes you'll use the whole container of buttermilk or yogurt and you won't reserve any to start your next culture with, which means you then have to go and buy a whole nother starter or another container of live cultured yogurt in order to start it again.
After I had done that a time, maybe two, now it is my practice, I always do it right after I make it, when it's a fresh batch, because I want to be freezing it when it's at its most active and has the most largest amount of all of the good bacteria in the little colony. So that when I go to make another batch of it, my starter culture is really, really strong. Because the longer it sits in the fridge, which that's one of the benefits of fermented dairy is it does prolong the shelf life of your milk in your fridge. Usually from about two to three weeks, and then you can start to notice like you may begin to get mold developing on the yogurt or on some of the other products or it'll just get so tangy and sour, even though we expect that from cultured foods. But once it begins to go beyond about three weeks, it can get pretty potent on the dairy items and really, really strong. Where you're almost like, “Ooh, this is a bit too sour.” Even for people with a more tangy palette, shall we say?
But if you were to just take regular milk and open it, at least here, [inaudible 00:12:02], a lot of times within a week or so. Now, depending upon if it's raw dairy or not and raw dairy is absolutely, health-wise, has some great benefits. However, if you don't have a dairy animal and or if you live in certain states then raw dairy is actually illegal for you to buy. It's legal here where I live, however it is cost prohibitive sometimes. So for me, a gallon of raw milk is almost $13 a gallon. And while I understand the cost on it, because of what they make raw dairy farmers go through in order to be able to sell it. So I totally understand why it does cost more, but for most people, $13 for a gallon of milk is just not something that they're able to do on a really regular basis.
So I buy organic, grass-fed, vat pasteurized, which is a lower temperature of pasteurization than what you would typically see in a lot of your regular milk on the store shelves, which we're going to talk about that in regards to your fermented dairy. But that's why I purchase mine, and I also get non-homogenized, which means it's at the least processed state that it can be. And that's where you have the cream on top. So you've got that cream line and you still have cream on top of the milk. It's not been filtered so that it stays evenly dispersed like you get with homogenized milk. And I find that that gives me a much creamier and thicker set, especially on my yogurt products than using some of the other options. Of course, homogenized when it's been put through such a fine filter that the fat molecules can't reconvene back, they stay separated out. That's what homogenized is.
And so I find that I want anything to be as close to its unprocessed or whole version as possible. And so for me, that milk kind of falls right in the middle. So it's not as expensive and it's not quite as unprocessed as raw milk, of course, but it's not nearly as processed as most of the dairy that you find on the regular store shelves.
So throughout history, without the invention of modern refrigeration, most places and cultures used fermented dairy as a way to keep their dairy products with a longer shelf life. If you've listened to the episode with my dad who was raised, grew up during the Great Depression. I should say he was born kind of in the middle of it, towards the beginning. And so he was a small child throughout the Great Depression. But his family kind of lived ... When the Great Depression ended, it didn't really change the way that they lived. They lived a very frugal, rural, didn't have a lot of extra type growing up. And so I have an episode, which we can link to in the show notes as well. And he talks about his tips of being raised through the Great Depression and even beyond.
One of the things was, they didn't have refrigeration. They didn't have electricity at all actually, or indoor plumbing. And my grandma would take the milk and she would turn it into buttermilk and sour cream. He doesn't remember her making yogurt or kefir at all, but he does remember her making sour cream very often, as well as cultured butter, excuse me, and making cottage cheese and different things like that. So one of the beautiful things when we get into our fermented dairies, of course, is extending the shelf life, but also those health benefits.
What has been fascinating because as a society, we did get away from consuming a lot of fermented foods on a regular or daily basis and a wide variety of them. Like I said, yogurt is kind of the main standby, but cultured sour cream and cultured buttermilk, all of those are really great things along with kefir. What has been really interesting is to see a lot of the scientific studies that are now being done on a lot of these old, traditional type foods.
One of the studies that I found particularly interesting, and that is a study done on fermented dairy foods and the impact on your intestinal microbiota and health-linked biomarkers. I will link to this in the blog post that accompanies this episode, which you can go to melissaknorris.com/295, because this is episode number 295. So I'll link to these different studies if you want to read them in their entirety.
But what was really interesting is among a lot of the health promoting benefits, which we'll talk about those is fermented dairy foods especially have been associated with obesity prevention and reduction of the risk of metabolic disorders and immune related pathologies. That is really fascinating. They wanted the study ... The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationships between the consumption of fermented dairy products and the intestinal microbiota or your microbiome, your gut flora, the flora and fauna in our gut, a serum lipid profile, and the pro-oxidant inflammatory status. And the study was done on 130 healthy adults.
The study showed that results in both animals and humans have shown that the increase with the fermented dairy products was associated with lower adiposity and a better metabolic status, which suggests that the specific microorganism could be a potential candidate for obesity control.
They also found that those who were having the natural yogurt consumers versus the placebo had a healthier metabolic profile and lower inflammation and serum lipid peroxidation. We've all been hearing about probiotics for a really long time and how they can help with various digestive problems as well as our immune system, because a good portion of our immune system is actually in our gut. And so the better health that we have our gut in the more diversity have with our flora and fauna in our gut system and probiotics, therefore is going to help boost and aid our immune system.
