Homemade Greek Probiotic Yogurt……in a crock pot! I used to think making yogurt would be a hassle but it was actually quite easy.
So, yesterday morning Nadia wasn’t feeling well so going to church was out of the question. Saturday we had gotten some raw whole milk at a farm we have been volunteering at so I thought I would make homemade yogurt…..crock pot yogurt. BTW, going to the farm has been great and I will blog about that at a later date.
Do you think I could find my crock pot anywhere? NO! We moved back in December and I KNOW I didn’t leave it at our old house and it is NOWHERE to be found here. Ugh…Someone has a nice crock pot and it isn’t me! So, I borrowed my mother’s.
We eat a lot of yogurt, when Nadia is having bad nausea and serious irritable bowl it is one of the only things she can eat that doesn‘t make things worse. This is what we buy and it is really good but its also $4.99 for 24 ounces and that gets expensive when you are eating at least two a week. Nadia likes the honey strawberry and I like the honey vanilla.
Now the raw organic cows milk is expensive at $7.00 a gallon but when you break it down we are actually saving money. We only drink about a 1/2 gallon a week but I buy a gallon a time at $4.50 +/- a gallon. Then adding two (at least) 24 ounce containers of yogurt at $5.00 each, I spend about $15.00 a week on milk and yogurt.
If I make my own using 1/2 the gallon of raw milk at $3.50 I can get almost two liters (or about 60 ounces) of yogurt which is almost three times the size of the ones I buy in the store. That equals $15.00 of the store bought right there and I still have a 1/2 gallon of raw organic milk left to drink. All for only $7.00!! Make sense?
Anyway, here is how I made mine and it turned out pretty good!
So I put the lid on the pot and let it cook on high til the thermometer chimed at 185 degrees. Once it chimed I gave it a quick stir to make sure it was all the same temperature. I didn’t really keep track but I’m guessing it took a couple hours. Then I took the whole crock pot unit and set in on the a/c vent register to let it cool down to 110 degrees. My mom’s unit doesn’t have a pot that lifts out so I couldn’t set it in a sink full of cold water so the a/c vent register was the next best thing. Of course, you don’t have to do this, the cold air or water just helps it along quicker. It took about two hours.
Once it reaches 110 degrees take a 1/2 cup of starter (yogurt reserved from a previous batch or from a store bought brand) and mix it with one cup of the hot milk from the pot in a separate bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, no clumps left, then poor it back into the pot. Make sure the unit is off because if it goes above 110 degrees it will kill the live & active cultures necessary to make it a probiotic yogurt. If you are using store bought yogurt to use as your starter you have to make sure it says somewhere on it “live & active cultures”.
I then wrapped the hole unit in a blanket and let it incubate for about 8 1/2 hours. I lined a colander with a muslin type cloth, dumped in the incubated yogurt, wrapped it up and let the whey drain out of it for about 2 hours. It isn’t quite as this as I like so I may let it drain longer next time or perhaps add some gelatin collagen, it is a great thickening agent and I’ll get some collagen to boot!
After spooning it in to my jar I added about 1/8 cup honey and two tablespoons vanilla extract. As you can see it turned out just over half a liter.
Now if I can remember to hold a half cup back from each batch for my next batch I’ll never buy store bought again!
Straight from the cow and turned into yogurt in less than 24 hours with no additives or preservatives, can’t get much healthier than that! I plan to have it tomorrow for breakfast with granola in it….can’t wait!
Do you make your own yogurt? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them!
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