Saturday, August 27, 2011

DIY Crockpot Yogurt

Yogurt is yummy and is supposed to be nutritious. Unfortunately, the kind you can find at the grocery store has so much artificial stuff in it. It is also pretty expensive. You can make your own yogurt at home for a fraction of the cost and you know what's in it!

8 cups of whole milk (yogurt can be made with other kinds of milk but it is recommended to start with whole milk until you get used to the process)
1/2 cup live/active plain yogurt (This can be store bought or some leftover from a previous homemade batch. If using store bought, read the ingredients to make sure the yogurt has LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES)
3/4-1 cup sweetener (if you want a sweetened yogurt) Use sugar, honey, stevia, splenda, maple syrup etc.
1 tbs Vanilla (or other flavor) extract (if you want a flavored yogurt)
Heavy towel or blanket

1. Pour milk into crock pot and cook on low for 2 1/2 hrs for a 2 qt. crock or 2 hrs 45 min in a 4 qt or larger crock.

2. If you are flavoring/sweetening your yogurt, mix in flavor and sweetener after step 1. If making plain yogurt,  skip this step.

3. Turn off and unplug crockpot and let milk sit for an additional 3 hrs without opening the lid.

4. After 3 hrs, take out 1 cup of the warm milk and mix it in a bowl with the 1/2 cup of plain live culture yogurt. Pour that mixture back into the remaining milk in the crockpot and stir well.

5. Leave your crockpot off and wrap in a large towel or blanket to insulate. Leave it alone for 8-12 hrs.

6. You can eat the yogurt at this point, but to get a good texture, put in the fridge for about 8 hrs in a storage container to get a good texture.  This yogurt will be thinner than store bought yogurt.

Save 1/2 cup as a starter for your next batch. Your yogurt will last for about 7-10 days in the fridge.
If you want a thicker consistency, you can add an envelope of unflavored gelatin after mixing in the live culture.

You can add fruit or jam to plain yogurt after it is made when you are ready to eat. You can also freeze some in ice cube trays to use for smoothies!

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