Some of the interesting things, when we look at the different things. Now, some of these studies were done specifically on kefir. What's kind of interesting about kefir is kefir actually has as more strains than yogurt does of different microorganism than really, probably any of the fermented dairy products.
So kefir has up to 61 strains of good bacteria and yeast and while yogurt and buttermilk, and some of the other fermented dairy items do have probiotics and different microorganism strains. They don't have larger amount that the kefir has as well as not always containing any of the yeasts. So of course, if you are on where you're having to keep your yeast levels, excuse me, really low, then obviously kefir would not be one for you. So it's kind of important to know that. But some of the interesting things about, of course, kefir as well as yogurt is they are lower in lactulose. So a lot of people are lactose intolerant and they have issues consuming dairy foods that contain, it's a natural sugar and it's called lactose. And so a lot of people are lactose intolerant.
They can't break down and digest this particular sugar, the lactulose. And so it causes a lot of stomach upset, they can become really ill and just have a lot of digestion issues with it. But when you make especially fully fermented items of like kefir and yogurt, the lactic acid bacteria that is found in them turns lactose into lactic acid. So that means that these finished products of your yogurt and your kefir for example, are lower and lactose than if they were to just consume the same amount of straight milk. It also contains some enzymes that can help break the lactose down even further. So a lot of times people who cannot consume regular milk are able to consume fermented dairy products just fine. Kind of like people who are sensitive to gluten, so not celiac, but just sensitive to gluten. If they do a fully fermented sourdough, it doesn't bother them at all and they can consume bread products that are fully fermented sourdough. So kind of the same thing here with our dairy.
So for digestion issues, immune, as well as possibly metabolic rates and all of the wonderful things we get when you have fermented dairy. The other nice thing about making fermented dairy at home is like I said, saving money and you can control how long it ferments, so how tangy it gets and what you add into it. But the other great thing is of course, with our cooking, but also if you decide to do cheesemaking. So if you are diving into things like yogurt and buttermilk and kefir, which are kind of the main strains of fermented dairy, and then you actually take your buttermilk culture and that's what you then turn into sour cream. The other beautiful thing is you also use those as your cheese starters if you decide to get to cheese making. But you want to make sure that you are picking heirloom and not direct-set cultures.
In the blog posts, I have actually a brand new ... So if you follow my YouTube channel, you know I just came out with a step-by-step tutorial sharing with you exactly how to make homemade cultured buttermilk, which you definitely want to have on hand. I know the hack where you can add ... I've used it for plenty of years, put it in my book Hand Made for my buttermilk flaky biscuits and some of my different recipes that use buttermilk in because buttermilk does amazing things to baking products. Can I get an amen? And the hack is you take a cup of buttermilk and then you take a tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar, Apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or whatever you let it curdle. And then you use that in place of cultured buttermilk into recipe. Does it work? Yes, it does work. It's a hack. Because with the baking, it's the [aciditiness 00:22:21] that we're after to help create those flaky layers, which is why buttermilk is added into a lot of baked goods products.
However, if you've ever used real cultured buttermilk, you will notice a difference in the texture versus using the hack version where you just use the lemon juice or the vinegar and you curdle it. It gives a delightful, it gives a layer of flakiness and a layer of a melt in your mouth and a difference in the texture. It will be the best. I'm telling you, if you've never used real cultured buttermilk before and then you go and use it in your recipes, you are going to be amazed at the texture difference you get, even though you were already using the acid version of the lemon juice and or the vinegar. It really does make a big difference. So go and watch that tutorial. I'll have the link, or you can read it. It's a blog post and or a video. If you want to learn how to make the cultured buttermilk, which I highly recommend that you do.
But the other thing is picking your culture. So heirloom culture is because we want a culture that once we have purchased it, either from the store or from a live dairy option that says, live culture as your starter culture, you want to just be able to keep using it over and over and over again to inoculate new batches. And then you just keep a little bit of that back to inoculate the next batch. So you never have to buy it again. So you want to make sure ... One of the great things about actually purchasing your culture so that you can get the exact strains that you want is within, especially the yogurt realm, there are lots of different strains of yogurt. Most of us are familiar with Greek yogurt because that's regularly available in the store and it's thicker. Usually, a little bit tangier, thicker, creamier, a little bit tangier texture. And then we're kind of used to just whatever plain yogurt is available in the store.
Obviously, if you're using it for cultures, you should be buying plain yogurt. If you're using it as your starter culture, you don't want to be buying yogurt that has any sweeteners, fruit, et cetera additives in it. It just want plain, live-cultured yogurt, no additives. But if you buy the culture yourself, I'm going to link to in today's post. I will link to where I purchased my cultures when I'm first getting it as a starter culture. You have a lot more variety. And Bulgarian yogurt is actually my favorite and the one that I keep on hand.
