Yogurt

We figured out that there was the problem of finding full-fat yoghurt or kefir in local groceries. We can't stress enough the importance of having FULL FAT kefir or yoghurt. Low fat, and even more so no-fat varieties have very low keto index!

Here is what you can do. Take a cup of full-fat milk and a cup of heavy creams. Add two tablespoons sour creams; mix well. If you don't have a yoghurt maker, put the container where you mixed the ingredients in a pot with water, make sure the water level is below the container rim. Water temperature should be high but tolerable to the skin of the inner surface of your arm. Cover the pot with thick cloth and let stay overnight (don't cover with a tight lid, it needs fresh air!) The live friendly bacteria will multiply producing creamy thick yoghurt while significantly reducing the carb content.

You may want to try these ways to have your yoghurt while staying away from sweeteners at least during your week 1:

Way 1 - Put it in your salad dressing

(Combine in a blender until fully mixed. )

Recipe 1

1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C plain yoghurt
2 T lemon juice
2 T rice vinegar
1/4 C fresh cilantro leaves, tightly packed
1/4 tsp each garlic powder, thyme and black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
Lime juice squeezed of a quarter lime

Recipe 2

1/2 C each olive oil and plain yoghurt
2 T each red wine vinegar and lemon juice
1/2 tsp mustard powder, oregano and basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne and garlic powder

Recipe 3, Poppy seed dressing:

1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Way 2 - Mix your yoghurt with berries:

1 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 cup strawberries
1/2 cup heavy creams, whipped or liquid

Blend all together, or just crush the berries and mix with yogurt and creams

Way 3 - make yogurt cheese

4 cups plain yogurt

1) Raw yogurt - makes smooth cheese

Place yogurt in a cheesecloth or towel-lined sieve. Place sieve in sink or over bowl. Let sit for 4 hours, or overnight for thicker cheese. Can be seasoned, or used as is.

2) Cooked yogurt - makes harder and sharper cheese

In a double pot with boiling water in the outer part, heat through the yogurt until it curdle. Let stand overnight at room temperature, then follow the raw yogurt cheese instruction.

Frozen yogurt

Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt

1 cup stewed rhubarb
2 cups plain full fat yogurt
6 tablespoons sugar substitute, optionally
2 tablespoons orange rind, shredded

In food processor puree stewed rhubarb. Blend in yogurt, sugar substitute and orange rind. Freeze in a shallow metal pan for 3 to 4 hrs or until almost firm. Keep frozen, remove from freezer 15 min. before eating.

Yogurt Popsicles

Pour sweetened (optionally) yogurt into paper cups or plastic popsicle molds. Fill them almost to the top. Stretch a small piece of plastic wrap across the top of each cup or mold. Using wooden popsicle sticks, poke a hole in the plastic wrap. Stand the stick straight up in the center of the cup. Freeze.

Berry Smoothie

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1 cup full fat yogurt
1/2 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen) (strawberries, blueberries, etc)
2 tablespoons orange rind, shredded
Sweetener, optionally

Combine in a blender and mix until smooth. Thin with more orange juice if desired. Back to top

The History and Benefits of Probiotics

The story begins in 18th century with the famous treatise by Russian physiologist Ilia Metchnikov "The Prolongation of Life," later translated into English (New York, SP Putmans sons, 1908.)

Metchnikov speculated that Bulgarian centenarians achieved their longevity in part due to the consumption of large quantities of fermented milk containing different cultures of lactobacilli, then known to the lay public as "Bulgarian staff" and after Metchnikov's treatise known as probiotics.

Described as single or mixed cultures of live microbes that beneficially affect our health by improving the properties of the friendly bacteria residing in our intestinal tract, probiotics should --

- contain live micro-organisms, freeze-dried or in a fresh or fermented product (though even heat-killed forms can be effective in some cases);
- be effective when applied in food, pill, capsule form, as an aerosol, or locally; and
- improve the health and well being

Bacteria and yeasts have been used for years: in sourdough breads, wines and fermented dairy products.

Now regarded as beneficial to our health, probiotics are quickly gaining interest as functional foods. Some of the research-supported supplement manufacturers' claims include:

- improving intestinal health
- enhancing the immune system
- enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients
- reducing lactose intolerance
- decreasing the allergy reaction
- reducing risk of certain cancers
- controlling bacteria-related ulcers
- reducing serum cholesterol
- antagonising microbial contamination of food
- reducing tooth decay

The mechanisms of the health-promoting effects of probiotics are still mostly unknown. Researchers think that they may involve --

- normalizing gut pH;
- antagonizing pathogenic microbes through production of anti-microbial and antibacterial chemicals;
- competing with pathogenic microbes for available nutrient
- stimulating immune cells, e.g., the lactobacillus casei strain "shirota;" and
- producing the ferment lactase to digest lactose.

A newly identified probiotic, bifidobacterium lactis (HN019), was proved to protect against salmonellas. According to New Zealand's Milk and Health Research Center: "[D]ietary supplementation with HN019 provides a unique opportunity for developing immune-enhancing probiotic dairy food products with proven health benefits."

What's Available Over the Counter?

Thus far, studies have shown low viability of probiotics in market preparations. It is generally agreed that a probiotic must be capable of colonizing the intestinal tract to influence human health; this requirement disqualifies many of the species currently used in fermented dairy products.

Many -- but not all.

In the Netherlands, the anti-pathogenic effects of commercial fermented dairy products were clearly demonstrated. The products included buttermilk and three types of yogurt. The natural raw buttermilk successfully fought both yeasts and bacteria, but this was not observed with pasteurized buttermilk products.

Lactobacillus GG, a variant of lactobacillus casei mentioned above, has been studied extensively in adults and children. When consumed as a dairy product, it multiplies in the intestinal tract and from colonies. It was shown that this probiotic successfully fights many forms of diarrhea, bacterial, virus and antibiotics-caused.

Sources

J Am Diet Assoc 2001;101(2):229-38
Curr Opin Pediatr 2000;12(5):477-81
Microbiol Immunol 2000;44(4):213-22
J Dairy Sci 2000;83(4):894-907 and 641-7
Eur J Clin Nutr 2000;54(3):263-7
Immunol Cell Biol 2000;78(1):80-8

 
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