6 Reasons to Get Cultured (Dairy and Cheese)

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In our Cultured Dairy and Basic Cheese eCourse (included with any membership), you can learn to make your own buttermilk, sour cream, cultured butter, yogurt, various cheeses and more. Even if you’re not taking the class, I hope this blog series will help and encourage you!

cottage cheese

The topic of today’s post: my best 6 reasons for eating cultured dairy and cultured cheese. I brainstormed this list in about 30 seconds the other day — and here they are.

1. Gives Probiotics

Depending on what the cultured dairy food is, you’ll consume a range of beneficial bacteria and/or yeast. Kefir, arguably the leader, can contain up to 50-something beneficial strains! Those organisms colonize your gut, keeping pathogens in check and guarding against illness.

2. Improves Digestion

The beneficial organisms colonize your gut and help you get more nutrients from your food. The process of souring (or fermentation) breaks down casein, or milk protein. If the milk or cream was pasteurized in the beginning, culturing restores many of the enzymes that were destroyed. Those enzymes help the body absorb calcium and other minerals. Of particular interest is lactase, the enzyme which breaks down lactose, or milk sugar. Many people who are lactose-intolerant can likely eat cultured dairy, such as yogurt, without ill effects.

3. Adds Vitamins

Vitamin B and vitamin C content increases during the culturing or souring of dairy foods. Not much more to say about this! We can all use a good share of these each day. :)

4. Sours, Rather Than Spoils

When you start with raw milk*, cultured dairy sours over time, rather than spoils. You see, beneficial organisms are naturally present in the raw milk at the beginning, or more are added in the form of a mother culture. In either case, they colonize the milk and hold putrefying organisms in check. Over time, and under the right conditions (cool storage usually), this aging serves to increase the beneficial organism population and increase lactic acid — both of which are natural means of preservation. The “bad guys” don’t want to live in this acidic environment with lots of “good guys” around! And whether or not you care for it, this aging time also develops flavor. From an aged cheese, to a super-sour kefir, it’s all normal behavior with cultured dairy.

Raw cheddar cheese pieces

*There may be cultured dairy foods using pasteurized milk that last a long time — such as aged cheeses.

5. Tastes Great

So your family doesn’t care for sauerkraut. Yet. :) Well, with all the cultured dairy foods out there — cultured butter, buttermilk, sour cream, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, yogurt, kefir, piima, to name a few — your picky eater is bound to find something he/she likes! Let them eat it, and get all the immune and digestive system benefits it offers, including probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes.

6. Embraces God’s Design

Now the Bible doesn’t tell us that much about how to prepare our food, dairy included. But, God’s word does tell us how highly milk is regarded.

“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” –Exodus 3:8

In that refrigerator-less, non-industrial promised land “flowing with milk and honey,” excess milk would have spontaneously soured and preserved itself. How did those beneficial organisms get in the milk in the beginning? God put them there.

Thanks be to Him that traditional peoples figured out how to make delicious fermented foods based on natural processes. They encouraged certain tasty strains to perpetuate — like the ones that make kefir, yogurt, and others, too. They fed their families fermented dairy foods, and passed the practices down generation to generation. And here we are today, getting uncivilized and learning from the age-old wisdom that fits hand-in-glove with God’s design.


Let’s Get Going!

So, there you have it. My best 6 reasons to get more cultured dairy in your life ASAP. I’ll be happy to help you! On February 1, we begin the Cultured Dairy and Basic Cheese eCourse. Through video and print, we will cover many cultured dairy topics, including: sour cream, buttermilk, butter, kefir, yogurt, soft cheese, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, Middle Eastern fresh cheese, feta cheese, queso fresco cheese, mozarella cheese, and more! More details are here.

We begin on February 1, 2011. Consider yourself invited! Any membership at the eCourse gives access to this brand-new class and all its lessons; membership plans start out as little as $13 per month. You can start any time as we don’t close the doors, so if February isn’t the right time — just keep the idea on the back-burner.

What reasons would you add to this list? What’s your favorite cultured dairy food — either homemade or a good source?

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    I love how raw milk “sours instead of spoils”, as you said. I think that is my most favorite part of raw dairy- before, when we purchased store bought milk, those cartons of “bad milk” were so nasty. Now, our raw milk and dairy products just change and get better and you never really have a need to throw it away!

