I’m totally obsessed with Bulgarian yogurt!
There are countless health benefits and I like it better than Greek yogurt personally. The easiest way to enjoy it is just to top the yogurt off with fruit, granola, nuts, and more.
However, there are a multitude of delicious recipes you can create with White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt, here’s one of my favorites. It’s a show stopping frozen granola bark, perfect for entertaining or just easy snacking at home.
Best of all, its SO easy to make, you can make it just 15 minutes or so, pop it into the freezer for a couple of hours and it’s ready to serve!
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Frozen Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Bark Recipe
So let’s get “cooking!” Grab a medium sized bowl and add your White Mountain Yogurt and pumpkin puree.
Next up, grab a 9×13 baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Pour in your yogurt mix and use a spatula to smooth it all out and spread across the entire pan.
Next grab your ingredients, and you can top this with any of your favorite seeds or fruits, feel free to complete deviate with the toppings that I selected (although they do pair together quite deliciously!)
Carefully top your yogurt mixture with all the goodies and it’ll look so pretty!
Next up, you’re going to pop open the freezer and place the tray on a completely flat surface. Be careful, so that you perfectly placed toppings do not slip around.
Freeze for at least 2 hours and you’ll be ready to go!
Next, cut up the pieces and you’re ready to serve! Make sure to freeze the remaining pieces to store.
Frozen Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Bark
- 2 cups Bulgarian Yogurt White Mountain Foods recommended
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 figs sliced thin
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp granola any kind
- 1 tbsp pomegrante seeds
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the yogurt and pumpkin puree
Pour the entire mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
Add toppings: figs, pumpkin seeds, granola, and pomegranate seeds
Freeze for at least 2 hours
Cut into pieces and serve immediately. Store remaining in the freezer
Ultimate Guide to Bulgarian Yogurt
Thick milk is literally what the word yogurt means. It’s what the Thracians – the ancient Bulgarian people who invented it – named it some 7,000 years ago! You probably thought the Greeks invented yogurt didn’t you? Wrong! Although it is a staple of the Greek diet and most people think Greek when they think yogurt, it is the Bulgarians who not only invented it, but what they created is considered to be the tastiest and the healthiest yogurt in the world!
It’s all in the combination of bacteria. Thracians combined two unique strains of bacteria found only in the Bulgarian climate. And according to Nobel Prize recipient Ilya Mechnikov, the yogurt based diet of Bulgarians is responsible for their remarkably longer life span.
Today, Bulgarians call it sour milk, or kiselo mlyako. The rest of the world calls Bulgarian yogurt the best, most creamy and yummy yogurt you can find. If this is the first you’re hearing of this amazing treat, we’re about to hip you to everything that makes it so special in this ultimate guide to Bulgarian yogurt.
Bulgarian Yogurt Bacteria
When it comes to yogurt, it’s all about the bacteria. For example, Greek yogurt has like four different bacteria in it whereas Bulgarian yogurt only combines two. In fact, unless the yogurt you buy is made with both lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus, it isn’t considered true Bulgarian yogurt.
Why this combo specifically? Because like all bacteria, the strain depends on the climate. It’s how natural yogurt is produced; from naturally occurring bacteria. Bulgaria’s climate happens to produce two bacteria that make really good yogurt. It’s what gives Bulgarian yogurt its thick texture and tang.
Bulgarian Yogurt Benefits
There is a reason why yogurt is generally considered a good diet food. It’s a unique dairy product that actually helps produce probiotic bacteria that aid in digestive health. Considering that dairy is the problem for many people with gastro-intestinal issues, it’s kind of counter-intuitive.
Yogurt contains healthy bacteria that have proven to have all kinds of health benefits. Besides helping people with the bubble guts, it:
- Can lower cholesterol,
- Provides calcium,
- Helps break down sugar in your system,
- And is believed to help suppress cancer.
It is considered the healthiest yogurt in the world because despite it being whole milk, it is really low in carbs and calories, even with its high fat content. At the same time, it is very thick and filling so that you feel satiated after eating it.
Bulgarian Yogurt vs. Greek Yogurt
So why is it that Greek yogurt is so popular and gets more fan fare than the healthier and tastier Bulgarian yogurt? For one, it may be the full fat thing that scares people on diets away.
However, it is actually the non-fat variety of Greek yogurt that has the highest fat content. Dieters tend to go for non-fat everything but in reality whole milk has less fat content than skim milk, which is what non-fat Greek yogurt is made of.
Greek yogurt does have higher protein content than Bulgarian yogurt but it also has more sugar which can lead to insulin spikes. Greek yogurt is also higher in carbs than Bulgarian yogurt. Plus, if you are trying to help your stomach process foods better by eating yogurt, Greek yogurt only helps with initial digestion at the top of your intestines. If you want the kind of gut health of probiotics, you want Bulgarian yogurt.
These bacteria line both the upper intestinal track and the lower intestines. And the bacteria set up shop in your stomach to create a better environment in your gut for digesting your food. Compared to Greek yogurt, there are more probiotic producing bacteria in Bulgarian yogurt than Greek yogurt.
Bulgarian Yogurt Keto
The keto diet is all the rage these days. It’s kind of like the Atkins diet except you don’t eliminate carbs from your diet altogether, but you cut way back on carbs while also eating more foods with fat and protein in them. That’s where Bulgarian yogurt’s probiotic prowess comes in real handy.
