|Crock pot yogurt making is easy and tasty|
photo: Eating From The Ground Up
I love yogurt. Not expensive, over packaged designer yogurt, and not flavoured, sugar-laden yogurt. I can also do without Aspartame, food colouring, artificial flavour, and thickening agents like gelatin (made from a variety of animal products, like skin, horns, hoof and bones).
I am content with the most ordinary of natural, plain yogurts. Yum.
Yogurt is good for you. It has been scientifically proven. Making your own yogurt is good for you, too. It is as fresh as it gets, is less expensive, and can be made without plastic packaging. And it is easy.
Basic Crock Pot Yogurt Recipe
1. Heat milk in crock pot to 185F. This kills the bacteria you don't want, and prepares the milk proteins. Using an accurate thermometer is good to insure accuracy.
2. Keep at 183-188F for 3 minutes. This step helps achieve a more pleasant consistency in the finished product.
3. Remove crock pot lid and let milk cool to 115F. This is the perfect temperature for the starter to work - any hotter is too hot, and may kill the beneficial bacteria that you want. No bacteria growth, no yogurt.
4. Stir in 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (starter) for each liter (quart) of milk. Stir to dissolve.
5. Transfer the ceramic part of crock pot to the oven. Leave in oven with the electric light on for 6-9 hours.
6. Take crock pot ceramic bowl from oven and place in refrigerator. Leave undisturbed for two hours to let the yogurt set up. If it is cool outside, crock pot can be left outside for a couple of hours.
So far we are total beginners. We have made several batches, and while each has been slightly different, they have all tasted great. Our yogurt has not yet achieved the consistency we are looking for, namely nice and thick. So far our tasty end results have varied from primordial ooze-like to almost thick enough to scoop with a tortilla chip.
Thus begins our quest to make the ideal home made yogurt, and get off the store bought stuff forever. Less plastic, less expensive, more fun.
Our yogurt making has revived the use of our slow cooker, which had been getting closer to give-away status in our never ending push to streamline our kitchen space. We have been taking it out and using it for every step from heating the milk to letting it set up in the fridge. One container from start to finish. When done, I transfer the yogurt from the crock pot to glass jars.
If you eat a lot of yogurt, making your own is worth a try. People have been doing it for thousands of years.
Thankfully, today goat skin bags are optional.
For a more detailed recipe for making crock pot yogurt, see this excellent post from Eating From The Ground Up.