How to Make Yogurt in your Crockpot
It's so easy to make delicious, homemade yogurt
I love yogurt! I love my crockpot! Now I have discovered that I can use my crockpot to make my own homemade, healthy yogurt. It's so easy to do and takes just a few ingredients. I can start making yogurt in the evening, and leave it overnight to finish. When I wake up in the morning I have fresh homemade yogurt with fruit and granola. (Pictured is my breakfast this morning!) With seven kids in the house, we eat a lot of yogurt. Why didn't I do this years ago? Here's how you too can make delicious yogurt in your crockpot. I usually make plain yogurt because that is what I prefer, but you can customize yours with fruit or honey if you prefer a sweeter yogurt. Homemade yogurt doesn't have any added sugars or artificial flavors or artificial coloring. It is so good for you! Read on to find out how to make yogurt in your crockpot and then find the printable recipe below!
All you need is milk, dried milk, a bit of yogurt and a crockpot! - Even the dried milk is optional.
I use raw milk that we get from a local farm. Whole milk works best. The dried milk is optional, I think it makes the crockpot yogurt a bit thicker.
Get a great Crockpot
I love my Proctor-Silex Crockpot. The stoneware is removable for easy clean up. The lid is dishwasher safe. This crockpot has high, low, and keep warm settings.I use my crock pot several times a week. I don't know what I would do without my crockpot!
Why eat yogurt? - Health benefits of eating yogurt
Yogurt is so good for you. I prefer plain yogurt since I am trying to avoid adding extra sugar to my diet. If I do want it a bit sweet, I use natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. If you are not a yogurt eater, I recommend adding a daily serving of yogurt to your diet! Here's some reasons why...
- Yogurt contains lactobacillus--a beneficial bacteria and a probiotic.
- Yogurt is full of protein. A one cup serving of quality yogurt contains approximately 25% of your daily protein needs.
- Yogurt is a great source of calcium.
- Yogurt is easier to digest than milk. The live cultures create lactase--the enzyme that lactose intolerant people lack. Often times, people who cannot tolerate milk can eat yogurt.
- Yogurt promotes good colon health.
- The culturing of yogurt increases the body's asorption of B vitamins, calcium and other nutrients.
- Yogurt can help boost your immunity.
- Yogurt can help decrease yeast infections.
- A few studies have shown that yogurt may decrease blood cholesterol. Yogurt binds bile acids which helps lower cholesterol.
- According to Dr. Sears, yogurt can help pregnant women decrease their blood pressure by about 70%.
Now it's time time find out how to make this delicious, healthy homemade yogurt in 5 (or 6) easy steps!
Start with a nice clean crockpot. Pour about a half gallon of whole milk into your crockpot. Heat the milk on high for about 2 hours. I don't use a thermometer, but the milk should be about 180 degrees by the end of the 2 hours. This kills of any of the competing bacteria in your milk, so it will respond better when you add in the yogurt culture you are going to use. While you are waiting, why not go check out some more awesome Squidoo lenses? Or write one of your own!
Now turn off your crockpot, take the lid off, and let the milk cool down until it is about 115 degrees. This takes about an hour. You want to make sure the milk cools enough so that it does not kill off the live yogurt cultures you will be adding. More waiting. Perhaps you can finish that lens you started back in Step 1 or go read a good book!
Whisk your milk, then add about 1/2 cup of yogurt as a starter. Once you have made some of your own yogurt, you can use your homemade yogurt as the starter, but until then you can use store bought. I use plain. Whisk the yogurt into the milk. At this point you can add about 1/2 cup of dried or powdered milk. I don't always add the powdered milk, but I find that it makes a slightly thicker yogurt if I do.
Get the right tools to make and store your homemade yogurt
Great fo whisking your homemade yogurt! And everything else!
Now you want to keep your milk and yogurt mixture warm and let it incubate and rest. Wrap the entire crockpot in a towel and leave it on your counter for at least 8 hours. You can even leave it a bit longer. I found the longer you leave it sit, the thicker the yogurt is. Okay, did you finish that lens you started in Step 1 yet? Either go put on the final touches or you can let your crockpot sit overnight and go to bed. See you in the morning! I bet I know what you are having for breakfast! Fresh, homemade yogurt!
If you want to make sure that your milk reaches the correct temperature, this is a great cooking thermometer.
Good morning! What's for breakfast? Yogurt of course! Ladle your homemade yogurt into containers and refrigerate. I use the Ball brand freezer jars. I find they are the perfect size for storing my yogurt. I like that they are dishwasher safe, and they have lids that seal tightly. At this point, you can add honey or fruit to sweeten the yogurt. I prefer mine plain and I eat it mixed with granola and fresh fruit. Or you can add fruit, honey, or maple syrup to each serving. Enjoy!
I find that these are the perfect containers for storing my yogurt. They have screw-on lids and are dishwasher safe.
Have you ever made yogurt?
Have you ever made your own yogurt?
Optional Step 6
If you prefer a thicker yogurt
This homemade yogurt is delicious, but it does have a thinner consistency than store-bought yogurt. Store bought yogurt has pectin added to it as a thickening agent. If you prefer your yogurt a bit thicker, you can strain it through a cheesecloth. I didn't have any cheesecloth available to strain mine, so i used a paper towel. A paper towel will work in a pinch, but cheesecloth works so much better. The longer you strain the yogurt, the thicker it will be. The liquid that drips through is whey, which is also very good for you! You can use whey in baking, smoothies and as a buttermilk substitute. Don't throw it out, use your whey too!
I use my strainer to make yogurt, to rinse quinoa or beans and for many more purposes. This is one kitchen tool that pays for itself in usefulness!
Wow, that I never knew it was so easy to make homemade yogurt!
Okay, you might have your favorite brand of yogurt. But give my homemade yogurt a try! It really is so very good for you. Plus while you can do so many other worthwhile things while you are waiting for your crockpot to finish doing all the work for you!
Will you try homemade yogurt?
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup powdered milk (optional--used to make a thicker yogurt)
- Pour milk into your crockpot and heat on high, approximately 2 hours. Take the lid off after 2 hours and let your milk cool for about an hour. Whisk your milk, then add 1/2 cup of yogurt (can be store bought or some of your own homemade yogurt). You can also add 1/2 cup dried powdered milk at this point. Adding powdered milk helps make your homemade yogurt thicker. Put the lid back on your crockpot and wrap it in a beach towel. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for at least 8 hours. You can let it sit out and incubate longer for a slightly thicker yogurt. After 8 or more hours, ladle your yogurt into storage containers and refrigerate. You can also strain your yogurt through cheesecloth (or a clean dish towel) to obtain a thicker yogurt. The liquid that drains through is whey and can be used as a buttermilk substitute or in smoothies or many other ways. Whey is also very good for you!
If you prefer to use a yogurt maker....
This yogurt maker has great reviews. It has a 7 jar capacity.