Have you always wanted to try your hand at making homemade yogurt, but never wanted to shell out the extra cash (and cupboard space!) purchasing an actual yogurt maker? We're here to give you a recipe for making your own homemade, natural and delicious yogurt, using just a few ingredients, and your regular slow cooker!
- 8 ounces of organic, whole-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon of store-bought yogurt for a starter
- Slow Cooker
Sounds easy enough, right? The cultures from the original yogurt will cure and multiply while the yogurt ferments, so your initial cost will be a tad bit higher, however, once you realize how simple this is, remember to set aside one tablespoon worth of your homemade yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch.
- Pour the milk into your slow cooker, and turn the heat on high for about an hour. Use a thermometer and check the temperature, making sure it's around 180 degrees fahrenheit.
- Unplug the slow cooker and let sit for a half an hour. (Until it reaches about 120 degrees fahrenheit.)
- *Allow the tablespoon of starter yogurt to reach room temperature during any of this time*
- Add room temperature yogurt starter to the warmed milk, and stir thoroughly.
- Optional: Add 1 tsp. raw honey or maple syrup to sweeten.
- Cover with lid, and wrap your slow cooker up with a beach towel to hold in the heat.
- Allow to ferment and culture for 6-9 hours.
- Place yogurt in refrigerator, and allow it to cool and set for at least 6 hours.
- This yogurt turned out very runny initially. The more you strain yogurt, the more protein-rich it becomes, as it strains out much of the whey products. Placing a sieve on top of a bowl and covering it with cheesecloth, strain small portions (about a cup per time) for a half an hour one to two times each. This yielded final result of a thicker yogurt. Greek style yogurt requires straining of 3+ times, so keep that in mind.
- Whole milk is recommended, because it contains more cream and less water.
- If you struggle with lactose intake, culture your yogurt for around 10 hours, as the longer you let it ferment, the less lactose will be in it. However, it will have a tangier taste.
- Using a smaller slow cooker for this recipe is suggested. The bigger the crock pot, the more heat will escape because of the large surface area. If you're using a large slow cooker, be careful to check temperatures at the beginning, as it will initially heat up and cool down faster. Also, use a few towels to hold in the heat during fermentation.
- Do not touch the slow cooker after you have wrapped it up to begin culturing. Leave it alone in a dark place, and keep it toasty warm.
For additional information regarding Greek yogurt, check out this post on Toddler Cooking: Fun, Frozen, Fruity, Yogurt Snacks.
Photo Credits: The Memoirs of Megan