March 5, 2010
Okay, so I've finally become one of "those" people...sort of. I've wanted to be one of "those" people for a long time-you know the kind of people that make their own yogurt, granola, etc.
I found this recipe from the Crazy Crockpot lady who used the crockpot to cook every day in 2008. If you can pour milk into a crockpot then you can make your own yogurt!! It's seriously that easy.
I can usually get my organic milk marked down for $2-3/gallon at Kroger. But even if you can't get organic (if you want to drink that) milk marked down, this will still be much cheaper than buying organic yogurt...I used to think getting a 6 pack of those teeny tiny 4 oz YoBaby Yogurts for $2 was a great deal!
Edited to Add (03/26/2010):
The following is the original recipe from the Crockpot Lady with my revisions in RED:
--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)
--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter-But only every other time! Every other batch needs a new "starter" from the store. When I first make a batch, I use the 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt to add the live cultures to the warm milk. The second time I make it, I use a starter from the "crockpot yogurt" batch. But I've learned that the next batch (the third), needs a new starter from "store bought yogurt" otherwise it is very runny or MUCH less like yogurt tasting. So...every other batch. I've been buying a large (32 oz) container of yogurt (organic lasts longer than non-organic) for every other batch.)
--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring
--thick bath towel
This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.
I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!
Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.
When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.
Put the lid back on yourcrockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock forinsulation.
Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.
In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.
Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.
Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.
I've only used whole milk while making this, so I can't say if anything else will turn out as thick...but we haven't noticed a difference! We've been using it in our smoothies. (We've just started drinking green smoothies. I am experimenting to see if we eat enough lutein, if it can improve Charlie's vision to where he wouldn't need to wear glasses. I love him in his glasses-he looks so adorable-but, he hates wearing them. I first heard about this concept from this video...about 2:50 into it. )
I also like to eat this yogurt with a bowl of frozen blueberries! It is such a yummy treat when I am craving sugar!
My kids LOVE eating frozen GoGurts which they refer to as "yogurt pops". I can get them for so super cheap using coupons so it's been tempting to not buy them for a quick, easy and almost free snack. But since we've been on the quest to slowly eliminate HFCS and other weird chemicals from our food, Charlie finally put his foot down and said no more. So...I've had to be creative.
By blending frozen fruit with our homemade yogurt and some agave nectar (which I am still on the fence about since I hear differing reports depending on what I read...does anyone out there know if this is really a better alternative to sugar? or is honey still better? or could you at least break it down for me in laymen terms?) and freezing them in popsicle molds, we've been enjoying our homemade yogurt pops! (If not now, you should be able to find these really soon at Walmart or Target in their seasonal spring/summer aisle.)
Now, I'm on the mission to find some homemade granola recipes. Do you have any that you've tried that you LOVE?!