I had no idea you could make yogurt at home!! And then, to find out how easy it is??!! Amazing! It is quite time consuming, but most of that is letting the yogurt "incubate", which you can do overnight, and you can use your crock pot!!
- 8 cups (1/2 gallon) milk - I used whole milk, but you can use any kind
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (this is used as a "starter", so if you have made homemade before, you can use that. Also I used plain Greek yogurt, but I think any kind would work)
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pour 8 cups milk into crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
- After 2 1/2 hours, turn crock pot off (unplug it too). Let sit, covered for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Take out 1 to 2 cups of the milk and whisk with 1/2 cup plain yogurt. Make sure it is nice and smooth. *You can also whisk in the honey and vanilla at this point, if you wish to have sweetened yogurt*. Pour mixture back into crock pot and stir well with the rest of the milk.
- Wrap entire covered crock pot with a thick towel to insulate. Let sit for 8 to 10 hours - I set mine in the oven with the light on over night, but you can probably just leave it on the counter top.
- After 8 to 10 hours, unwrap and uncover the yogurt - if you don't like Greek yogurt, you can just pour this mixture into containers and refrigerate until ready to use.
**To make it Greek style
- After, 8 to 10 hours of incubating, unwrap and uncover the yogurt. Pour yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer/colander, sitting in a bowl (the bowl is to catch the liquid whey that will separate from the yogurt), and place in refrigerator for several hours to strain. I had to use about 4 layers of the cheesecloth.
- When yogurt has reached your desired thickness, removed yogurt from the cheesecloth, put into containers, and store in refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy! I was ready to enjoy right then!
- Keep the whey that collects in the bowl!! It is VERY good for you! Loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes!! You can freeze it into ice cubes and put into smoothies! You can also substitute it in its liquid state where a recipe calls for buttermilk (like pancakes yum!). Here is a good link for 18 Ways To Use Whey. You can always just Google it too! There are so many things you can use it for, so don't throw it away, even though it does has a striking resemblance to urine lol.
Don't forget to save at least 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt to use as a starter for the next time!
After I enjoyed a few bites of this yummy deliciousness, I decided to add some granola - YUM!
Enjoy your homemade yogurt!