January 7, 2011

Home Made Yogurt!

I love yogurt, my kids love yogurt (well all but one and hubby's not too fond of it, either).  But I hate buying yogurt.  It can be expensive to buy for our gang if I don't catch it with a sale and a coupon.  I had heard about making yogurt at home but I was very apprehensive.  I decided to look up a crock pot recipe for it.  Here's the recipe that I used from crockpot365.blogspot.com.

Home Made Yogurt

What you need to gather before you begin:
4-quart crock pot
8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk -- I used 2% from the store
1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)
Frozen or fresh fruit for flavoring
Thick bath towel

The Directions (so super easy!):

This takes about 13-14 hours. Make your yogurt on a day when you are home to monitor.

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then pour the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation. I used two heavy towels...better safe than sorry, right?  : )

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. We did blueberry and strawberry. You can also add honey (remember not to give honey to babies under one year old).  When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.  My kiddos love smoothies...yogurt, ice, some orange juice and fruit in the blender (I add a smidge of sugar or honey, too).  I'm also experimenting with granola recipes to see how that pairs with the yogurt. 

Chill in plastic containers in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch (do this before you add any fruit or sweeteners).

Results:  It was a bit runnier than store bought.  I think it might have to do with using 2% milk.   I am going to try a different recipe next time and post that one, too.



~Kristin~ said...

I make mine a little different, but if you add powdered dry milk it is supposed to help thicken it.
Granola with yogurt and frozen blueberries and bananas is the best!

cooperkelly4 said...

I tried it that way too. But apparently I like my yogurt super thick. Here's my recipe

and an update to use an old (but clean!) t-shirt for cheeseclothe. HTH.

I have been making it likes this every week now since the post. =0) Kelly

L2L said...

ohh I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Hubby and I were just talking about things we might have to do without if food prices rise and that has me searching for how to fix it yourself and this is a great one to try. I'm also looking for butter, have you posted that on your blog?!?!

Leah said...

This intrigues me! I would love to try it! Will you update your post if you try this recipe again with whole milk? I would appreciate that, as I seem to like thicker yogurt and am curious to know if the switch in milk makes a difference.

Anonymous said...

I make yogurt in 2 gallon batches. The yogurt comes out yoplait style thick. It should not matter if you use 2% or whole, although I have only made it with our cow's milk I believe it would still come out thick with store milk. For a gallon of milk add 1 cup dry milk powder (this makes it thick), yogurt starter, sweetener of your choice and if you are making vanilla then add 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

Anonymous said...

If you mix a little packet of plain gelatin (found in the baking isle usually) in when you mix the culture in, your yogurt will turn out think and have a nice texture.

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Thanks for the ideas, ladies!

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