I recently learned to love Greek yogurt. Before I thought yogurt was supposed to be sweet and fruity (Yoplait!) and I thought Greek yogurt was odd, sour and way too thick. But then I learned about tzatziki sauce, discovered that yogurt was the absolute perfect fat free and healthy way to replace sour cream in Mexican food and about how much healthier it was than all the other processed yogurts with additives and artificial sweeteners.

I started buying Greek yogurt and it was about $3-4 for 16 ounces (two cups). It was a b
it pricey so I only bought it once in a while. I then stumbled upon the crock pot yogurt recipe flying around the internet. I looked at different blogs and saw that it wasn't fail proof so I avoided trying it for a long time. Finally, after a burst of making a lot of tzatziki sauce, I decided to go for it. After all, the only ingredients I needed to get started were about a cup of store bought yogurt (which I had in my fridge) and a half gallon of milk (~$2). I ended up following the recipe here, using 2% milk and taking in suggestions from the comments about how to keep my yogurt warm. Warmish, unrefrigerated milk might be scary to some people and it definitely made me have my doubts at first but after the first time around, I got used to it and started seeing my yogurt as a pet/plant. That was growing in my cold oven.

This yogurt recipe makes about 8 cups of yogurt but since I like to strain mine to make it thick
(like sour cream) it yields about 3-4 cups. It is tangy like Greek yogurt but you can add your own sweeteners and blend in any combination of fruit you want. Once you make the yogurt for the first time, you can use it to keep making more yogurt- you never have to buy store bought yogurt again. If you're a fan of plain yogurt, don't let the recipe freak you out. It makes yogurt just as good as the pricey kind you find at the store.

Crock Pot Yogurt
- 8 cups of milk, or half a gallon. Many people suggest using whole milk first but I used 2% with good results.
- 1/2 cup store bought yogurt with live and active cultures
- thick towel

1. Pour milk into crock pot. Set crock pot to low for 2 1/2 hours.
2. Turn crockpot off and unplug. Leave it there with the lid on for 3 hours.
3. After the 3 hours, scoop out a cup or two of the lukewarm milk and whisk it together with your 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt. Dump the entire thing back into the crockpot and stir.
4. With crockpot still off/unplugged, wrap a towel around the entire thing and let it sit for 8 hours. I like to put the wrapped crockpot into the oven and then pour some hot water into a container and let it sit next to the wrapped crockpot. The hot water kind of keeps the inside of the oven warm (for a while anyway) and putting everything in the oven is a bit warmer than leaving it on the counter.
5. After 8 hours (or overnight, I've left it for as long as 10 before) the contents in your crockpot should have thickened. This is your yogurt! Finished! Make sure to save 1/2 a cup of it if you want to make yogurt again. You don't have to do anything special- just don't eat 1/2 a cup of it and use it instead of the store bought yogurt next time.

It might be a little thin once it's finished. You can either put it in the fridge and it will thicken a little or strain it to get Greek style yogurt.

To strain: Line a sieve with coffee filters or cheesecloth. Pour yogurt into strainer and set over a bowl to catch the whey that will be strained out. There will be a lot of liquid that gets strained out (2 cups or more) so make sure you set it over a big bowl.

No comments:

Post a Comment