24-hour Cultured Yoghurt and Sour Cream

Since starting on the GAPS diet approximately one year ago, we have been making at least 2L each of sour cream and yoghurt per week.  The kids most days have a bowl of yoghurt with homemade GAPS muesli (will have to write that one up later!) and we use the sour cream on lots of things from Mexican to stews to frittata to soups to desserts (think, in place of cream!)  I love it with baked berries and pepitas as an afternoon snack.  It is so rich and creamy and delish!!  The yoghurt and sour cream both need to be cultured for 24 hours (the beneficial bacteria eat up the lactose and break down the milk protein casein, making it easier on sensitive tummies) so we do this in a dehydrator and often dry out nuts we have soaked at the same time.  At the end of the 24 hours, you will have jars full of rich, creamy, lactose-free yogurt/sour cream rich with beneficial bacteria, active enzymes, B vitamins, biotin, vitamin K2, and essential fatty acids.  If you don’t have a dehydrator (sorry, I haven’t tried it without one!) you will need to find a way to keep your yoghurt/sour cream warm.  Some suggestions (but can’t guarantee they work) – use a preheated Thermoserver that is wrapped in towels and kept in a warm place, in a water bath in an esky (make sure the water isn’t too hot!) or in the oven with the oven-light left turned on.  When culturing ours in the dehydrator, we have found that using smaller jars (we use 250ml tomato paste jars for the sour cream and small flip lid jars from Ikea for the yoghurt) helps it to set better/thicker.  The yoghurt will never set really thick (both the sour cream and yoghurt will thicken considerably once cooled in the fridge) so you can drip it in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth in the fridge, removing some of the whey.  Our kids love it as is, so we don’t bother.  You can easily reduce this recipe if you don’t have a family as big (or as piggie) as ours, so just reduce the heating time a little (but not the culturing time).

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Sour Cream;

1.75L pure cream
250g good quality natural yoghurt (we use Jalna Organic) or 250g yoghurt reserved from a homemade batch
Enough glass jars for 2L


1.5L full cream unhomogenised milk
250g pure cream
250g good quality natural yoghurt (we use Jalna Organic) or 250g yoghurt reserved from a homemade batch
Enough glass jars for 2L


  1. Depending on which recipe you are making (or if you are as fortunate as us and have 2 Thermomixes, make both simultaneously!), pour cream or milk/cream into the TM bowl and heat 20 min/90ºC/speed 2.
  2. Cool the heated cream/milk until no temperature lights light up on the Thermomix display when you place the bowl back on the machine.  To speed up the cooling process, take the lid off the TM bowl and place it into the fridge.
  3. Add the yoghurt to the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  4. Heat 15 min/37ºC/speed 2.
  5. Immediately pour the sour cream/yoghurt into clean jars, put the lids on and then place into the bottom of the dehydrator.
  6. Incubate for 24 hours on 37-40ºC (be careful not to go higher than 40ºC!)
  7. Refrigerate reserving 250g yoghurt for your next batch.  Enjoy this creamy delicious delight!  🙂

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