I am soooo excited to tell you about my new favorite thing!! Homemade yogurt-- you make it in the crockpot, it's easy & oh so good. I have wanted to try this for awhile now- my husband has a friend he works with that has made yogurt for sometime, and he would always say how WONDERFUL it tasted compared to store bought. I promise you, it is so GOOD. I don't know if it's just because it's fresh or what but do yourself a favor and try it.
You only need 2 ingredients Milk- any kind you want to use soy, 1%, 2% or whole milk works. I used a whole gallon but you could half the recipe if you don't want to make that much at a time-- and greek yogurt.
First pour 1 gallon of milk into your crockpot
turn the crockpot on high and heat it up to about 180 degrees... this will kill any bacteria in the milk, it takes a couple of hours for it to get that hot. When it reaches 180 degrees, unplug the crockpot and let the milk cool down to about 80 degrees. It needs to be warmer than room temp- but not so hot that it will kill the live cultures in the yogurt. It takes 2 hours or so to cool down- if you take the lid off of the crockpot it will cool faster
When it cools down scoop 1 cup or so of the milk out and put it in a small bowl, add 8 ounces of greek yogurt- make sure it has live cultures or bacteria in it. Whisk the yogurt together with the milk & pour it back into the milk in the crockpot
now take 2 large beach towels I lifted the crockpot up and placed one under the crockpot and wrapped it and one more towel around the crockpot like this... to let it incubate. I know it looks crazy!!
Let it sit on your counter wrapped up for 8-10 hours. I let mine sit overnight
and when you wake up in the morning take the towels off and look what you have.... beautiful, creamy, smooth yogurt. A whole gallon of it!!! It tastes great this way... I put a cup into a bowl, add some of my homemade granola (I posted the recipe eariler for the granola) and then I stir in a tablespoon full of homemade jam ( it has 1/4 of the sugar usually used in jam- I will post the recipe for that next) mix it in with the yogurt & granola and it is so yummy good. But if you want thicker greek style yogurt, then take some cheese cloth or thin cotton cloth & secure it over a large bowl with rubber bands. Then pour the yogurt into the cloth & let it sit, it will strain out the whey and you will have thicker yogurt-- but you'll also have less, about a 1/2 gallon- but it will have more protein in it too. You can use the whey for all kinds of things- I haven't tried using it yet, but you can bake with it & make cheese-- maybe that will be another project. Each time you make it save a cup of the yogurt to use as your start for the next batch.
I gave a bowl full to Amy & Jamie and still had a lot left, so I put some (about 1/2 C.) into sm snack size baggies and put them in my smoothie basket that I keep in the freezer. It makes it really nice to have them frozen and ready to add right to your smoothies!! ENJOY!!! You will have to let me know if you try this-- I am already thinking of the different things I can add to give the yogurt more flavor. You know I am going to have to try almond extract-- I LOVE almond!! :)