LR Superfood Starter

Introduction

I love yogurt and have it often. My mom used to eat it for dessert with a spoonful of jam and whipped cream. I in turn do the same and love yogurt in many dishes and meals. This yogurt is very versatile and it only takes 6 hours to make!

I have done a lot of research on yogurt. Many of the world's centenarians have consumed yogurt and kefir daily and often as a dessert or meal.

I love kefir with every fiber of my being and have it every day but there were a couple of strains that kefir didn't have that I wanted. Bifidobacteria and L. Reuteri were two very important strains that I think we need in abundance that isn't in kefir, but what's interesting is kefir helps to feed these strains if you have them. I've written articles about both of them, and now we have two yogurts that have these strains in them. I've made gallons of yogurt but did not expect to experience the wonderful effects of yogurt that I am now experiencing.

Bifidobacteria have long been regarded as one of the most beneficial members of the human gut microbiome. Lower levels of this beneficial bacteria have been shown in obese and diabetic individuals and in individuals taking antibiotics. Also, those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease have shown lower levels of bifidobacteria as well. The easiest way to get more bifidobacteria is to take Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs)  for a short period of time and then switch to foods that feed it and keep it strong. You can supplement with HMOs from time to time but paying attention to this species in your gut is very important.

Strains/Ingredients in Yogurt Plus

Streptococcus thermophilus
Bifidobacterium longum
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus reuteri
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus
Non-GMO inulin

The L. reuteri in this yogurt is a different strain than the one we have in our LR Superfood Yogurt Starter, (Our LR Superfood Starter is much stronger).

All these are specific strains in Yogurt Plus and were handpicked along with one of my favorite bacteria Bifidobacterium longum. Everybody needs more Bifidobacteria and I have written specifically about how to build up Bifido with prebiotics and yogurt to help keep it strong and steady.  Check out this article. HMOs and Bifidobacterium. 

If you have a weak immune system Streptococcus thermophilus, L. delbrueckii, L. Plantarum, L. reuteri, and Bifidobacterium have all been shown to benefit your immune system powerfully. This helpful strain fights off viruses, fungi, and parasites that invade the gastrointestinal tract and the urogenital system too. They also help to reduce gut inflammation, decrease pathogen activity and improve overall health.

 

Purchase

United States:

If you live in the USA, you can order directly from my store. I keep these cultures refrigerated to ensure that they stay alive & fresh while they are waiting for you to adopt them.

Purchase from my store

Cutting Edge Cultures also has them for sale directly on their website.

You can also get them from Amazon.com, just know that I don't think that the Amazon warehouse keeps them refrigerated.

Refrigeration is always recommended! These cultures will last 24 months in the fridge, even longer in the freezer, but only about two weeks at room temperature.

Canada:

Instructions

You can find even more detailed instructions by clicking here. I also have some non-dairy recipes below.

Makes: 1 quart of cultured dairys
Preparation time: 10 minutes preps, 36 hours culturing (1 day and 12 hours)

Timing is important. L. 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.)

You’ll need:

  • An appliance that can maintain a constant temperature of 100F for 36 hours, such as a sous-vide, a yogurt maker with an adjustable temperature setting (or even an Instant Pot / slow cooker / brewing or kombucha warmer/heater - if these can be set to 100F for 36 hours).
  • A glass jar that can hold at least 1 quart of liquid. Make sure that your utensils (jar, spoons, etc) are very clean.
  • A loosely fitting lid (or plastic wrap).
  • 1 sachet of LR Superfood Starter.
  • 2 tablespoons of a prebiotic fiber (such as Prebio Plus).
  • Dairy:
    • 1 quart ultra-pasteurized half and half, or
    • 1 quart ultra-pasteurized 2% or whole milk, or
    • 1 quart combination of the two

    Can’t find ultra-pasteurized? Heat the dairy to 195°F/90°C for 10 minutes, then let it cool to 100F before starting the recipe. Most organic dairy is ultra-pasteurized. Use dairy without additives. Goat milk will yield a thin result.

