My little boy, T, loves loves loves yogurt. Not the kind that has all the sugar and flavorings, although he probably would love it if we gave it to him. But, we just give him plain, tart, high-fat yogurt, and he LOVES it. But, the problem is...it's expensive! When you are trying to be on a grocery budget, like we are, $2.10-$3.00 for a carton of yogurt (and that's the "cheap" store brand) takes a large portion of your budget, especially how fast we got through it! So, we decided to try to make our own yogurt. Actually, my husband decided to. I thought it would be too hard and the savings wouldn't be worth the effort. Boy, was I wrong! It saves a ton of money AND is incredibly easy! There won't be any pictures on this...because they would be boring pictures since every picture would be a crockpot.
Quick breakdown of the savings:
One 32-oz carton of yogurt (cheap brand) is $2.10-$3.00 (and remember, the other brands will be even more expensive)
Four cartons of homemade yogurt = cost of one gallon of milk (depending on what kind of milk you get -- for us, the $3.15 gallon at this time)
There are a lot of blogs out there that say use "full-fat" milk only to make the yogurt, but we have even used skim and it works great.
The first time you make this, you will need one cup of regular yogurt as a starter. After you have already made some, you can always reserve a cup for making more.
1 gallon milk (or 1/2 gallon)
1 cup yogurt, homemade or store-bought (or 1/2 cup)
Pour the milk in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Without opening the lid (there will be no reason to look inside -- it just looks like hot milk), turn off crockpot and leave sitting for 3 more hours.
Take off lid, mix in 1 cup of yogurt, put lid back on, cover/wrap in a towel (to be honest, not sure why, but we do it), and leave sitting for 8 hours.
Yogurt is ready! I like mine with a little cinnamon and maple syrup. Delish!
If you like the thicker yogurt, like greek yogurt, place a coffee filter or cheesecloth in a colander, put the yogurt in the colander, and until the whey (clear yellow liquid) drains out.
You can even freeze the yogurt if you made too much. You can also add fruit to the yogurt to make flavored yogurt.
I think this yogurt tastes better than store-bought yogurt...and so little effort! Enjoy!