Prep 5 mins
Cook 13 hrs
Make your own yogurt at home in your crockpot! Cheaper than storebought, and healthier than the chemical-laden stuff on the shelves. Lasts 7-10 days in the refrigerator. It will be somewhat thinner than the commercial stuff; see note at the end. You can also thicken it with skim milk powder, I'm told, but have never tried it.
- 3 quarts 1% low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon plain gelatin
- 1⁄3 cup cold water
- 1 cup plain yogurt (with active cultures)
- Into your scrupulously clean slow cooker, place your milk. Heat on low until it reaches 185-195°F, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- In a large measuring cup, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand 15 minutes until bloomed. Add a few ladles of warm milk and whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Pour into the slow cooker and turn down to "keep warm" for 3 hours. (If your cooker does not have a "keep warm" setting, turn the cooker off and wrap it well in several layers of towels. Unwrap it and turn it back on low for the last 30-60 minutes of this time span.). It should be between 122-130°F before proceeding; if it's too warm, turn it off and let it cool.
- In the same large measuring cup, place the yogurt. Add a few ladles of hot milk and whisk until smooth. Pour into crockpot and whisk to combine completely. Turn off pot and wrap in several layers of towels/blanket to trap the heat. (Do not use the keep warm setting at this point; it's too hot, and will kill the yogurt cultures.).
- Divide into serving portions. You can flavor with fruit, jam or honey now, or when serving. A thicker Greek-style yogurt can be achieved by using whole milk, then scooping the finished yogurt into cheesecloth and allowing it to drain (in the refrigerator, suspended over a bowl) for 2-4 hours.
Rating is really on texture, there isn't much taste to it. Made with skim milk and it come out thinner and a little grainy, but I still like it. What you get is a bit of a blank slate, to flavor as you like. I used generic strawberry yogurt but next time I will try a higher quality starter. I used a quick read thermometer to check the temp of the milk. It was a little too hot so I let it cool. The recipe skips a step, you add the yogurt, cover it, and let it sit for 8 hours/overnight. There was a little liquid on top, I drained it by putting a colander over a big pot and lining it with a thin kitchen towel. I had some frozen berries in the freezer I zapped and mixed in. You will probably want to sweeten it if you are used to store yogurt. Can try adding jelly to servings, too. Finished product filled two margarine tubs 3/4 of the way. When milk goes down in price I will try whole milk. Per ounce making it with skim milk is about half as much as buying it in quarts.