Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

L Rueteri superfood yogurt

Using Cutting Edge Cultures superfood starter.

It’s been a few years since we first posted about Lactobacillus Reuteri, the species of bacteria that cardiologist and author Dr. William Davis found to have amazing health benefits. Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is a superstar in the world of intestinal microbes but modern life has eradicated the species from 96 percent of us. Davis believes restoring L. Reuteri into your gastrointestinal tract, via food, to be one of the most powerful strategies we can do for our health, both physically and emotionally. We’ve written about the benefits in this post.

Homemade yogurt (or a yogurt-like fermented food) is the vehicle he uses to accomplish this. L Reuteri strains however, were never designed to make yogurt. In fact, yogurt manufacturers told him that making yogurt with L reuteri couldn't be done. Mastering a method was really a food hacking exercise for Davies. Unlike conventional yogurt making methods, his approach maximises bacterial counts by fermenting for 36 hours and adding prebiotic fibre to the yogurt mixture to provide food for the microorganisms.  

L reuteri superfood yogurt

Dr Davis's method uses 10 crushed L reuteri probiotic tablets as a starter culture  – the process is like trying to get the bacteria in the tablets to do something they were never designed to do. The results can be inconsistent and sometimes massive fails. Thankfully the cultured food enthusiasts at Cutting Edge Cultures have simplified the method. Their unique LR Superfood starter culture provides a high concentration of Lactobacillus Reuteri in convenient sachets that is much more affordable and saves you the trouble of having to crush tablets to create a starter. Following Davis's method, the 36-hour fermentation of this starter culture with prebiotic fibre enables the L. Reuteri to proliferate many times over, until there are hundreds of billions of live bacteria in the jar. The resulting concentrations of L. Reuteri are much higher than can be obtained from any currently available supplement or yogurt (including homemade ones) that we know of. 

L reuteri superfood yogurt

THE PROOF IS IN THE TESTING

Cutting Edge Cultures had their superfood yogurt analysed in a lab with impressive results.  LR Superfood starter culture packs at least ten times the punch of supplements. Half a cup of L. Reuteri Superfood yogurt contains just over 67.2 billion live bacteria. For comparison, the highest potency L. Reuteri probiotic supplement currently on the market has a count of 5 billion per capsule. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Reuteri Superfood is not technically a yogurt, although it may look, taste and smell like one. It will be thick, rich, and pleasantly tart, depending on the dairy used it may also look and taste very differently, like cheese, for example. A hint of a light "fizz" is also possible, as a natural result of the long and active fermentation. 

Separation is very common. To yield a thicker Greek-style result you can pour off or strain the whey following this method. Whey is often dubbed ‘liquid gold’. It's highly nutritious and can be used in a variety of health-giving ways. Adding it into smoothies is a delicious way to get a probiotic boost. For more creative ideas refer to this post.

WHICH MILK TO USE & HOW TO ACHIEVE THE BEST TEXURE

Dr Davis created his method using ultra-pasteurized half and half milk, which is a full-fat milk commonly available in America. It is not available in Australia, in the UK and Europe, it’s known as ‘half cream’. 

If half and half milk is available in your area, we recommend you use it because from our feedback, this milk produces reliable results. Where half and half milk is not available, we recommend the following options:

  1. Heating full cream milk (or ‘whole milk’ in America and Canada). Be sure to choose the best quality whole milk that is free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, fertilisers, and GMOs. Organic is best. If quality dairy is important to you, then choose this option. 

    When full cream milk is not heated it will likely separate into curds and whey during the long fermentation. Dr Davis does not heat the milk in his method however doing so improves the texture. Traditional yogurt making practises have always heated the milk. Heating changes the dairy's composition, eliminates competing bacteria, and will prevent it from separating into curds and whey. Furthermore, heating and holding the temperature at 82° C (180° F) for 10-20 minutes denatures the milk proteins so that they bind and set together producing a thicker and creamier final product. Our customers report that heating the milk produces consistent results. 

  2. UHT or long-life milk (Ultra-high temperature processing). If you use UHT milk you can follow Dr Davies original method (no heating) producing consistently thick yogurt without separation. Organic UHT milk may not be available. 

SEPARATION OF CURDS & WHEY     

Separation is mostly a cosmetic thing, and not usually a sign of a problem. A separated batch is usually perfectly good and delicious. In terms of bacterial counts, the texture doesn't matter. A separated jar contains the same quantity of beneficial bacteria as a non-separated jar. The L. Reuteri are present in both the solids (curds) and the translucent liquid (whey), and therefore both should be consumed.

If separation in recultured batches happens repeatedly or smells different, it is a sign that it's time to begin over with a starter from a sachet, rather than keep using the yogurt as a starter.

The separated yogurt pictured below was made with whole milk that was not heated. We tipped out the whey and enjoyed a thicker and creamier version. 

L reuteri superfood yogurt

L REUTERI STARTER CULTURE

One sachet of L. Reuteri starter is will ferment up to 2 litres of milk. There are 4 sachets in each packet. Once you’ve made a jar of LR Superfood yogurt, you can use some of it to re-ferment subsequent batches. Reculture for as long as your batch comes out thick and pleasantly tart. Assuming you are using the same milk, batches should come out pretty similar to one another. When significant changes begin to occur (not tart enough or conversely, too pungent), although you're doing the same thing – begin with a new sachet.

PREBIO PLUS PREBIOTIC FIBRE

Reuteri are living bacteria and need to eat. The food that they like to eat are known as prebiotics. These prebiotics will encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria already living in the body and can also aid in the growth and maintenance of probiotics. Cutting Edge Cultures have formulated ‘Prebio Plus’, a custom blend of three different organic prebiotic fibres to maximise the benefits of the L reuteri strains.

L reuteri superfood yogurt

TIMING IS IMPORTANT

Reuteri takes 36 hours to ferment. It's best to start early in the morning or later in the evening. Otherwise, if you start in the afternoon, for example, fermentation will finish 36 hours later, in the middle of the night.

PREPARATION

Before you begin it is important to sterilise the Luvele yogurt making glass jar and any utensils you use, in boiling hot water. Do this by boiling a kettle and carefully pouring the hot water in the jar and over the equipment. The danger of not sterilising is that other bacteria may overpower your culture and affect the quality of your ferment.

L Reuteri yogurt steps

L Reuteri superfood yogurt recipe

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L Rueteri superfood yogurt recipe