Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Homemade Yogurt, SO easy

We have all heard about the benefits of yogurt. Even the yogurt section in the store seems to be ever expanding and we are constantly slammed with commercials making all these promises to make you healthier.
But what's really in all that store bought yogurt? Aside from all the things I can't even begin to pronounce, there is also TONS of sugar. There is also the organic yogurt, which is a much better choice, but with 3 kids, you can imagine we go through alot of yogurt, and that isn't exactly the most budget friendly option.

So what then? Is there a less expensive alternative with all the great benefits but without all the yucky ingredients and sugar?

Why yes! ... You can make your own!

I hope I didn't scare you away...I know it sounds super scary but really it is SO simple.
I found the recipe for homemade crockpot yogurt here:
I've taken the basic idea, but altered it a bit.
Homemade Crockpot Yogurt by Crunchy Kelly
  • What you'll need
  • Half a gallon of whole milk (I use organic, but if I had a raw milk source, I'd be all over that)
  • 1/2 a cup of store bought yogurt, must be plain live/active culture yogurt (I use organic greek yogurt since it seems to keep the yogurt thicker. You will only need this the first time you make homemade yogurt, since you will be able to use yours as a starter next time)
  • crockpot
  • thick towel
  • Directions

  1. Set your crockpot on low, and add 1/2 a gallon of milk. Cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours

  2. Then, turn off your crockpot, and unplug it, let it sit for 3 hours

  3. After 3 hours passed, whisk in 1/2 cup store bought plain live/active culture yogurt

  4. Put the lid back on the crockpot, cover with towel and let sit for 8 hours
I usually start this process around 6pm, and then let is sit for the 8 hours overnight, and in the morning when I wake up my concotion has magically turned to yogurt!

This yogurt does turn out thinner than store bought yogurt, but I like to scrap off the extra liquid before putting it in containers to help with that. You can also drain the yogurt in a few layers of cheese cloth. The liquids will drip out and you will have a much thicker consistency, kind of like greek yogurt.

Make sure to reserve 1/2 a cup of your homemade yogurt, so you can make a new batch within 7-10 days. I make this almost every week, and the I end up spending less than $3, and it makes TONS of yogurt. If you don't like to eat yogurt, try freezing it in popsicle molds (my kids love this) or add some to smoothies. It makes is super creamy and yummy. I don't add anything to the whole batch of yogurt, instead I wait until' right before I serve it and mix in my favorites, local raw honey and frozen blueberries.


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