L. Reuteri Superfood Starter FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About L. Reuteri Yogurt
This yogurt has shocked me in so many ways, but it wasn't without its problems. I always shoot straight with you - the health benefits blew my mind and continue to do so, and I don't recommend anything I don't make and consume. I didn't really believe them when the studies showed that L. reuteri increases the hormone oxytocin, but I do now! This hormone, called the love hormone, increases empathy and compassion. L. reuteri takes residence in the entire GI tract and once established it sends a signal through the myenteric nervous system, then through the vagus nerve up to the hypothalamus where it triggers the release of of the hormone oxytocin. Once oxytocin is released you'll have a stronger desire for human connection and reduced social anxiety and will have more love and compassion even when you disagree with someone's opinion. I have experienced all of this and more with my entire family.
I've had many sleepless nights thinking about this yogurt and trying to find ways to help you be successful. Nobody else has made a starter with L. reuteri and it was originally developed by our friend Dr. Davis who made it with probiotic capsules. It had some challenges because L. reuteri is intense! This type of yogurt was not on the market anywhere, but we developed a starter for both non-dairy and regular dairy with high counts of L. reuteri and it is so worth the effort.
We figured out a few things to help you along the way, like using ultra-pasteurized milk and half and half on your first batch. Our starter is so strong that when you first make it with a sachet, the first batch can sometimes (but not always) separate into strong curds and whey and have a strong cheesy smell. If you use this strong batch as a starter (1 tablespoon of whey and 1 tablespoon of curds), the next batch will have little or no separation and be creamy. This will be one of the best yogurts you'll ever have. You can keep using this batch and your new batches to make even more yogurt. I've stopped counting after 40 recultured batches - it just keeps going. As long as it's getting thick and tart-tasting it's working.
I have seen countless health improvements since consuming L. reuteri yogurt. I've also seen many of these changes in my family. They all saw such improvements that I now make tons of this yogurt. We all have it every morning in our smoothies. We use half kefir and half L. reuteri yogurt and sometimes we can mix Yogurt Plus in there too. Yogurt Plus has Bifdobacterium - another really important bacteria for your gut. Here are some of the benefits we've had:
- Increased muscle mass from workouts and exercise is easier with more results. 
- Hair is thicker and longer and grows like crazy. 
- Skin is moister and glows like never before. 
- We all sleep harder and need less sleep and have a lot more energy. 
- My emotions are more stable, I feel more compassion and a lot more joy, less obsessive thinking. 
- Lost about 6-7 lbs and haven't done anything different but add this yogurt.[8,9]
While numerous studies said L. reuteri increases testosterone in men, it didn't work very well in supplement form. This yogurt is in the delivery method that the body seems to prefer, and it delivers in spades. One man on my forum reported these improvements. 
"I’m on my 3rd batch of L. reuteri, purchased from Cultured Food Life, and I’ve noticed the following changes:
– pullups and pushups increased by 20%
– experienced waves of empathy
– 20% boost in deep sleep and rem sleep as reported by my smartwatch
– increased libido in the morning
I haven’t noticed any changes in collagen or skin, but I don’t really keep a close eye on those things."
FAQs and Recipes with L. Reuteri Yogurt
We get a lot of questions about this super powerful superfood yogurt. We have answered most of your questions in this FAQ along with recipes too. L reuteri is a powerful, good bacteria that you are most likely missing if you've ever taken an antibiotic. L. reuteri is in kefir, too, but in a much smaller amount. What a difference this yogurt can make - it's worth the effort! I continue to find new recipes and ways to help you be successful in making this yogurt, the benefits are many!
Frequently Asked Questions About L. Reuteri Superfood Starter
Which Dairy to Use:
I highly recommend that when you first start making this yogurt you use ultra-pasteurized half and half milk or heat the half and half milk to 195ºF / 90ºC and hold it there for 10 minutes to denature most of the lactoglobulin. This allows the yogurt to thicken and join with the other proteins that form a mesh which will keep your yogurt from separating into curds and whey. When you have your first successful batch, you can use this yogurt as a starter and use different combinations of milk based on your preferences. But using ultra-pasteurized half and half milk gives you the best results for your first batch. Most organic milk is ultra-pasteurized and this will make the best yogurt.
Different Milks You Can Use
- For a very rich and firm end-product: 1 quart of dairy half and half. (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195°F for 10 minutes and cooled)
- For a rich, semi-firm end-product: 2 cups of dairy half and half + 2 cups of 2% or whole dairy milk. (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195°F for 10 minutes and cooled)
- For a soft end-product, similar in texture to yogurt: 1 quart of whole dairy milk or 2% dairy milk (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195°F for 10 minutes and cooled)
- Ultra-pasteurized will result in the best yogurt.
