Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chef Maki Makes Crockpot Yogurt!

About 6 to 8 months ago, my industrious sister explained to me the procedure she uses to make yogurt. I didn't have the tools she had, so I did some looking around and experimenting on my own and came up with this method that I find to be very easy! Now I make it 2 or 3 times a month.

Why homemade yogurt? It is much less expensive than buying a bunch of little cartons of premade yogurt. It is healthier too because I control what goes in to it. And, of course, most everything seems so much tastier when homemade.

Just for fun, want to know what I spent on the last batch of yogurt? I bought gallon of milk for $1.88 and paid $.95 for the Brown Cow Plain Yogurt. So, for under $3.00 I made an entire gallon of yogurt! Occasionally I see the 32 oz yogurts on sale for $2.00, but that isn't even close to a gallon. (But you knew that, huh.)

A GALLON? What am I going to do with a gallon of yogurt? Well, you could cut my recipe in half if you want, but you can do a lot with yogurt. It keeps a really long time too...that is if you don't have a lot of kids. In which case it disappears before you can turn around and say, "I love my crockpot." Here are some of the things I do with my homemade yogurt.

**Use in place of sour cream. If you use it with build your own burritos you can claim it is sauce instead of sour cream in case you have skeptical eaters.
**Add it to fruit shakes for an extra creamy delight
**Make fruit & yogurt parfaits for breakfast by layering flavored yogurt, granola and various fruits and berries in a bowl. If you use a see through bowl, it makes a pretty presentation. (Yes, I am stealing this idea from my sis. You can see her other great recipes at her unprocessed recipes blog.)
**Combine yogurt with a little lemon and sweetening for a yummy dip for apples and other fruit. **Make salad dressing with it.
**Drizzle over pancakes or waffles (My favorite recipe here)
**Eat it as regular yogurt

Here's what I do to make the yogurt:

1 gallon of whole milk
4 oz or more Brown Cow plain yogurt (Can use other brands, but this is best. Find in health food section usually)

Pour the milk into the crockpot first thing in the morning. Turn the crockpot on low. I tuck my thermometer along the edge of the lid. When it gets to about 178 to 180 degrees, turn the crockpot off and remove the lid. This site says that you can actually just turn the crockpot on for 2 1/2 hours and not worry about the temperature. This will probably work just fine. I haven't tried it yet, but the people that commented said it works too.

When the milk has cooled to 120 degrees, scoop out about 1 cup of the milk and mix it with the yogurt. (The site mentioned above says do this after the crockpot has been off for 3 hours) Add this mixture to the crockpot.
Put the lid back on the crockpot and cover it with a couple of nice fluffy towels and/or a big ol' Mexican blanket like I did. Then, just leave it alone. You don't need the thermometer or anything. Just let it sit. NO PEEKING!

When you are ready to go to bed at night, remove the towels. Take the crockpot off its base and put it in the fridge. In the morning you will have tantalizing yogurt to eat for breakfast. This yogurt is not a thick custard style yogurt. It is creamy and smooth, but not terribly thick.

Sweeten it with jam, fruit, honey, stevia, sugar, or whatever you can imagine.

Transfer the contents to a sealable container and enjoy until it is gone. Then make some more because it is so simple!


Frugal Finds said...

I am impressed!!!

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Thanks for coming by and participating in TMTT. You link wasn't working, so I fixed it and your link is correct, now. We sure hope you keep coming back, with more good recipes.

Valerie said...

Neat, thank you for this idea. I will have to come back in a bit and write it down.

Michelle said...

This sounds do-able. But, I must ask you one question: Where do you find milk for $1.88 a gallon? Around these parts it's $4.

Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva said...

I have a house full of yogurt lovers and this recipe will come in handy.

Angela said...

I love yogurt! And home made is the best! I have 2 yogurt makers, but thank you for sharing your method and all the things you use yogurt for. I'm looking forward to seeing more great ideas from you! Be Blessed!

Munchkins and Music said...

I've never made yogurt, but it sounds good. Now I really want some yogurt...ooo now I want some frozen yogurt...:):):)

CompleteLee Blogger said...

Man, I agree! Frozen yogurt sounds really good right now. (Way too late for it though) Maybe tomorrow!

CompleteLee Blogger said...

Michelle, I had to laugh at your comment. I guess $1.88 milk is a ridiculously good price. It isn't always on such a good sale. I don't usually have to pay more than $2.99, though.

I watch the grocery ads. I keep in mind limits on what I am willing to spend on certain items. If the store is charging more than my limit, I don't buy unless I absolutely have to. If things are at a really good deal, I buy extra.

At $1.88, I could make a few extra batches and freeze up some homemade yogurt in popsicle molds. Well, hey...there's my frozen yogurt! Maybe I'll give that a go.

Here's to hoping you all find a great deal on milk this week!

Mom of 5 Boys said...

Hey, sis, I have that same crock pot! And the same thermometer... ;) Glad to see you get some use out of the thermometer!

Mary @Rasing 4 Godly Men ( home of Tightwad Tuesday) said...

I am for sure going to do this one !!! I LOVE and miss yogart. I was mentioning just recently to hubby that I was going to have to break down and get a yogart maker. Now I don't have to I have one ! [0= Thank you for showing us how and I am going to try as soon as I get some starter. [0=

Blessings in Him<><

Michelle said...

Thanks for responding and stopping by my place. :) That is definitely a steal of a deal! I did actually get a free gallon of milk this week, so I'll take that as a good deal. Every time you buy one you get a ticket and the sixth one is free.

Have a great day.

Kris said...

Hi, Thanks for stopping by my blog. I do have a recipe for peanut brittle, I can post it on my blog or email it to you, let me know whatever is easiest.