Nov 21, 2013


Blueberries yogurt and granola brekafast
For the past few years, we have made homemade yogurt (to go along with our homemade granola), each week. 
Up until last week, we followed a recipe that had vastly ranging results.  Some batches would turn out wonderfully and others would be more drinkable than spoon-able.  Other downfalls of that recipe: it worked best with whole milk (hello, fat!) and we also had better success when we added gelatin.  The problem with adding gelatin was that it would largely fall to the bottom of the batch and make the bottom inch or two less than appetizing.  We threw that part out. 
Still, we liked being able to control the ingredients in our yogurt (read: organic) and to do so for significantly less money than buying a gallon's worth of organic yogurt from the store. 
Front porch breakfast
Last week, I decided it was time to try something new. And it worked beautifully!
We have followed this recipe twice now and the yogurt has been wonderful.  It is a good (normal yogurt) consistency.  We have used 2% milk with success.  And, we can eat the entire batch, since there is no added gelatin.  For $5-$6 we get an entire gallon of organic yogurt.  That's my kind of deal. 
Here's the process that has been working for us:
Pour approximately half a gallon milk into your slow cooker. 
Turn the heat setting to "high." 
Set your starter yogurt (1/2 - 1 cup of yogurt with live and active culture) on the countertop to come to room temperature.
Monitor the temperature of the milk until it reaches 180 degrees.  (It takes my slow cooker between an hour and a half and two hours to bring the milk to this temperature.)
Turn the slow cooker off.  Remove the lid. 
Monitor the temperature of the milk until it gets down to 130 degrees.  (This seems to take about 30 minutes.)
Combine starter yogurt and approximately one cup of warmed milk in a separate bowl. 
Pour milk/yogurt into slow cooker and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Place the lid back on the slow cooker.  Turn the heat setting to "warm."  Wrap the entire slow cooker in a bath towel to help insulate the milk/yogurt. 
After 15 minutes, unplug the slow cooker.  Leave the towel in place. 
Let sit on the counter top for 8 hours. 
Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. 
So far, I have been using a traditional meat thermometer.  But, I just ordered a digital thermometer that will give an audible alarm when the milk reaches a set temperature.  This means I won't have to do quite as much babysitting as I do now.
Hooray for DIY success and for inexpensive, organic yogurt. 

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