    Looking forward to starting this class! :)

  2. tara says

    I just had my first experience with cultured butter. It was 3.99$ a stick and worth every penny! It’s so delicious spread on rough bread.

  3. says

    Wardee I’m really looking forward to it, also I just found at our Safeway Organic Milk that is only pasturized not ultra. p.. so I’m so happy. I wish it were raw from a dairy,,, but I’m thanking God and using what I have.

  4. says

    Hi Wardee, do you possibly know where I can find nutritional content listings for homemade yogurts? I am hoping to make piima soon, in part so my mother can have it too. For her current eating plan, she is tracking carbs/sugar, calories, etc., and it would be nice to have numbers for her.

  5. says

    I have to admit that as much as I love the other reasons (and am definitely trying to work more cultured foods into my diet because of them) I love reason five- tastes great!

    I can’t do sauerkraut yet without gagging, and I’m a huuuge picky eater. But give me something that is healthy and tastes great? Okay!

  6. says

    Slightly overwhelmed with what kit to purchase. I don’t have any of the items on hand (accept for the milk). Any pointers on which one to lean towards? I’ve already read the outline and difference, but I mostly couldn’t tell you what much of it means as far as ingredients and tools.

    Thanks for any direction.

  7. Toni says


    The new course sounds great. I don’t think, however, that it is going to work for me :( I am waiting til the end of the week to be sure so I’ll let you know.

    PS…I am so excited to see you’re an affiliate with Bulk Herb Store…Yay! I am wanting to put an order in with them sometime soon…I’ll try to remember to buy through you! I love her youtube videos! She is so lively!

  8. Jennie says

    I’m trying to decide if this course will work for me. I’m lactose intolerant but can eat my homemade yogurt because I culture it for at least 20 hours, so most of the lactose (if not all?) is used up by then.

    Will the other foods in this course be the same? Could a lactose intolerant person eat them?

    • says

      Jennie — That’s one of the greatest benefits of cultured dairy! Most of the lactose is eaten up by the beneficial organisms. If you can eat your homemade yogurt, you’ll likely be able to eat almost everything we make in this class. Most foods will be cultured for 12 to 24 hours — and you can always go more.

      And also, if you begin with raw dairy, the enzyme lactase is present to help you digest any lactose still remaining. In addition, culturing helps replace the lactase if the milk was pasteurized in the beginning.

      So, my answer is yes! I think you’ll do very well with the foods in this class. That would be my hope for you. :)

  9. Katie says

    You mentioned that culturing the dairy would break down the casein. In our family I suspect that we have some gluten sensitivity ( I kinda believe everyone does to a degree ) I have been reading that the protein in dairy ( casein ) can act like gluten in our bodies. Do you know anything more about that? Would making my own cheese, sour cream … make that a non issue? As of now we get raw milk from an Amish friend of ours, and I have access to as much as I need. We all love cheese, butter, well anything dairy, but I was considering taking dairy out of our diet, just to see if it would help. We would all be really sad if we could not have melted yummy cheese. Any thoughts would be great!

    • says

      Katie — I don’t know much more than what I already shared. I think it is worth trying for you to culture your own dairy foods and see how you do. I’d suggest starting with at least a 24 hour culturing stage, which is easy for butter, sour cream, and any cheese really! By the time a cheese is made and sits out overnight — its been aging for at least 24 hours. If those trouble anyone, try aging longer. You won’t really know until you try! I hope you’ll keep in touch about it because I’m curious about this, too.

  10. Joann says

    Unfortunately, for some of us who get headaches, cultured foods are triggers.
    I just tried a local, organic cottage cheese and have had a mild headache for the last couple days.
    You might want to mention this as a precaution, if you haven’t already.

  11. Molly Blonde says

    So glad to hear you quote God’s plan for our lives out of His very Word ” The Bible”. I’m a fan of yours & plan to incorporate your eating plan extensively in my diet. Ignorance is not bliss ! Over the years I’ve developed a leaky gut, countless allergies & other health problems. Prayerfully, following your diet plan (eating healthy) and God’s healing promises, I’d be able to reverse these health issues. Thank you so much for your input into life ! A very Happy Mother’s Day to you !

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