Most people enjoy yogurt – a food that has been a staple in people’s diets for centuries. However, with many incapable of tolerating lactose, people have switched to Greek yogurt, which is known to be lower in lactose. Unfortunately, it’s much more expensive. Therefore, making your own yogurt is a good way to go about it, for and in between meal during the day, or even for breakfast. Here is an excellent recipe that you should consider trying. Chances are it will turn out to be excellent in texture and taste. Crockpot yogurt is a great method that only requires two ingredients. And the best part – you get lots of yogurt produced.
In other words, it’ll cost you approximately, at most, seven dollars at the end of the day. With this method, you will have all the yogurt you need for an entire week, at minimum. The best part about this method is the fact that the crockpot will produce the yogurt on its own while you’re sleeping or off at work. If you find that the amount produced is more than enough, you can then make either cheese or even dip with the remainder. So, let’s get started. After reading this, you’re going to love making your own yogurt in a slow cooker.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Of course, the main ingredient is milk, so choose according to the amount of fat you want in your yogurt. Next, you need plain yogurt that contains live cultures. Any size crockpot will do. You will also require a cheesecloth, which can easily be something as simple as a clean and unbleached pillowcase, or a white T-shirt. To make yogurt in a slow cooker, you will also need a blanket or a towel that’s dark in color. Finally, you’ll need a strainer.
How to Make Crockpot Yogurt
Add the milk to the slow cooker. A 1 1/2 quart crock pot can hold about 4 cups of milk. However, larger slow cookers can easily hold up to 8 cups of milk. It is important to consider the extra room required for whatever froth produces, in addition to the plain yogurt you will need to add for the live cultures.
Next, with the slow cooker covered, turn it on the low setting for approximately one hour. The desired temperature of the milk should reach 180°F.
Still covered, allow the milk to sit for about half an hour, with the crockpot turned off. The ideal temperature of the milk in this step is between 115 and 120°F.
At this point, and about 1/4 cup of the plain yogurt to the 4 cups of milk. The math is relatively easy, so if you are making a bigger batch with 8 cups of milk, add a half cup of plain yogurt. That’s all the amount of yogurt you will require to make your own yogurt at home in a slow cooker.
Now is the time to get your towel and wrap the crock pot with it. The whole point of this is to provide the dark environment and the warmth it requires to make the bacteria more active.
Getting the Right Homemade Yogurt Consistency
Now you wait between six and 12 hours. The longer it sits, the tangier and thicker the yogurt will become. The less it sits, the greater its lactose content will be. So, allowing it to sit between 10 and 12 hours will provide a more Greek yogurt consistency and taste.
To make very thick yogurt, if that is to your liking, it will require straining it. In the beginning, it may still seem quite runny, but everything is fine and there is no need to panic.
Use a bowl underneath the sieve to catch the whey as you filter the yogurt. But, before doing so, place the cheesecloth over the strainer. Now, pour in the yogurt. There’s no need for concern should some of the whey been already separated as it will be filtered once again.
Important note: ensure whatever cloth is being used in the filtering, if it is not a cheesecloth, that it has not been treated with any chemicals, including detergent. Otherwise, your yogurt will not have its pure taste, and instead may absorb those chemicals and end up tasting like those chemicals, including the detergent.
For a thicker yogurt, cover the strainer with the yogurt and place it in the fridge. Straining it for a few hours will help you create homemade Greek yogurt. For runnier yogurt, simply strain it for under an hour. Of course, you can always test it as time passes to see how it’s going and if it’s to your liking.
Ways to Use Whey
Once completed, keep in mind that the whey collected can be saved and used elsewhere. For example, it can take the place of milk in milkshakes, or used in other baking recipes. You can also make delicious protein shakes with the whey.
Finally, half of those ingredients above can be used to make your own Greek yogurt at home in the slow cooker, while the other half can be made to produce frozen yogurt, a homemade dip, or cheese. Whatever the case, making your own homemade yogurt is a rewarding hobby that brings numerous benefits. Have you ever noticed that lately it’s quite difficult to find any unsweetened yogurt? You can avoid all those added sugars and use your crockpot to enjoy pure, preservative-free yogurt.