Pictured top to bottom: 2% milk, whole milk, half and half
My First Batch Turned into Curds and Whey?
If your yogurt is separating into curds and whey, you should use either ultra-pasteurized half and half milk or heat the milk to 195ºF / 90ºC and hold it there for 10 minutes to denature most of the lactoglobulin. The milk you are using may have more lactoglobulin protein. You should also lower the temperature in your yogurt maker to 98 F° degrees and make sure your yogurt maker has water in the bottom of it half way up the jars.
Heating and holding milk at a temperature for a period of time allows this protein to join in the mesh (instead of remaining inactive) and increases the amount of protein in the milk that will thicken the yogurt. If you use ultra-pasteurized milk, it has already been heated and held at a high temperature so you don't need to heat it.
If your first batch looks more like cottage cheese and whey, you can use 2 tablespoons of this yogurt (1 tbsp of the whey and 1 tbsp of the curd) to make your next batch, and you'll find that your next batches will have little or no separation. You can still consume and eat this separated batch, or blend it into a smoothie with fruit and sweetener. It's super creamy and delicious.
My Yogurt is Separating When Using the Yogurt as a Starter?
One thing that's important to know is that separation is not a sign of failure. Whey can be the normal result of lower-fat milk or the lactoglobulin in milk not been denatured. The whey is very healthy and contains the L. reuteri, as do the curds. You might need to heat the milk to 195ºF / 90ºC for 10 minutes then cool it down to add the culture. Commercial yogurts also tend to separate during production. The reason they look so smooth and uniform when you open the tub is that they add a 'stabilizer' additive. We do not add any additives to our L. Reuteri starter culture.
Whether separated or not, your fermented superfood contains L. Reuteri in both the curds (solids) and the whey (liquid). The whey is good to drink and is healthy. It has a lot of protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and high levels of B vitamins. Despite the similarity to yogurt, L. Reuteri is not a traditional yogurt. L. Reuteri is a cultured dairy superfood that can take different forms some thinner, some thicker, depending on the milk(s) you use.
Having separation at the bottom of the jar can be normal and is often due to the milk you used and some of the prebio plus that was at the bottom that is food for the bacteria. If it keeps happening on each batch using the yogurt as a starter then try using a new sachet or heating the milk to 195ºF / 90ºC for 10 minutes and then cooling it down.
Can I Blend the L. Reuteri Yogurt in a Blender?
I don’t believe that it hurts to blend probiotic foods. They’ve questioned this about kefir too, but the bacteria are so small I think it would be very hard to kill it. I’ve also started feeling the benefits of this yogurt and I blend it all the time. It creates a nice feeling of well-being and I’m seeing it in my kids too.
I make the best smoothies by blending frozen fruit, L. reuteri yogurt, and some kefir. It's super thick!
Can I Add This Starter to My Kefir?
It doesn't work to add L. reuteri to kefir during fermentation. The other good bacteria in kefir (there are a lot of them!) will compete with the L. reuteri and it won't survive. Also, L. reuteri needs to be fermented at a low heat (100°F) which is warmer than what is good for kefir, and for 36 hours to really grow and multiply.
You can, however, take a little kefir and L reuteri yogurt to make a smoothie. I think it makes the best smoothies and smoothie bowls I've ever had. Super creamy!
Can I use Goat's Milk?
Yes, you can use goat's milk. Goat's milk has a different structure of proteins and fats than cow's milk, and the caseins in the milk act differently. Goat's milk contains less casein than cow's milk and the fat molecules are smaller, making it easy to digest. Only 2% of goat's milk is curd, compared to 10% in cow's milk.
Goat's milk made into kefir stays creamy and doesn't get thick This is due to the structure of the proteins and fat in goat's milk.
Goat's Milk L. Reuteri Yogurt
We've tried making the L. reuteri Superfood Starter with goat's milk (3.25% fat) and these are the results:
Texture: completely separated. The top layer, which contains the solid, is fairly yogurty (but on the thinner side).
Flavor: very tasty, very goaty
My L. Reuteri Yogurt Expanded Outside of the Jars?
This can sometimes happen on the very first batch if you didn't use ultra-pasteurized milk. It doesn't tend to occur on subsequent batches when you use this as a starter for the next batch.
This could happen for several reasons. You may have screwed the lid on the jar too tightly and this caused pressure to build up and caused the temperature in the jar to raise and get too hot.
It may be that the yogurt starter and prebiotic didn't get mixed together as uniformly as they could be, but it seems to always be better on the next batch if you use this batch (a little of the curds and the whey) as your starter. You can stir this back together and consume it or use it in a smoothie.
