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Yogurt is a favorite food of many Americans. It is loaded with probiotics and much easier to digest than plain milk even for those with no milk tolerance issues. As a result, when folks are making the transition to fresh, unpasteurized milk from the farm for the very first time, raw yogurt is a food that most readily wish to try.
After all, if raw milk was truly as dangerous and pathogen ridden as the government would have us believe, it wouldn’t culture into yogurt so easily, would it? Consequently, folks in the process of making the mental paradigm shift to fresh dairy usually feel extremely comfortable with raw yogurt even if raw milk is still a bit too out of the box for them for the time being.
I am fortunate to have a local farm that makes absolutely fabulous raw milk yogurt. However, I find that I spend quite a bit of time explaining pasteurized vs raw milk yogurt to newcomers.
As a result, I thought I would spend a few minutes explaining raw vs pasteurized yogurt differences. If you’re wondering is Greek yogurt better than regular yogurt, the link provided details an explanation. However, the video below applies to that type of yogurt too.
By the way, if you wish to try your hand at making raw milk yogurt yourself as you do not have a local source available, this raw milk yogurt tutorial can assist you with the steps required.
Store Yogurt Not Cultured for the Proper Length of Time
One thing to be aware of is that large scale food manufacturers only ferment commercial pasteurized yogurt for an hour or even less! Properly made yogurt is cultured for a full 24 hours like raw milk kefir. This is a huge distinction and affects the quality and benefits of the yogurt tremendously. Incidentally, only 24 hour fermented yogurt is permitted on the gut healing GAPS diet.
If you choose to buy yogurt from the store, look for small brands. Usually, small producers ferment their yogurt for the appropriate amount of time. Avoid large brands from corporate multi-nationals like Dannon.
Another positive about small brands of pasteurized yogurt is that the milk is vat pasteurized instead of flash pasteurized. This means that the milk is subjected to a lower heat which potentially means less damage to the milk proteins.
All around, however, the best option for yogurt whether pasteurized or raw is to just make your own!
Raw vs Pasteurized Yogurt (VIDEO)
In the video below, I demonstrate the differences between pasteurized and raw yogurt. Because raw yogurt is unheated, the probiotics in the raw milk compete somewhat with the yogurt culture. The end result is a thinner, more drinkable style yogurt with a wider range of beneficial microbes than heated yogurt.
Note that yogurt heated to 117 F/ 47 C is still considered raw. Damage and destruction of enzymes and probiotics starts at 118 F / 48 C and higher (wet heat). Enzymes and probiotics withstand dry heat to a higher temperature of about 150 F / 66 C. This is why dehydrating soaked raw nuts and other foods in a warm oven maintains rawness.
You can definitely see the differences!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist