Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot

My hubby and I are always looking for new recipes to make things at home that we frequently buy at the store. We do this for a few reasons. First, we enjoy making these things on our own and learning new skills that can make us more self reliant. Second, we make our own food to be sure of what is actually in our food. We have read too many books, blogs and articles to comfortably trust packaged food is safe for our family. Lastly, making our own is also a way for us too save our money and do a small part in protecting the environment by producing less waste.  

Recently we have been browsing various yogurt recipes and used them to come up with one of our own making yogurt in the crock pot. This recipe was super easy too. It's something that can be done in the background while focusing on other things around the house. 

Homemade Yogurt

You will need:
  • A crock pot
  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 6 oz container of plain yogurt that contains "live active cultures". (We also found recipes that called for a yogurt starter in place of a container of yogurt. We did not use one but I believe you would make it the same way)
  • Add 1/2 gallon of milk to crock pot, cover and set on high for about 2 hours or until your temp reaches 180 degrees.
  • Once it reached the desired temperature turn the crock pot off and let the milk cool to 110 degrees with the cover off.
  • At 110 degrees pour half of the milk in a separate bowl and mix in your plain yogurt being sure to mix well.
  • Pour the milk and yogurt mixture back into the crock pot and stir.
  • Place the lid back on the crock pot.
  • Cover the entire crock pot and lid with a towel and put it in a cooler (like the kind of cooler you use camping or for picnics).
  • Keep it in the cooler for 8-12 hours (overnight) and let is cool down slowly undisturbed.
When you wake up you will have yogurt! Check the consistency, it may be slightly more runny than store bought yogurt. If you would like a thicker Greek style yogurt, place your yogurt in a mesh strainer or colander lined with cheesecloth, set over a bowl and refrigerate overnight. 

To sweeten your yogurt add honey or maple syrup. You can also add fruit jelly or jam to the bottom of your jar to have fruit on the bottom yogurt.

This yogurt will store well refrigerated for 2 weeks. We stored ours in covered canning jars. Be sure to save 1/2 cup of your yogurt in a separate container that you can use as a starter for your next batch in two weeks, and you will never need to buy yogurt again!

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