Wow – this is such a health and political hot potato. There is a LOT of information about raw milk, both for and against. Anyhow, I took delivery of raw milk for the first time this week and have made some scrumptious yogurt with it -I will tell you how at the bottom (super-easy). However, not nearly so easy is getting hold of raw milk. Raw milk can only be sold legally directly from the farm where it was produced. No retail outlet is allowed to sell it.
The big difference between raw milk and what you buy in the supermarket, or even from a farmers market / farm shop, is that all non-raw milk has been pasteurized. This means it has been blasted with super-high heat to kill off all bacteria, rendering it safe in the eyes of the health laws of this country.
However, there are enzymes, bacteria and certain proteins that get killed off by heat that are extremely beneficial to health. In fact, through my research I found testimonials from many people who are lactose-intolerant i.e. they don’t produce the digestive enzyme lactase that digests the sugar, lactose, in milk, but are perfectly able to digest raw milk. This is because raw milk already has the digestive enzyme lactase in it but this is killed off through pasteurization. In fact, there are 60 beneficial enzymes in raw milk all of which support healthy digestion.
There are also really good amounts of beneficial bacteria in raw milk including lactobacillus. This is the ‘gut-friendly’ bacterial so heavily promoted in live yogurt and those little ‘healthy digestion’ drinks, which are all killed off in commercial milk.
The good bacteria are so prolific in raw milk that they overwhelm any nasty bacteria that may be present. Also, raw milk is a whole food, far better balanced than semi and skimmed milk. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, abundant in whole milk, will not get absorbed in to your system if fat is not present and raw milk has the perfect balance of minerals to allow the calcium it contains to be absorbed, and more importantly, transported in to our bones.
Raw milk also contains a type of protein called immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies. These little power-houses provide protection from many viruses and bacteria. PLUS, raw milk has high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (see previous post). This special type of omega 6 is known to boost metabolism, burn fat (esp. abdominal fat), boost muscle growth, increase insulin sensitivity and it strengthens the immune system.
So, I am really excited about getting raw milk delivered every week. To further increase its benefits, I am using it to make yogurt. As you’ll know if you follow my blog, I have tried many milk-alternatives to replace my once loved but now scorned soy milk. I am happy to stick to coconut milk on my oats, as it has many benefits, but anything in a carton is going to be lacking in live enzymes and good bacteria, so adding to my breakfast a good dollop of homemade raw milk yogurt, filled with the health-promoting lactic acid, makes my breakfast pretty tip top!
To make raw yogurt you don’t want to heat it to the high temperature normally used in yogurt making as it will destroy all of its benefits. I gently heated 2 pints to 43?C. Take off the heat and gently whisk in 2 tablespoons of good quality live yogurt. Put in to sterile jars or thermos flask. I did both. I put my jar in a cool bag with a hot water bottle which I reheated after about 10 hours. I left it in a warm place overnight along with the flask and in the morning I had AMAZING yogurt- thick and glorious!