Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yogurt in the Crock Pot

Ok, I may seem to be pushing the dairy between yesterday and today, but I don't mean to. Not that there is anything wrong with dairy. Unless you're lactose intolerant. In that case, I'm sorry and will try to stop talking about it.

We've been making our own yogurt for over a year now. It all started back when Sadie stopped nursing at 22 months. She wouldn't drink milk. She drank water no problem, but not milk. As an alternative source of dairy, I wanted her eat more yogurt, which she loved, but I couldn't bear buying it.

The yogurt made for babies and toddlers was really expensive and I didn't approve of the sugar content. Any other yogurt was always low-fat and I wanted full-fat whole milk yogurt for her. Also, those sugar contents were high. So, at a nearby kitchen store, I picked up a 1 quart yogurt maker- the kind that looks like a large squatty thermos and plugs in. It has adorned my counter since.

To flavor the plain yogurt we were making, I would spoon in a teaspoon of homemade jam (per bowl) just before serving. Homemade yogurt is thinner than store bought, especially after you stir in jam, but the kids got used to it quickly and LOVE it. It's also amazing (plain) on top of Baked Oatmeal.

Now, to the good part. A couple weeks ago, I was visiting with a friend who told me she makes yogurt in her crock pot. What?! She told me about this website- a woman who made 365 crock pot recipes in 365 days. One of her recipes was for yogurt. I got the link from my friend and copied that recipe down fast.

What was appealing to me was that I could make 2 quarts (instead of one) and therefore not have to make it as often. Also, it didn't involve taking the milk's temperature, which I had been doing (really, not that big a deal, just one less step).

So, we tried it, mixing in 1/2 cup dry milk powder with the initial pouring in of the half gallon of milk (to help it firm up a bit more). Now, my friend follows this crock pot lady's recipe to a "T" and has several other friends who do as well and have great results. Our first attempt lead us to turn the crock pot back on low after the whole process was supposed to be over because it was too runny. We only turned it on low for 10 minutes, turned it off again and let it sit overnight, in the crock pot with the lid on, wrapped in the towel. It was already late evening.

It worked! So, maybe our crock pot is a little different than other's. You may need to do a little tweaking, but if you love making your own yogurt, it is worth your time and effort to read through this recipe and see if it's something you'd like to try.

Oh! I almost forgot... Here's the link to the recipe. She goes into detail and has pictures, so I'll let you read her words. Pin It

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