Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Yogurt! I'm gonna admit, we aren't big yogurt eaters around here. It's not that we don't like yogurt, it's just that we all like different kinds, and I hate buying all those annoying little cups of yogurt from the store. Especially when they run, on sale, for $0.50 each. That's how much I pay for a box of cereal with coupons! And cereal will last us for a week or two!
But I digress. . .
Here is a MUCH cheaper way to make a huge amount of yogurt, with very, very, very minimal effort on your part.

Also, to my lactose-free friends, I have read that you can do this same thing with soy milk and soy yogurt as a starter. You can also use rice, almond, and coconut milks with a pro-biotic starter in powder form.But you'd better google just in case.

Homemade Yogurt
ala Crockpot 365

You will need:
A crockpot
Half a gallon of whole milk
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt (make sure it's got those active culture things) ((You need this to work as a "starter"))
 Pour the milk into your crockpot and set it to Low.
 Cover it up and let it go for 2 1/2 hours. (Hey! There's my sour cream sitting in the background!)
After 2 1/2 hours have passed, Unplug your crockpot! Right now, you are going to let this stuff just sit for another 3 hours.
After the 3 hours have passed, take out about 2 cups of the milk and add the half cup of yogurt.
 Whisk it good. :)
 Go ahead and add that right back into the crockpot.
 Now, mix it all up again.
Here's the tricky part. Put the lid back on, grab a huge, thick towel, and wrap your entire crockpot up! This insulates it. :) Now, let it sit for EIGHT HOURS! Scary right? Don't you just hate leaving dairy out on the counter? Oh well. Get over it!
I went to bed and woke up a little late, so mine was sitting for about 11 hours. I think it just makes it more tangy the longer it sits. Shoot. Anyway, it looked like this when I unwrapped everything.
 Grab a spoon and make sure it set up right. Craziness, right?!
 It actually isn't that thick. Once I mixed it up, the texture was somewhat runny.
Here's the fun part- adding flavors! Grab some fruits and extracts and go to town. Here I tried out lemon, vanilla, peach, strawberry, and mango. (Actually, I didn't end up making the mango. Poop.)
 For the lemon, I zested about 1 tsp of lemon rind.
I then added the lemon zest to about 1/2 Cup of yogurt and squeezed in half a lemon. I also ended up adding about 1 tsp of sugar because man, that stuff was tangy! You can really use whatever sweetener you like though, or nix it all together. But please, if you do lemon, PLEASE add something sweet!
Next up was vanilla, which is my husband's fave. I added about 1 tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
 For the peaches, I whizzed them up in the blender with a dollop of yogurt. Don't throw your whole batch of yogurt in the blender, however, because it will get REALLY runny.
 Then I added my little puree to about 1/4 cup of the yogurt with a little more than 1/2 tsp of sugar.
 Last I blended up some strawberries same as the peaches.
 The strawberry yogurt only needed a little less than 1/2 tsp of sugar because my strawberries were pretty sweet on their own.
 I couldn't find my fifth cute little container, so I nixed the mango. Sorry mister mango!

And the ultimate taste test? Here we go!

Strawberry was a hit. Yes!
Lemon seemed to be lip-smacking (and spilled all over the table.)

Our LO didn't seem to enjoy the peach that much, and I didn't give her the vanilla one simply because I was saving it for the hubs. Overall, I think they taste pretty good. Definitely not as sweet, or as bold of flavors as from the grocery store, but definitely a little healthier and a LOT cheaper than from the store. :)

This stuff should last you about a week. If you want to make more, just go ahead and save 1/2 cup from this batch of yogurt to start your next one!

P.S. I'm sure using honey instead of sugar would be fabulous, and I wish I had. However, I am running dangerously low on honey, and I haven't seen any great prices on local raw honey lately. I'll keep checking so I can sweeten my food better once again! Honey from the store works just fine of course, but, since moving to Utah, i've had seasonal allergies up the wazoo, and i'd never had allergies before, ever! Consuming local honey helps a ton with seasonal allergies, plus I like to support local farms. :D


  1. Get some agave nector. Great natural sweetner.

  2. Or coconut sugar, or coconut nectar. Lower on the Glycemic index, and very yummy!

  3. I followed this exactly and it did not thicken..... Any ideas why? Are you in northern Utah? I can help in the honey dept if you are.

  4. @jennt, Hmm. . . Not sure. Homemade yogurt does tend to be runnier than store bought just in general. I've heard that adding dry milk or even a packet of gelatin can help to thicken it up. Also, anything less than whole milk will be extra runny. I'm in Riverton. Do you have beehives? I have been on the hunt for great prices on some local honey and haven't had much luck. :)


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