If you’re a yogurt lover, there’s no need to spend a small fortune buying yogurt at the store. Not when you can make your own completely pure, healthy yogurt easily in your crock pot. Since most yogurts contain artificial sweeteners, thickeners or hidden sugars these days, it makes sense for your body and your budget.
½ gallon milk (whole, 2%, 1% or skim)
2 scoops of whey protein powder
4 oz. all-natural plain yogurt with live, active cultures
Whisk the protein powder into the cold milk until dissolved.
Put the milk into the crockpot on high and allow it to come to about 180-200 degrees. Stir occasionally. If the milk develops a skin, it’s okay—just stir it into the milk.
Hold it at that temperature for about 30 minutes, turning the control to low or high heat when necessary.
Turn the crockpot off and allow the milk temperature it to come down between 100 and 110 degrees.
Remove about 1 cup of milk and put it into a bowl. Add the ‘seed yogurt’ that you purchased from the store. This is necessary because you need the live, active cultures to make the yogurt. Whisk the two together.
Pour the milk with the yogurt back into the rest of the milk in the crockpot and whisk to combine.
Allow the milk to sit for 6 to 8 hours; the longer it sits, the more of an acidic twang it will develop, and the thicker it will get. It pays to keep a digital thermometer inserted into the milk. If the temperature drops below 90 degrees, turn on the crockpot for a while to bring it back over 100 degrees, but don’t let it exceed 115 or you may kill the live cultures. A digital thermometer can be set to beep when the temperature gets up to 110.
If you don’t have a digital thermometer, you can simply lift the cover occasionally and use a regular thermometer. If the crock pot does cool down below 90, don’t fret—the cultures will still be working, just slower. You might want to let it sit for up to 12 hours.
When your yogurt is done, stir it. If it’s too thin, line a strainer with a tea towel and strain it. You can add whatever you like to your yogurt for flavor—honey, artificial sweetener, fruit, or just eat it plain.
This recipe makes two quarts that keep up to two weeks when tightly covered in the fridge. If you want to make it again, you can reserve 4 oz. of your last batch to be your new ‘seed yogurt.’
Photo: Frugality Gal