Friday, March 9, 2012

Crockpot Yogurt

Right at two years ago I started making my own yogurt. I knew it was easy and I knew it was much  healthier.  I got to decide how to sweeten and flavor it, there was no chemicals or fake sugar, and wayyy cheaper!
First, you start out by pouring a 1/2 gallon of milk into a crockpot.  Turn the crockpot on high and let heat up for 1 1/2 hours.  Then, unplug the crockpot and let it sit with the lid still on for 2 1/2 hours. After the time is up, add one 6 ounce container of plain yogurt and one packet of nonfat dry milk. I use the dry milk because I use skim milk.  The dry milk makes the end result thicker.  If you use milk with a higher fat content, it will thicken more and you may not need the dry mlk.  Stir carefully and just until mixed.

Next, cover the whole crockpot with a blanket or towel and leave untouched for 6-10 hours.  I time mine so I'm wrapping the crockpot up right before I go to bed.  The longer you leave it sit, the tangier and thicker it will be.

In the morning you will wake up to yogurt! Nice and thick!

This is how much whey accumulated after sitting in the frig for a couple days.  I have read that you can strain it with cheesecloth and it will then be really thick and creamy like Greek yogurt.

It did work! but- it was a messy process! One I probably will not do again. Besides the whey is good for you! Just makes the yogurt not as thick.
To the yogurt you can add whatever you like!  We've used grape preserves, orange marmalade, honey, raw sugar, agave, pureed berries, kiwi chunks, peaches.  So many possibilities!   I also use it as sour cream.  The yogurt will last in your frig 7-10 days. (Although I've kept it longer.)  You can then use some of your homemade yogurt as your starter for the next round of making it in the crockpot! I have used it in the past but usually don't make it back to back so I just end up buying the plain yogurt starter from the store each time.

For more detailed information, check out this post.  If you are needing more slow cooker inspiration, browse around this site. She used her crockpot EVERYDAY for one whole year!!

Let me know how your yogurt turns out!