Most yogurt bears no resemblance to the cultured, fermented, slightly sour tasting milk product they are supposedly based on. Instead they are highly processed, devoid of nutrients, low fat and loaded with sugar or sugar substitutes. The wonderful pro-biotic bacteria that create and live in real yogurt are an ineffective, added afterthought in commercially manufactured brands.
Try this healthy and delicious recipe as an alternative to traditional store bought brands, made in your slow cooker.
8 cups of milk (or 16 cups which is 1 gallon if you’re doubling the recipe)
½ cup yogurt (or 1 cup for a double recipe)
fruit/spices/sweeteners of your choice
mixing spoon and bowl
large bath towel
strainer and cheesecloth (optional)
1. Pour 8 cups of milk (or 16 cups which is 1 gallon if you’re doubling the recipe) into a large slow cooker.
2. Set to LOW for 2 1/2 hours, and then turn off your slow cooker and let it sit with the lid on for 3 hours.
3. Add 1/2 cup yogurt (or 1 cup for a double recipe), place the lid back on, and wrap a bath towel around the slow cooker. Your goal is to make a dark, insulated environment for the live cultures to propagate.
4. Let the slow cooker sit covered (with lid and towel, not by heating it up again) for 8-12 hours. It’s a good idea to start the yogurt process by 3 pm so this 8-12 hour step happens overnight. By morning, your milk should have turned into yogurt!
5. At this point, your yogurt will be a drinkable consistency that’s perfect for smoothies or for pouring over granola, but if you’d prefer to eat it with a spoon or just have a thicker consistency; you’ll want to strain it for 15-30 minutes. To do this, line a strainer with cheesecloth, place the strainer over a bowl, and let the yogurt drain until it reaches the desired thickness. If you prefer a really thick consistency (like Greek yogurt), let it drain for at least an hour. Another option is to just set it in the fridge for a few hours: the yogurt will settle, and the liquid whey will rise to the top. You can pour off the excess liquid and use that in drinks, cooking/baking, etc., and the more solid yogurt will be beautiful and thick at the bottom of the container.
6. Keep your yogurt plain and well-chilled in the fridge, and stir in the fruit/spices/sweeteners of your choice just before you eat it.
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