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Homemade Greek Yogurt from the Crock Pot
Homemade Greek Yogurt from the Crock Pot
Love the thick consistancy of Greek-style yogurt but don't love the price or the unhealthy additives in most store bought yogurt?? Then make it at home for a tiny fraction of the cost!!
Figure the Savings For Yourself!
Store Bought Price:
Last time I looked at Greek yogurt, the price was $1.40 for 5oz. That would be $9.52 per quart (32oz in a qt divided by 5 times 1.4) and $38.08 per gallon!! Wowzers!!
Whatever the price of a gallon of milk....average $3.00 per gallon!!! That's TEN TIMES LESS!(Or $1.78 if you buy it at Sam's Club!) And once you make it the first time, you'll have your starter you need already so that won't cost you anything!!
And that's not even factoring in the health benefits of not having all that added junk that it's some yogurts, plus all that sugar!! Being healthier to me is worth some $ as well!
A gallon of milk (I use whole since the creamy the milk, the thicker the yogurt)
1/2 cup plain yogurt for the starter
Any sweetners you want to add later (stevia, honey, fruit, etc)
(A gallon of milk will make anywhere from 1/2 gallon to almost a full gallon of yogurt depending on how much whey is drained from the yogurt.)
Kitchen items you will need:
Large stock pot
Crock pot (big enough to hold a gallon of liquid)
Cheese cloth or coffee filters
smaller mixing bowl
Containers to put finished yogurt in
Turn on crock pot to the high setting. Heat milk on stove in stock pot using medium high heat stirring continually until milk reaches 110 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, you can just stick your (clean) finger into the milk and if you can keep it in for over 5 seconds without having to pull it out because it's too hot, then it's the right temp). Once milk is heated, pour (or scoop) out a couple cups of milk into a mixing bowl and briskly whisk in the starter yogurt. Pour it all back into the stock pot and mix it around gently. Then pour the whole thing into the heated crock pot. Cover and turn the crock pot OFF. I wrap a couple towels around the crock as well to insulate it. Let it sit on the counter for 4-12 hours (I usually just do overnight).
Now you have a gallon of yogurt!! Well, THAT was easy!!
You could just leave it at this, mix it around to incorporate the whey (that's all the liquid stuff you will see that has seperated itself from the solids, and have a thin yogurt. But if you prefer the thick Greek yogurt, then continue to follow these directions...
Line a strainer with some cheesecloth or coffee filters, set it over a large bowl to collect the whey drippings, and dump the contents of the crock pot into the strainer. You can leave this on the counter (or in the fridge if you have room) for anywhere from 30 mins to several hours depending on how thick you want the yogurt. The longer you let it drain, the thicker the yogurt because the less whey in the yogurt. (It will also thicken a little once it's cooled in the fridge)
Once it's strained to your liking, take about a 1/2 cup of the plain yogurt (before you sweeten it) and put it in a container labeled "Starter"....this is what you will use as your starter yogurt for your next batch!! And don't forget about the whey!! Whey is very good for you and has SO many benefial nutrients to it! We use it as the liquid in our smoothies and it works great!! Or you could use it for the liquid in making bread and it helps give the bread a wonderful texture. Place unused whey into a glass jar and store in the fridge. It'll keep for up to 6 months.
Our most favorite way to sweeten yogurt is to add about 8-10 drops of liquid stevia (natural sweetener with no calories and has a zero glycemic index) per quart of yogurt and mix well. You could also add honey, sugar, fruit, extracts such as vanilla, cherry, lemon, coconut (also a fav!), etc. Whatever suits your fancy!
*tip* If you can't get the thick yogurt you desire because you are using a less creamy milk, you could mix a packet (or a couple tablespoons of gelatin in the warmed milk in the small bowl just before you stir in the starter, that should help :)