Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Making Yogurt in a Crock Pot
The idea of making yogurt has always been very intimidating to me. There is a lot involved when it comes to making yogurt on the stove and oven. When I found this recipe for cooking yogurt in a crock pot, I figured I would give it a try.
Crock Pot Yogurt
What you will need:
1 Crock Pot
8 cups (1/2 gallon) milk (I use organic but you can use any type of milk, except milk that is ultra pasteurized, it does not work for yogurt. Some recommend starting with whole milk until you get the hang of it but I started with 1% and had no problem.)
1/2 - 1 cup cup natural, live culture, plain yogurt. (I find that 1 cup gives me thicker yogurt)
2 thick bath towels (4 if it's cold in your house)
Turn your crock pot on low, add the milk, then cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
Unplug crock pot after the 2 1/2 hours. Leave the cover on and let it sit for 3 hours.
After the 3 hours, scoop out 2 cups of the warm milk and put in a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup of yogurt to the milk and whisk. After this is mixed well, add the mixture to the crock pot and stir it into the rest of the warm milk.
Put the lid back on. Keep crock pot unplugged. Wrap the towels all around the crock pot for insulation. Let it sit for 8 -12 hours. (This is great to do before bed so that this period of waiting can be done in your sleep.)
The yogurt is now done. It will thicken up as it cools in the refrigerator. However, it will be thinner then store bought yogurt. There are apparently a few ways to thicken yogurt: adding a bit of dried milk or adding some gelatin. I have yet to try either of these. I did try to use pectin once...it did not turn out right, don't use pectin. I have found that if you increase your yogurt starter from 1/2 cup to 1 cup that it will result in much thicker yogurt.
This will last for 7 -10 days in the refrigerator.
Save 1/2 - 1 cup yogurt from this new batch for the next time you make yogurt. This makes it even cheaper!
Organic Yogurt 64 oz. - $7.78
1/2 cup of organic yogurt - $0.89
1/2 gallon organic milk - $3.00
Total cost for 64oz homemade yogurt - $3.89
This means that you get the same amount of yogurt but for HALF the price if you make it yourself! Think of it this way, many times you can buy non-organic yogurt at the store for $0.50/6 oz. When you make your own yogurt it ends up being $.36 and that is for ORGANIC yogurt.
Needless to say, I will definitely be making my own yogurt from now on!
Brittany Thomas is the founder and author of The Pistachio Project. A mother to four children, she began her journey of living green and crunchy because she wanted the best for her kids. However, she soon realized that natural living was a benefit to her as well. Now she continues The Pistachio Project to share with others how a green and crunchy lifestyle can benefit anyone.