Thursday, July 22, 2010

i grow (good) bacteria

I was wary, but excited about trying my hand at making yogurt IN THE CROCKPOT! I first heard about this from PreventionRD and she used A Year of Slow Cooking, which is what I followed.  It seemed simple enough....
  • set the crock pot on low, add 1/2 gallon of milk - I used whole milk since this is my first time and that was the suggestion.
  • Let it "cook" for 2&1/2 hours (I love things I don't have to stand over and watch!) then turn it off and let it sit for 3 hours. 
  • After 3 hours, take out 2 cups of milk and add 1/2 cup of plain, store-bought yogurt (any brand that has "live yogurt cultures").  Whisk together then add back to slow cooker. 
  • Wrap entire pot in heavy towel and let sit 8 hours or overnight. (mine sat for 14, b/c 8 hours was up at 1 AM, and I was not gettin' out of bed for yogurt)
The next morning I was fully expecting a crock pot full of curdled, cottage cheese looking stuff.  But to my surprise -
I had this wonderfully thick, creamy, smooth plain yogurt!!!  It worked! It worked! It really, really worked!  Can you tell I was excited?  I think part of it was just surprise that it turned out.  So now I have a fridge full of fresh yogurt! 










After letting it chill for a few hours, I had to try it out.  I added some NuNaturals Stevia (check out this article regarding Stevia), fresh blueberries and strawberries, and oats. 

 This is the best oatmeal!  Nice, crunchy oats!

It was DEE-LISH!  Of course, it was made with whole milk, so not exactly low fat - but very filling.  Next time I want to make it with low fat milk, but I read you have to add gelatin or something b/c it's so thin.  Or strain it to make Greek yogurt, which is probably what I'll do.  Which will be a lot cheaper than buying it!  I like the fact that you can completely control the ingredients.  My kids were thinking of things they could add to theirs (like M&M's and cookies) but my 7 yr old tried mine and ended up eating half of it!

This was WAY easier than I thought it would be, you just have to be available to turn your slow cooker on and off, add in the starter (initially store bought, but now I can reserve a half cup of what I made for my next starter - this can be done up to 5 times before you need to "refresh" your cultures) and wrap it up in a towel...then you just leave it to do it's thang.  I don't like to think too much about the bacteria growing and the fact that milk is sitting at room temperature.  But I ate it without getting sick...so we're good to go.  Mama's in the yogurt business!  I feel like I should go hug a tree.  My next "project" is either pickled banana peppers or healthy, lowfat, granola!  Maybe both....granola would go great with the yogurt!

Update 10/12/11 - I have made this several times with skim milk and it does fine! It's a little thinner than store-bought, but not too thin.  I usually strain it anyway, b/c I LOVE greek style yogurt!


I'm linking this recipe up at Eat at Home (Ingredient Spotlight - Milk!)

4 comments:

  1. Oh Wow!! Thanks for sharing... looks like maybe I should've just gotten a nice slow cooker instead of a yogurt maker, eh? I look forward to you next "project" :-).

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  2. Great job!! And, even more fantastic is that your kids are eating it and loving it. I like to see that :) I saw Nicole's post about this a while back, and it reminded me that I actually won a yogurt maker on a blog giveaway a few months ago. Yeah, I NEED to use it!!!

    I think pickled banana peppers sounds fabulous.

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  3. This is awesome, saves me a lot of coupon clipping with 7 in the family that love yogurt.. big guy wants to try it out, been looking for a recipes since he was diagnosed with juvenile diabete this past summer. Woot!! Thank You. Post any low sugar Granola mix you come up with. We need them!!! not just for us, but I know a lot of scouts would love it.

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  4. What an amazing idea! I've never read how to make yogurt before...love the use of the slow cooker! Found you at "Ingredient Spotlight"....glad you shared!

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