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instant pot scd lactose-free yogurt

Recipe by
Seattle, WA

For lactose-free, or following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as outlined in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, this is a quick guide to making in Instant Pot (one with the yogurt function.) I incubate for 25 hours instead of 24 hours, being particularly lactose intolerant. The higher fat content milk you use, the less tart your yogurt will be. Straining the whey (step 5), and using the Dannon or G.I Prohealth rather than Yogourmet (see note) starter also makes for less tart final product. Heating to temp listed, rather than the “boil” mode on yogurt function, ensures thicker yogurt.

yield 16 one cup servings
prep time 3 Hr 30 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For instant pot scd lactose-free yogurt

  • 1 gal
    milk or half & half (check label: no added ingredients besides milk & cream)
  • 1/3-3/4 c
    dannon whole milk plain yogurt (the book calls for 1 cup, but other sources say to keep ratio of the starter yogurt between 2-5% of the total milk)

How To Make instant pot scd lactose-free yogurt

  • 1
    Pour milk or Half & Half into Instant Pot. Press Sauté function. Heat till 180°F / 82.2°C. Turn off heat a bit before temp is reached, and let residual heat bring up to temp. This helps avoid foaming & boiling over. (I like to stir the bottom of the pot while heating, to keep from getting burned milk on the bottom. If you forget to stir and some milk does brown & coat the bottom of the pot, do NOT scrape it up. I’ve gone ahead and made yogurt still, and only had a few brown bits that got mixed into some of the yogurt. It tasted fine.) Note: if you use the “boil/more” feature on the yogurt mode (by repeatedly pressing the yogurt button until it displays that), it will likely end just short of it reaching 180°F. You can always then switch to sauté mode for a few minutes, to get it up to temperature the rest of the way. Getting it up to temperature the rest of the way will help your yogurt be thicker, as it changes the proteins.
  • 2
    Cool to 108-114°F / 42-45.5°C. Notes: Takes a long time if container is not placed in a bowl of icy cold water, or in the refrigerator. (May skip steps 1 & 2 if using ULTRA-pasteurized (not regular pasteurized) milk. Do get the milk up to incubation temperature of 108-114°F, using the sauté mode, though.) (Quick instructions for using a gallon of Ultra-pasteurized milk or Ultra-pasteurized Half & Half: On sauté mode heat 10 min while stirring, to 96°F. Press cancel. Let residual heat bring up to 108°F. Stir in starter (1/3-3/4 cup Dannon Whole Milk Plain Yogurt.) Incubate Yogurt mode “normal” setting 24 hrs.)
  • 3
    Add starter (Dannon whole milk plain yogurt) and stir well. Notes: Target often carries it; check online to see if in stock or who carries it near you. For smaller batches, the ratio is 1 tsp.- 2.4 tsp. yogurt starter for each cup of milk. You may also use G.I. Prohealth yogurt starter, according to their package directions. Yogourmet will be more tart. [Edit: Yogourmet company was bought, and they are changing their formula to include maltodextrin, which is not SCD legal. If you have a box, check the ingredients list to see if you got one of the older legal versions, or if it contains the illegal maltodextrin.] [Additional edit: Custom Probiotics’ 3 Strains Yogurt Starter Culture #1, is another SCD legal yogurt starter with the correct strains.] If you are not in earlier stages of the SCD (like maybe several years in on the diet, achieved good healing & in remission), and you want to try introducing bifidus/bifido/B. lactis strains, any good quality plain yogurt with live active cultures & no thickeners (just milk and live active cultures on the ingredients) can be used as your starter. When you are starting out, you are looking for yogurt cultures that have NO bifidus/bifidobacterium (B. lactis). You want (YES to:) L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, & S. thermophilus; casei is fine. Dannon whole milk plain, and G.I. ProHealth have the correct types of cultures.
  • 4
    Set fermenting time to 25 hours (after pressing the yogurt button.) (More detailed instructions: press yogurt button until the light is above “normal”, not “less” or “more”. “Less” puts it at too low of a temperature, and “more” is the boil feature. “Normal” is the one you want. Then use the + and - buttons to adjust the fermenting/incubation time, until it says 25 hours.) Refrigerate yogurt when done. Notes: (If not using Instant Pot, check that your yogurt is kept between 108-116°F during incubation.) The book Breaking the Vicious Cycle recommends 24 hours, and suggests that only a negligible amount of lactose should remain at that point, and that the longer the yogurt incubates past the point that all the milk sugars are used up, the more die-off of the yogurt cultures will happen, lessening the amount of probiotics you will get from it. I am more concerned about having some lactose remain that will trigger lactose intolerance symptoms than the amount of probiotics I am getting, and find 25 hrs. works well. The yogurt I make can successfully be used as starter for another batch (of non-SCD yogurt I feed to family not on SCD), so I know that there are still at least some live active cultures. Just a note, Elaine says not to use your own yogurt as starter for SCD dairy yogurt, because too many factors could lead to weaker culture counts, and she does not want people to end up with lactose that doesn’t get consumed by the end of the incubation time. So stick with the yogurt starters recommended, such as Dannon whole milk plain, G.I. ProStart, or Custom Probiotics’ 3 Strains Yogurt Starter Culture #1.
  • Yogurt is wrapped in cheesecloth, with weight on top, inside a fine mesh strainer balanced over a bowl to catch the whey.
    To thicken yogurt into thick cream cheese like consistency, drip in cheesecloth overnight with a weight on top, inside a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the whey. May be done on counter or in fridge. In fridge will keep more of the yogurt cultures alive, if you want their benefits when eating it. If you are cooking/baking with the finished yogurt “cheese,” you won’t be getting the benefits of the live yogurt cultures, either, but it will still be tasty! Can be used in most SCD recipes that call for dry curd cottage cheese/farmers cheese, and is great for making cheesecake. This “cheese” is great with herbs, like marjoram, oregano, basil, thyme, and/or mint, maybe some garlic, pepper, etc. added to it. Penzeys Sunny Paris or Parisien Bonnes Herbes spice mixes are also delicious in it (and are SCD compliant.)
  • 6
    Extra Notes: Some online yogurt recipes recommend adding powdered milk, or boiling a long time to reduce the milk and make thicker yogurt. Do NOT do this if you need lactose-free/SCD legal yogurt, as that will result in lactose that can not be broken down in the finished product, no mater how long it is left to incubate. (The reason behind that is once the pH reaches a certain point during incubation, the yogurt cultures are inhibited, and if there is still a high concentration of undigested lactose because of the high concentration of milk solids, the yogurt cultures won’t do anything with them, because of the high pH that was already reached.)