It could also be because the appliance got too hot and climbed up above 100°F. I would get a thermometer and place it in the yogurt maker without the yogurt. Turn on the appliance and let the temperature rise and see if this is happening to you. It doesn't always happen right away. I would check the temps and then lower the temp to 98 or even 97°F. It may be getting too hot, and that is causing your issue.
Issues With Setting the 36-Hour Timer on Some Yogurt Makers:
It is kind of tricky to get it to set the hours on this yogurt maker that I recommend. Try this:
- Hit set/view then change the temperature with the minus button.
- Then quickly hit start and hit the plus button to increase the amount of time on the yogurt maker.
- It does need to be done somewhat quickly or it will just restart the process.
What Bacteria Strains Are We Using?
Our L. Reuteri Superfood contains a high concentration of the SD-5865 strain of L. reuteri. Check out these study results.
Here is what Dr. William Davis states in his book Super Gut about our starter. "Another option: a starter making kit using a different strain of L. reuteri that, in preliminary experience, yields many of the same effects, called “LR Superfood Starter.”
I'm Getting Pink Stuff on My Yogurt?
This is usually a harmless yeast that can form mostly because of air exposure. Make sure when you are fermenting it, that you have a loose lid on the yogurt, and don't open the lid a lot to keep air exposure down. If you do have this harmless yeast occur, then scrape it off the top and discard it. The yogurt underneath is fine to consume, but the flavor might not be as good.
Can I use Raw Milk?
You cannot use raw milk since it contains competing good bacteria and will dominate. The L. reuteri won't survive or be the dominant strain.
If you want to use raw milk, you'll have to pasteurize the milk to make sure there are no other bacteria in the milk. Heat to 180°F and then cool down to 100°F before adding the starter.
How High Do I Fill the Water on my Sous Vide?
I usually fill my sous vide bucket up to about an inch or two from the top of the jar. Then I place a loose lid on top of the jar. Don't screw it down since this will make it over ferment, build up pressure, and explode out of the jar.
Sous vide is best for making bigger batches of L. reuteri and I like it a lot. We make a lot of this yogurt and it is easy to make 3 or 4 quart jars at one time.
Do I Have to Ferment for 36 Hours?
Yes, It's extremely important to let it ferment for 36 hours.
The long, slow fermentation with the lower temperature increases the bacterial strains exponentially over the 36 hours (see graph) and creates a thick, delicious yogurt. It really only starts to increase the bacterial strain at 24 hours so don't take it out too early or you'll miss the benefits.
My Jars Are Turning Out Different
If your L. Reuteri Superfood batches look like the picture, some look fine and others look separated, you can stir them back together and consume them. When they are really separated they don’t remix. In those cases, you can pour off the whey and use it in a drink, eat the curds with a spoon or make a smoothie with frozen fruit.
I suspect that some parts of the heating element in your yogurt maker are hotter than others. You might lower the heat to 98 F° degrees to help with this. Also, It does help to add water about 1/2 way up the jars in the yogurt maker.
How Many Times Can I Re-culture?
I've recultured my L reuteri yogurt that was a month old and it still worked great.
Remember - if your first batch is separated into curds and whey you can always use it to make more batches with little or no separation.
Use 2 tablespoons of the yogurt as your starter instead of a sachet. We made dozens of batches using the yogurt as a starter and it is still going strong. As long as it is getting thick and sour tasting it is still working.
The Right Equipment Is Important!
To keep your L. reuteri at the best temperature, you'll need an appliance with a temperature adjustment of 100°F and a timer that can be set to 36 hours. This can be a yogurt maker, Instant Pot, or sous vide device. You'll need to make sure your device has those features. Here are some appliances that should work well for you.
We've made dozens of jars of yogurt with this device. You can make larger batches so it's very convenient. It's actually a well-known cooking method used by many chefs.
You'll need a sous vide stick and a container to place the yogurt in a water bath. It allows you to make several jars at one time and controls the temperature perfectly.
Here is a link for the container I use but you can use your own container if you'd like:
Not all instapots have a manual temperature setting that can be set to 100°F.
L. reuteri bacteria love human body temperature. Regular yogurt makers/instapots are usually automatically set to higher temperatures of 110°F or more, which is too hot for L. reuteri to survive.
Test your device with a cup of water and a thermometer before making your first batch. I hesitate to recommend certain brands because it isn't always standard for all the pots, so please just make sure yours can maintain 100°F.
Every item with a link was selected by me to make it easier for you. I may receive a small affiliate commission if you buy something through my links. Thank you! ❤️
Listen To My Podcast
L. Reuteri yogurt has shocked me in so many ways but it wasn't without its problems. I always shoot straight with you and the health benefits blew my mind and continue to do so. It was also a different process from other cultures and we have learned so much to help you learn more about this yogurt and how to make it. Tune in to learn more about this superfood yogurt.
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