I tried something new with making yogurt.
I made the Super-Duper High-Fat Wheat Belly Yogurt starting with organic half-and-half for richer fat content. This generally yields an end-product with great creamy mouthfeel, thicker than most store-bought full-fat yogurt, certainly far thicker, tastier, and more filling than the low- or non-fat garbage that fills most supermarket refrigerators.
Recall that, while dairy products undoubtedly have their problems, the process of lactate fermentation yielding yogurt reduces many of these problems. The lactose sugar is converted to lactic acid, reducing carb content, and potential for lactose intolerance. It also reduces pH (making is mildly acidic) and thereby denatures (breaks down) milk proteins such as casein beta A1 that is potentially immunogenic.
For this little experience, I reasoned that 1) given the presence of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria and other species of probiotic organisms in yogurt that, when residing in the human gut, 2) feed on prebiotic fibers and proliferate and “outmuscle” undesirable species while 3) producing metabolites that yield health benefits (e.g., butyrate that reduces blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces blood sugar, has mental/emotional benefits, and nourishes the intestinal lining and protects against colon cancer), what if I added prebiotic fibers to the yogurt mixture prior to fermentation, thereby providing nutrition to the microorganisms? It would conceivably increase bacterial counts, while perhaps also yield microbial metabolites like butyrate, maybe even reduce lactose further, given the presumed invigorated proliferation and metabolism made possible.
On preparing the half-and-half for fermentation, in addition to the live culture-containing couple of tablespoons of yogurt I added to “seed” the mixture, I also added one tablespoon of inulin powder and mixed. I then fermented at around 110 degrees F for 48 hours.
The end-result was interesting: A yogurt so thick that it stood up, as shown in the photograph. It almost had the consistency of whipped butter and was especially thick and creamy. The taste was slightly different, also, a bit tangier, perhaps from greater lactic acid content.
I don’t have a laboratory in my house, else I would have also run bacterial counts and an analysis of species, lactic acid and lactose. Nonetheless, if you are looking for an especially thick yogurt, give this little trick a try.