I’m always on the lookout for GAPS™-friendly foods at the store, and in the past I’ve shared coconut wraps and chocolate patties with you. This time I stumbled upon a really important staple for the GAPS Diet – yogurt.
So what makes a yogurt GAPS-friendly, you might ask? GAPS yogurt is made with only whole milk and the bacterial strains that make the yogurt, with nothing else added. Then it’s cultured for at least 24 hours in order to be sure that it’s lactose-free because lactose is too hard for a GAPS gut to digest.
GAPS is always on my mind and when I was at the store last week this new White Mountain Organic Bulgarian Yogurt container caught my eye. I picked it up, turned it over, and checked out the ingredients. It only contains pasteurized organic whole milk and live cultures. No thickeners or stabilizers, and it’s in a glass jar to avoid chemical contamination from plastic.
Since it met part of the GAPS criteria I decided to bring it home. When I got back to me kitchen I grabbed a big spoon and scooped out a bite to try. I was surprised that it tastes really tart, like the yogurt that I make myself.
The longer you culture yogurt, the more lactose is eaten by the bacteria. Lactose is milk sugar, so when it’s gone yogurt is much less sweet that the milk we began with. The tartness of this yogurt made me wonder just how long they culture theirs for. Most good-quality commercial yogurt is cultured between 10 and 14 hours – nowhere near long enough for the GAPS Intro Diet.
I saw that the company had a website listed on the label, so I went there to see if they had any FAQ’s that might say how long they culture the yogurt. No luck. The label also listed an 800 number so I called it and a woman actually answered! “Hi there, I’m just wondering how long you culture your organic yogurt?” She replied, “24 hours.” I was unnaturally excited to hear this and thanked her profusely. I told her that I work with a special diet that requires yogurt to be cultured for 24 hours and this was the first one that I’ve ever found at the grocery store that met the criteria.
A great thing I found on the White Mountain website is that this yogurt is sold throughout the US. Here’s a link to the map so you can find it at a store near you. Be aware that they make other products and not all of them are sold at each store listed, so call ahead if the closest store is out of your way.
Making yogurt at home will probably be more economical, but it’s so great to know that there’s an option like this if you don’t have the equipment for it, or when you’re busy or traveling.