I’m so glad the weather is warm today. I like eating yogurt, but not so much on a cold day. A few home schooling moms and I have been reading and trying to implement the Trim Healthy Mamma by Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett approach to healthy living. We were discussing the various suggestions and recipes today at our co-op. I’ve enjoyed making so many of the recipes in this book I’ve started taking samples to my friends. I even made the Cheeseburger Pie recipe and served it to the youth group. Those kids loved it. I’ll have to share that recipe another day. Today I was asked to share my adventure with making homemade yogurt in my crockpot.
Yes, you heard right. Homemade yogurt in the crockpot. It all started when I picked up some yogurt cultures at a health food store. Got home only to learn the instruction say one must own a yogurt maker. I thought surely there is another way. I googled homemade yogurt and discovered I could use my trusty crockpot. I was excited. I’ve done this about a dozen times so far. But it wasn’t until last week that I actually did a cost comparison. I can make yogurt for about $1 a quart of I can pay Walmart about $3 a quart. I think I will continue to make my own yogurt.
My children like plain runny yogurt, but I’ve discovered I prefer the thick creamy texture of Greek yogurt. I bet you didn’t know Greek yogurt is just regular yogurt that has been strained. I make 2 quarts at time. Put it in quart containers. Then on a day we are having yogurt for lunch, I strain my portion through a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter. I save the yellow liquid. That is whey. It is great to add to smoothies. But, most of the time I just use it when making anything that might call for water. It just adds a bit of a protein boost. I haven’t noticed a difference in the flavor of my rice or other food item I might make with it. Best part is I’m not wasting any part of the yogurt.
So I bet you want to know how I do. I’ll keep this straight forward but if you want more detail and pictures (I haven’t figured out how to post those yet) check out http://www.creativesimplelife.com/homemade-yogurt-in-a-crock-pot/.
1 quart milk (I use 2 % cow’s milk.), 1 Tbl plain yogurt with live-active cultures, 1/3 cup powdered milk
1. Pour milk in crock-pot. Add powdered milk and stir to combine. Heat milk to 180⁰ F. 2. Once milk is 180⁰ F turn off crock pot and let milk cool to 120⁰ F. While milk is cooling set yogurt starter out so it will come to room temperature. 3. Now that the milk is at 120⁰ F gently stir in starter yogurt until fully combined. Cover with lid and wrap crock pot with a couple of bath towels to maintain the temperature. The just let it sit for about 6 hours. Check the temperature every hour or so. It needs to be between 110⁰ – 120⁰ F for the yogurt to do it’s trick. If it is getting too close to 110⁰ F just turn the crock pot on low for 5 minutes. Set a timer. You don’t want to forget about it and kill the live cultures. 4. Now that the day has gone by and your yogurt looks like a thick glob of cheese surrounded by liquid, it is time to put it in the fridge. Using a wisk, stir the yogurt to combine the liquid (whey). This produces a smoother texture. Pour into a clean one quart container and refrigerate at least 4 hours so it will fully set up. 5. Now that it is set either server as is or strain through mess strainer lined with a coffee filter. This is not sweet like the store bought kind. For myself and Robby, I sweeten with stevia and add a little vanilla extract. For the children, I sweeten with honey.
I make a 2 quart batch once a week. I love the fact that I’m saving money and giving my family something that does not have any additives.
Hint: Set aside your starter for the next batch. If you use it all you’ll have to go buy another container of plain yogurt at the store.