Pictured: Yogurt made with heavy cream and the superpower probiotic, Lactobacillus Reuteri, topped with frozen blueberries, ground flaxseed and roasted pumpkin seeds
Now, the internet can be a confusing place in general, but especially when it comes to health and nutrition. There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there as to whether or not yogurt can fit into a healthy ketogenic lifestyle. The bottom line: YES! and let me tell you why THIS awesome yogurt SHOULD be a part of your lifestyle.
1. The probiotics in yogurt help break down the naturally occuring lactose, which can make yogurt well-tolerated even in individuals with lactose intolerance or sensitivity. On top of that, higher-fat dairy such as butter, cream and many hard cheeses are lower in lactose content than other dairy sources.
Bottom line: Even if you are sensitive to lactose, this yogurt won't cause you tummy troubles.
2. Because it's made with heavy cream and not whole milk, the macros are ON POINT, leaving some wiggle room for adding some low-carb yumminess such as a handful of berries (I prefer frozen because as they thaw, they release juices which help impart a more intense flavor...and they're available all year long!) and seeds, nuts, or nut butters for flavor. It's also so rich and creamy that it tastes wonderful on it's own or sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon.
Bottom line: This will fit perfectly into your macros as a meal or hearty snack
3. Many keto diets are lower in fiber and can cause CONSTIPATION and changes in digestion for some people, especially early on before. Adding back in pre-and probiotic sources such as yogurt, berries, and seeds can help maintain regularity and provide relief from GI distress.
Bottom line: Helps keep you regular!
4. L-Reuteri is a probiotic SUPERPOWER! Among its amazing benefits are: ANTIMICROBIAL properties (reduce inflammation and provide immunity), help heal LEAKY GUT (by strengthening the intestinal epithelium), ANTI-INFLAMMATORY (which helps protect against chronic disease and improve skin condition), strengthens HAIR, SKIN and NAILS (better than botox!), and emerging research shows it is an ANTI-OBESOGEN, meaning helps REDUCE body weight and protect against weight gain. Wow!
Bottom Line: L-reuteri has only recently been studied and the health benefits are continuing to emerge.
5. It'll keep you FULL FOR HOURS. With such a high-fat/low-carb ketogenic profile, a little goes a long way and will sustain you for hours. As think as ricotta cheese, 1/4-1/3 cup of this superpower yogurt is all you need to feel full and happy.
Bottom Line: It's delicious AND satisfying.
So how do you get your hands on this stuff? You can order L-reuteri probiotic tablets from Biogaia (a great company that sells high-quality probiotics for all stages of life) and follow my SUPER easy recipe below. I use a Stalton electric yogurt maker that I have had for ages, but using an instant pot or slow cooker is also an option. The key is a long incubation for optimal probiotic growth and low temperature to keep those little amazing bugs alive.
4 cups heavy cream (preferably organic)
6 tablets L-reuteri probiotic, crushed well with a mortar and pestle
2 tsp honey (don't worry, this gets eaten up by the probiotic bacteria and the end product is free from sugar)
1. Heat cream in microwave or saucepan over low heat to about 100 degrees. No worries if you don't have a thermometer; your goal is just a touch higher than your own internal body temperature. So, it should feel warm to the touch, but not scalding.
2. Mix in honey and stir well. Then add crushed probiotic tablets and stir very gently with a spoon, making sure they dissolve well, but preventing agitating them too much.
3. Cook in yogurt maker for a minimum of 24 hours, up to 36 hours. The longer this cooks, the higher the level of probiotic as well as the thicker the product.
4. Remove from yogurt maker and store in refrigerator.