People doing the keto diet end up having trouble having bowel movements because of the reduction in carbohydrate intake, and thus a lack of fiber to help move food through. A daily dose of Bulgarian yogurt can act as the fiber content you need to help keep the trains moving on time, so to speak.
As a whole milk product, Bulgarian yogurt helps ketogenic dieters to increase their fat intake as part of their diet. This makes it a handy snack in between meals to curb your appetite and stay on track.
Why White Mountain Foods Makes the Best Bulgarian Yogurt
White Mountain Foods has been producing authentic Bulgarian Yogurt for over 40 years. It’s fermented for 24 hours usually only milk and live, active culture.
Yogurt’s probiotic content is measured in “Colony-Forming Units” or CFUs. The higher the CFU number, the more active cultures within the yogurt – which is a good thing. White Mountain Food’s Bulgarian yogurt has 90 billion CFUs of live cultures swirling around in it – the most of any yogurt on the market.
There is no sugar or additives in Bulgarian yogurt produced by White Mountain Foods. It is simply the bacteria combined with whole milk. There is a non-fat version of Bulgarian yogurt that you can buy from White Mountain but for optimal benefits (especially if you are on the keto diet) you want the whole milk version. It has more fat and protein and less carbs whereas the non-fat version has zero fat and lots of carbs.
Bulgarian Yogurt Starter Culture
People make their own yogurt sometimes and you can too. Believe it or not, there is a yogurt starter culture that you can buy to create Bulgarian yogurt! It’s kind of like making your own sourdough where you have to start with a specific yeast base.
With Bulgarian yogurt, your starter culture has to include lactobacillus delbrueckii and streptococcus salivarius. Unlike other yogurts, these are the only bacteria that you need for Bulgarian yogurt. We found the best Bulgarian yogurt starter culture that you can find too!
It is the Bulgarian Yogurt Starter from Cultures for Health. Not only do you get all of the benefits that you expect from Bulgarian yogurt but this starter is also gluten free and non-GMO. Plus, it is an “heirloom” yogurt starter, which means that it can be reused over and over and you won’t lose any of the good stuff in it.
How to Make Bulgarian Yogurt
If you were an ancient Thracian, you would make your yogurt by filling a lambskin with milk and then tying the pouch around your waist to keep it warm. Fortunately, you don’t need any lambskin – at least not for this, ahem – in order to make Bulgarian yogurt.
Every other yogurt you make yourself has to be strained. You need a straining cloth and some other gadgets to pull it off in order to get all of the whey out. The beauty of Bulgarian yogurt is that it doesn’t need to be strained. The whey is going to be zapped away by the healthy bacteria in your starter.
Now before we get into how to make Bulgarian yogurt, you can just buy some, typically at Whole Foods. In fact, you may want to do that after you see what’s all involved with making your own! That said, if you use the yogurt starter we found you, it makes this process so much easier to pull off.
To make one quart of Bulgarian yogurt, you are going to need a quart of whole milk and one packet of Bulgarian yogurt starter. You will need a couple of pieces of cooking equipment, including a seal tight container that is insulated for the incubation period. A thermos can do the trick but the same company that sells the starter also sells a yogurt maker online.
They’re not as expensive as you might think. We’re talking less than $40 for one of the best yogurt makers on the market, like the Euro Cuisine YM80 from Euro Cuisine.
Another piece of equipment you’ll need is a really good thermometer. Specifically, one that you can attach to the side of a pot and that is waterproof. You’re making a quart of yogurt so in order to store it as it ferments, you need glass jars to hold it in. The Euro Cuisine YM80 comes with seven glass jars to put it in.
Here’s why we recommend using a yogurt maker. You’ll need to properly heat both your glass jars and whatever container you are using to incubate the cultures; thermos or yogurt maker.
Before you start, let the cultured milk sit out for several hours, even a whole day if you want. Next, you are going to need a saucepan to put the cultured milk in but you will sit that pan inside of a container or pot big enough to submerge it in. You could use your kitchen sink if you don’t have a pot or container that is big enough.
Add a couple of inches of ice water to your sink or large container. Clip the thermometer to the side of your saucepan, pour your whole milk into the saucepan and then turn on the heat to medium. You’ll want to get the temp up to 180 degrees. Make sure to stir the milk as it heats up so that it doesn’t start to stick or burn.
This process should take about 15 minutes before the milk reaches 180 degrees. Keep it steaming so that some of the milk evaporates. Once you’ve done that, keeping the thermometer clipped to the side of the saucepan, you’re going to submerge the saucepan in the ice water container you’ve prepared.
You will slowly cool the milk this way. Keep stirring the milk while the temperature goes down. Once your thermometer hits 120 degrees, take the saucepan out of the ice water and then set it aside. Let the temp drop five more degrees to 115 before taking one cup of the heated milk and placing it in a bowl.
Now you’ll add your packet of yogurt starter. Use a whisk to fully mix the milk with the starter quickly and then put that mix into the saucepan with the rest of the heated milk. You’ll whisk some more so that the mixture blends with the rest of the milk.
Once it’s all well blended, you’re going to pour the milk into glass jars – but don’t forget to heat your jars first! Now you’re ready to seal them up and let them sit out for a couple of hours before placing your filled jars into the fridge. They’ll need to ferment in the fridge for about six hours. Now your yogurt is ready to be eaten!
This batch of homemade Bulgarian yogurt can stay fresh for about a month refrigerated. Et voila, there you have it! You’ve made your very own Bulgarian yogurt – give yourself a hand!