Steps:

  1. In a glass jar, mix 2 tablespoons of prebiotic fiber (such as Prebio Plus) with the contents of 1 sachet of LR Superfood Starter.
  2. Add approximately 1.5 cups of dairy (cold, or up to 100F). Whisk well to avoid clumping and for even distribution. Do not blend.
  3. Stir in the remainder of the dairy, leaving some headspace. Mix/whisk well for even distribution. Do not blend.
  4. Cover lightly with a loosely fitting lid or a plastic wrap. (If using small individual jars, pour the mixture evenly into the jars, leaving some headspace, and loosely cover each jar with its own lid).
  5. Ferment at 100F for 36 hours, away from the airflow of air vents/heaters/air conditioning, etc., and away from other ferments. Do not stir while fermenting. Do not open the jar(s) while fermenting.
  6. After 36 hours, remove from appliance, let cool, then secure lid(s) and put in the fridge. Will keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
  7. Reculture: To make a new batch, repeat these instructions but use 2 tablespoons of your previous batch of cultured dairy as your starter. If the previous batch separated, use 1 tablespoon of the curds and 1 tablespoon of the whey (or 2 tablespoons of whey if the curd is too firm) as your starter.
    Important tips: Don’t heat the end-product or stir it into a hot dish. If blending is needed, keep it to a minimum and at a low speed. L. Reuteri are living bacteria, and are sensitive to heat and to intense agitation.

Notes:

  • Store the starter culture in the refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to use it.
  • Reculture: To make a new batch, repeat these instructions but use 2 tablespoons of yogurt made with Yogurt Plus as your starter.
  • Important tips: Don’t heat the end-product or stir it into a hot dish. If blending is needed, keep it to a minimum and at a low speed. L. Reuteri are living bacteria, and are sensitive to heat and to intense agitation.

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.

Luvele_Pure_Plus_Yogurt_Maker_GAPS_SCD_Diet_new_5000x

Yogurt Maker

This is probably my favorite of the yogurt makers that I have tried. It's made by Luvele, which is a terrific company that is passionate about what they do.

Learn More

Suteck Yogurt Maker

Other Yogurt Makers

There are cheaper yogurt makers available on Amazon. They do work but can be a little tricky to set the time and temperature. Watch this video.

Yogurt Maker 1

Yogurt Maker 2

Sous Vide Container No Lid

Sous Vide

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.

Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Here is a link for the container I use but you can use your own container if you'd like:

Sous Vide Container

Instant Pot Pro

Instapots/Pressure Cookers

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.

Instant Pot Pro

Instant Pot Ultra

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! ❤️

Recipes

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!

L. Reuteri Superfood Yogurt

L. Reuteri Yogurt in a Sous Vide Device

Non-Dairy Recipes

L. Reuteri Superfood Coconut Yogurt

L. Reuteri Yogurt Made with Almond Milk

Free Yogurt Recipes eBook!

Get my Free Yogurt eBook when you purchase LR Superfood Starter from my store! It has recipes on how to make yogurt and it also has recipes to create some of my favorite yogurt recipes. Fifteen recipes in total and these are some of my favorites.

You can make dairy and non-dairy versions of this yogurt and use them in all the recipes.

Yogurt plus with oranges

Frequently Asked Questions About L. Reuteri Superfood Starter

Left to right 2% whole milk, half and half-2

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

L Reuteri separated

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.

Left to right 2% whole milk, half and half.2

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.

L reuteri smoothie

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!

Kefir and L reuteri

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!

goatLR

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

Aroma: none

L. reuteri coming out of jar

 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.

L reuteri dairy. instuctions 5

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:

  1. Hit set/view then change the temperature with the minus button.
  2. Then quickly hit start and hit the plus button to increase the amount of time on the yogurt maker.
  3. It does need to be done somewhat quickly or it will just restart the process.
LR Superfood graph

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.”

Pink stuff yogurt

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.

 

Easy Kefir Milk Pouring

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.

Sous Vide

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.

resized-chart-2-draft-with-dots (1)

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.

L reuteri jars uneven

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.

 

L reuteri reculture

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.

 

Sous Vide

What Equipment Can I Use?

Your L. Reuteri must ferment at a constant 100°F for 36 hours. Check out the section below for different options.

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