My friend Lindsey has been making her own yogurt now for a while. She makes it on the stovetop, but recommended that I try it out using my crock-pot. I would have started making it forever ago if I had known how easy it would be! Although it takes a whole day to actually make, it doesn’t even take 10 minutes of your time. Vahe and Kyah eat plain yogurt as-is (which I don’t care for) but I made my own strawberry yogurt with some mashed strawberries and a little bit of honey. Seriously, it was SO much better than any store-bought yogurt I have had – without any corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or preservatives! Plus, I made a half gallon for less than a dollar. Can’t beat the price either! You have to try it out, you’ll never go back!
1/2 gallon whole milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt (try to get a whole milk variety instead of a low or non-fat, it will work better!)
1. Pour milk into the crockpot, and set on low for three hours. After three hours, turn it off or unplug it for another three hours without removing the lid.
2. After the crockpot has been off for three hours, remove a cup or two of the warm milk, and wisk in the yogurt. Then, add it to the rest of the milk, stir well and replace the lid.
3. Wrap the crock-pot in a blanket or towel for insulation. Let it sit for 8-10 hours while the yogurt starter does its magic!
4. Ta-da! That’s it! Pour the whey (the liquid on the top of the yogurt) off and refrigerate for another 8 or so hours before digging in! It will thicken up a little bit as it cools – but if you want it to be even thicker, let it drain in a cheesecloth or piece of fabric (I just use a piece of an old sheet) for an hour or so before (or even after) cooling.
5. Remember to save a 1/2 cup of the yogurt as a starter for your next batch!
You can really add in anything you want. I wouldn’t use frozen fruit, though – it will probably make it runny. For my yogurt, I added a few mashed up strawberries and about a tablespoon of honey to 2 cups of yogurt. It was more then sweet enough (even for my sweet tooth!), and I’m sure it will keep well in the fridge for a week or so.