Friday, January 15, 2010

Home Made Yogurt

I remember when I was younger I always said "I will never make home made yogurt!". In those days, home made yogurt equals work. Lots of work.
I was so set on that notion that nothing could change my mind about it.

Well, Peter was born. I am much older. The Internet is here. Home made yogurt means healthy living nowadays (and I agree).
When I decided to Google for an easy yogurt recipe, it popped up everywhere. I finally got one from a blogger but have modified the recipe to our own taste.
I now heart home made yogurt. It is supper delicious.
Peter eats it everyday. My other kids are getting on board slowly (they still like the sugared ones from the store. I don't buy them though. I am patient. I can wait for them to come around liking the home made version. It really tastes much better).
Crock-pot yogurt is not new but this is how I do mine.

I also wanted to take some pictures to show it step by step (in case we have some very visual friends reading this. I am a VERY visual learner).

The ingredients of this recipe are quite simple: 1/4 cup of the live culture from the plain yogurt (homemade or store bought) and one quart (8 cups) of whole milk.

Note: use the homemade starter only if you make your yogurt everyday.  since I make mine once a week, I buy a plain yogurt from the store. Also, I have switched the whole milk to 2% fat milk as Peter is three now and that he does not need to have whole fat milk any longer.

I use TJ's Cream Top milk for its whole fat and the creamy taste.

I bought my initial live culture (starter) but has been using my home made one since I crock-potted my first batch. (see note in red above)

Here is how I make my yogurt:
  1. Making sure the pot is thoroughly clean.
  2. Pour the milk into the crock-pot and turn it on low for three hours.
  3. Turn the crock-pot off (I also unplug the pot at this time) but leave the lid on, for another thee hours. (I usually try to make it between 3-4pm so by 9-10pm I am all done with it)
  4. Mix in the starter with a bowl of the warm milk (from the pot). Mix it until it turns creamy. Slowly stirring the bowl of warm starter back into the crock-pot. Put the lid back on.
  5. Wrap the crock-pot with a bath towel on top and a beach towel around the pot.
  6. Hit the sack and dream about my pot of "gold".
  7. Wake up to a pot of yummy home made yogurt the next day.
  8. Spoon the plain yogurt into your choice of size container/jar. Refrigerate it until it is nice and cold before serving it (although I have to confess the room temperature yogurt tasted pretty good too).
  9. Add fruit jam, maple syrup or honey to it right before eating. I add blue berries in summer time.
I don't leave the sugar or anything sweet in the yogurt overnight. Sugar destroys some great health benefit from the yogurt. I learned this from my friend Angela, who inspired me to make home made yogurt in the first place.

Simple ingredients: Cream Top milk and yogurt starter (home made shown here. I only took the starter out from the fridge for photo purpose. It normally stays in the fridge until it's time (9-10pm) to come out. )

I usually try to unblock the fat that's piled up at the top.

Pour the milk in (that's a no brain-er).

I also wrote myself a note so I don't have to keep referring back to the recipe.

At 6:50pm. It is done cooking.

The fat floated up to the top. It is OK.

Mixing in the starter to the bowl (or 1/2 a cup) of warm milk.

Mix it up until it turns creamy...

like this.

Slowly stirring in the starter.

It is all mixed in and ready for the "Wrap".

Oh, put the lid back on first. :)

Take a bath towel and fold it twice...

Drape it over the top of the pot.

Now the beach towel. Mine is very wide and long, so I tri-folded it...
to fit around the pot.

You don't really need this picture, but I just like the cool color of the towel so I told Christine to keep on taking more pictures.

Bring the towel around to the front of the pot.

and tuck it in.

Ready to go night-night. Both the pot and I.
Next morning, I got all of the little jars and lids ready (I boil them in boiling hot water for five minutes).
The consistency is fabulous. I noticed if I let it sit for about 12 hours after the "wrap", it doesn't look as runny. The yellow stuff is fat. if you use low fat, it will be less or none.
Always remember to spoon out the Starter first, for your next day's batch (skip this step if you make yogurt weekly).
Then fill the rest of the jars. This batch makes enough for eight 8 oz. jars (those are the Ball jam jars - I don't can, so it is perfect for holding yogurt). Did I tell you the story of the ten boxes of canning jars I got from the
Cap them up and chill them!
Peter just had one this afternoon. I tasted it and it was oh so creamy!
And I will never say never again.

1 comment:

Budgets are the New Black said...

I really appreciate these instructions. I had been thinking about homemade yoghurt but hadn't gotten any further than the thinking stages. Now when I'm ready to make it I know where to come for the recipe.