The idea of making yogurt overwhelmed me. So when the prices of yogurt crept up, yogurt hit the grocery bill chopping block. Then Stephanie O’Dea, my favorite online crockpot recipe resource, posted an easy recipe for yogurt. Everything I have tried from her site has been great, so I thought, why not?
The super easy recipe can be found here. I could hardly believe my luck until a friend said it read like a recipe for food poisoning. Oh no… I must admit, my adventurous spirit wavered. But 5000 ‘likes’ couldn’t be wrong – could they?
So, I tried it. It’s AWESOME.
I’ve made it four times in two weeks and I have it down to a fine art. I turn the crock pot on low at 3:00 in the afternoon. At 5:30 I turn it off and unplug it. At 8:30 I add the starter and wrap the entire unit in a towel and leave it sit until morning. When I get up I strain the entire mixture through a coffee filter. You can skip the straining if you don’t mind your yogurt a bit runny. We always add granola so I might skip that step next time and see if the kids notice.
I use 2% milk (because that is what I have in the house) and I sweeten it with honey and vanilla. This was a big hit. Huge. The kids gobble it up. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but until then, I’ll keep the crock pot cooking.
Is it cost-effective? I figure one batch cost me $2.10 worth of milk (8 cups of milk). I add a bit of honey and vanilla to the entire recipe so I’m not sure how to factor that in. I did purchase a yogurt starter for the first batch, but I reserve a 1/2 cup from each batch to use as the next starter so that was a one time expense. I end up with about 7 cups of yogurt. I love that I can make this anytime, and always for this price. Plus, I know EXACTLY what’s in it. If you visit her recipe you can read how she blends in fruit. I’ve tried blueberry and it was delicious.
If you’re going to try this recipe of Stephanie’s, I suggest you check out her crockpot granola recipe. The two are a great pair. I alter it to suit our tastes. I substitute coconut for the seeds and sometimes add extra oats. I make both recipes on the same day (I have multiple crock pots) so that I can have granola in my fresh yogurt.
If you enjoy her recipes online, Stephanie has published cookbooks. They are on my list of things to buy.