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Curd or yoghurt has been consumed by humans for hundreds of years. It’s very nutritious, and eating it regularly may boost several aspects of your health.

It is rich in probiotic bacteria. It also helps in inflammation, promotes digestion and improves general health. However, what is an added benefit is that yoghurt has amazing beauty benefits too it is a considered as great food for the skin.

There is a specific reason why we all love yogurt too much. Cooling, soothing, nutritious and light, a bowl of fresh and creamy yogurt is one of the simplest comfort foods that can intake. This dairy product makes every dish delicious with its goodness be it fruit salad or blended smoothies or breakfast cereal.

In India, curd   is one of the staples in all our kitchens and it is used to give our gravies and curries a thick and creamy consistency and is also used for marination for meats and kebabs too.

             It makes for a great accompaniment with our daily meals because of its delicious taste but have you ever wondered about the health benefits it could provide us if we eat yogurt daily? Made with milk, it is rich in calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium.

Yogurt is not only good for health but it is also a great kind of moisturiser for the skin. 

What is yoghurt and how to make your own homemade yoghurt?

curd

Yogurt is a milk product obtained by fermentation of milk specific microorganisms, which shall be viable, active and abundant in the product Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

The bacteria used to make yogurt are called “yogurt cultures,” which ferment lactose, the natural sugar found in milk.

This process produces lactic acid, a substance that causes milk proteins to curdle, giving yogurt its unique flavour and texture.  

Unfortunately, most commercial brands contain added ingredients, such as sugar and artificial flavours. These yogurts are not good for your health. On the other hand, plain, unsweetened yogurt offers many health benefits.

Here is a basic step-by-step guide for a simple yogurt recipe.

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  • Choose your milk. The first step in making yogurt is to choose the milk you want to use: skim milk, low fat, or whole milk. You can even use goat’s milk if you prefer its taste. The higher the milk fat, the creamier and richer the yogurt will be.
  • You can also choose between raw milk or pasteurized. A half-gallon of milk will make a little more than that in yogurt.
  • Heat milk. Now Your goal is to get the milk to reach 180 F so have a digital cooking or candy thermometer handy to monitor the temperature.
  • Turn your stove to medium heat. Pour the milk into a pan, stirring to evenly heat the milk. Remove from the heat when the milk reaches 180 F.
  • Cool milk. Pour the milk into glass jars, like a mason jar with a lid. Let the milk cool to 115 F. You can either let it sit at room temperature or you can speed up the cooling process with a water bath.
  • Simply fill a large tub, or your sink, with cold water and stand the jars in it. If you’ve heated the milk in a dish that can withstand the switch from hot to cold without cracking, like a Dutch oven, you can use ice water. Monitor the milk with the thermometer.
  • Add the starter. When the milk cools down to 115 F, it’s time to add the yogurt starter. This introduces the initial batch of live cultures that will bloom and grow in the milk.
  • There are powdered yogurt starters, but it’s easy, and less expensive, to simply add spoon of -full a previous batch of homemade or store-bought yogurt. Stir in a big spoonful of yogurt to each jar until fully incorporated into the milk.
  • Incubate. Depending on the temperature you are incubating at, getting a good curd can take anywhere from five to 12 hours the cooler, the longer.

Do not disturb the yogurt during incubation.

  • Cool yogurt. After eight to ten hours, remove the yogurt when it has reached the desired consistency: the longer it incubates the thicker the yogurt. Whey, the water by product of milk fermentation, will accumulate on top.

 Either whisk the liquid back into the yogurt or gently strain the yogurt through a cheesecloth or colander to get rid of the liquid if you want a thicker, Greek-style yogurt.

  • Refrigerate. Place the jars with the finished yogurt into the refrigerator. They will last for up to two weeks.

Make sure to save some yogurt as a starter culture for your next batch. Add flavourings before you refrigerate or when you pull the yogurt out to enjoy.

How can you include curd in your beauty routine?

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1.Curd as a cleanser:

Take a teaspoon of thick curd. Dampen your face. Apply the curd all over your face in circular motion, rubbing it in gently. Leave for five minutes. Gently wipe it off after five minutes with a damp cotton ball.

Wash with warm water to get rid of any oiliness. Follow up with a cold-water splash and skin toner.

2. Curd for tan removal:

Mix 2 parts of curd with one part of lemon juice and apply it on tanned skin. Regular application will help lighten the tan and skin discoloration.

3.Curd to remove pigmentation:

Scrubbing the skin with a mixture of curd and orange/lemon rind will help in lightening the skin tone and removing pigmentation.

          Simply grate some lemon or orange rind into a tsp of curd and scrub your face with it. Leave it for ten minutes on the face before washing.

4.Curd to reduce fine lines and wrinkles:

Mix equal parts of curd and olive oil both of which have been proven to fight wrinkles. Massage your face and neck well with this mixture. Leave it for thirty minutes.

If you want a pleasant smell pack add a few drops of chamomile oil into this. This will soothe the skin and also help you relax. Wash off after half hour and pat your skin dry.

5. Curd in the body scrub:

Curd can relieve extreme dryness easily. Since it also exfoliates, it makes for an easy and effective body scrub ingredient.

         Just mix two spoons of sea salt or brown sugar with half a spoon of curd and half spoon of olive oil. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and use it as a foot scrub. Increase the quantity and use it as a whole-body scrub if you please.

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