So Bulgarian yogurt, I've seen it a couple of times in health food stores or kind of like the organic, [co-op-y 00:24:48] sections of stores, but very rarely do I actually see it in a regular mainstream grocery store. But Bulgarian yogurt is a culture strain for yogurt, obviously. And it is a sweeter, I find it to be a sweeter taste. It does still get thick, but we like the texture and the flavor of it better than a straight Greek culture, especially with my kids, because I'm not adding a bunch of sweeteners to it, so it just naturally tastes a little bit sweeter. But you can actually look at all of the different cultures and they'll give you different flavor profiles. And so that's really fun because you're going to be able to get flavor profiles that suit you and your tastes and your family's tastes that you're never going to find on the regular grocery store shelf.
And as I said, you do want to make sure that it says heirloom so that it will create cultures from here till whenever you decide to stop making it. You can even pass it down to your children, et cetera. Whereas if you get some of the direct-set packets, they will only make yogurt for like one or two times and then you have to get another culture and start over again. They're not an heirloom one that will proliferate. Well, not necessarily on its own, because you do have to add the milk and get everything to the correct temperatures. Because with kefir and buttermilk, they are mesophilic cultures. And so they don't require heat temperatures in order to from it. Now, they're not going to from it as well in a super cold room or a refrigerator environment when you're doing your initial culture and fermentation period.
Whereas, most of your heirloom strains of yogurt, though not all are a thermophilic culture. And that's why you see when people are making yogurt, which I also have a tutorial on the blog and the more in-depth one inside the Pioneering Today Academy and the fermenting course. But you heat the yogurt milk up to a specific temperature before you add your culture in there, and then you have to hold it at a warmer temperature. So yogurt has to be held at a warmer temperature than room temperature. Whereas, buttermilk and kefir are just at room temperature. So just a little bit on the science there on the different cultures. So thermophilic, think thermometer or high, warmer temperature. Mesophilic is at room temperature.
Learning how to do fermented dairy though is not only a beautiful thing for your health, also increases the shelf life of your dairy products. It's much more frugal. I think I batted a few too many adjectives in that. It's much more frugal. It is more frugal. There we go. It is more frugal than purchasing it at the store. And it also gets to be really fun. And there are so many wonderful, different things that you can make out of it. And it will build your confidence once you learn, how to make these items to then begin to tackle cheese making, which we will be having a beginner cheesemaking course inside the Pioneering Today Academy, after we get through our fermented dairy course. Because, as I said, you need all of those good fermented dairy items as you're building block to then create a lot of your different cheese recipes.
So I hope to see you with this. I hope that you decide to join and go with me on this journey. And in the show notes, the blog post that accompanies this, as I said, I have actually have tutorials for you on how to make homemade yogurt, how to make homemade cultured buttermilk, as well as links to some of my favorite cultures and supplies so that you can get started right now while you are on the wait list for when you can actually join the Academy and get into that course.
So thank you so much for joining me today. We're going to move onto our verse of the week, which I have from 3 John 1:5 “Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethern and for strangers.” And I wanted to just share this first because it was really making me think, I've been going through a devotional called God's Best for My Life. It's a daily inspirations for a deeper walk with God. They're short, little devotionals. The author is Lloyd John Ogilvie. And this was actually from back in February, but sometimes I'll read some of those devotions and I'll read a Bible verse and they just really stick with you for a while. And this one was talking about serving other people and how you'll always see different kinds of people in the world, but you'll see people who seem to be only wanting to be served.
They're always wanting you to do things for them or whatever situation they're in. It's always about them. And then you see people or are around people and have these people in your life that they are happy to see you. And they're asking you, how are you doing and what are you working on, or things like that. Like, they're interested in you instead of only telling you all about themselves. And when you're going through maybe a hard time or a rough patch, or maybe you're even working together on something. They're the people that jump in no matter what, and we'll help out. If they see ... And it's not even something that's their job necessarily or something that they're in charge of. When you're working in a group, for example, and you're setting something up and you have some people who are cleaning up and some people who are setting up chairs and moving things around. It's the person like doesn't matter when they get done with whatever tasks that they've been assigned with, they just go and help the ... Whatever still needs to be done. Like they just jump in.
They're the people that you know you can kind of always turn to and you know that you can go to at any time and they're just there to help other people. And that is the kind of person that I want to be. I want to be the person that's helping. And so it was just a really good reminder that in whatever situation that you're in, so look to be the person that can offer help to whoever you're in proximity with. It doesn't mean that you're not ever going to need to receive help yourself or anything like that. But if you can look to be the person who is serving other people. Because if we altered that ... I just kept being struck like by, “Gosh, if just everybody would operate on these principles, how much of a better place with this world be?” Where instead of demanding that I get this, or I deserve that, that we just look for ways to help other people and to be of help.
Anyways, that's kind of what I have been sitting with and reminding myself that when I'm in any certain situations, to look at how I can help in that situation, no matter what it might be. So I hope that that is something that will strike you and that you can sit and think about in ways that you can apply that to your life as I am doing with mine. And I cannot wait to be back here with you for next week's episode. Again, you can get all of the tutorials and links and recipes for making fermented culture dairy, yogurt and buttermilk at melissaknorris.com/295. Okay. Bye for now, I'll see you next week.
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