Friday, January 17, 2014

Foodie Friday: Yogurt in a Crockpot

I know how this will disappoint so many of you but frankly I am not feeling so funny today.

Some of you may be asking, “When is she ever funny?”  and I am here to tell you that I am funny all the time.

Ask my children…we laugh together a lot.

But as I think about it, they may not be laughing WITH me so much as AT me.

But I digress…that is rumination for another day and another time.

I have too much to do that there is no time to be considering why my children find me funny. I have bigger fish to fry, mountains to climb, hills to die. You know…all that good stuff.

And it is getting late in the day. Sure it’s not even 2 but come on…I typically do my best work earlier in the day.

And now my head hurts.

And I want to eat a bunch of sugar…simply because I have told myself that I can’t.

And I haven’t done my reading (you know…that blasted New Year’s Resolution) yet today either.

Don’t judge.

I fear that when I do sit down to read that I will, in fact, drop off to sleep.

Again…no judging.

And no, I am not even wearing my jammies…much as I would like to. I am going out later and even though I think my small group wouldn’t mind ALL that much if I showed up in my jammies, I think it might still be a little early in the relationship for such things.

So, now that I have produced something of a semblance of an intro, I can move on to the topic at hand.

Earlier in the week, a friend of mine posted a link on FB (you know…where I get all my news) of 50 Gluten-Free Crockpot recipes. Not to be confused with Glutton-Free recipes, which I, of course, would never be interested in.

I am a sometimes-glutton.

No judging, I said.

Gluten-Free. I hear about it often and though I am not feeling compelled to go that route for me or my family, I know it has made a big difference in the lives of some of my friends.

And since I, of course, had nothing better to do (ha!), I spent quite a while browsing the list of recipes. And while not much stood out to me as something terribly different from my current repertoire of kitchen delights (note the sarcasm there, because I am laying it on thick to the words “delights”), there was one recipe which caught my attention.


In the Crockpot, no less.

Now…I read the recipe on the original post and I thought, “Hmmm, I still have some questions about that.”

Fortunately there are MANY posts in the Blogosphere about how to make this stuff. So really all I am doing here is adding to the masses. And I am sure that I will try it again and possibly/probably try variations on it.

This was attempt #1. And it came out pretty well, I must confess.

All that to say, what I am giving you here is a combination of several different posts I read on how to make yogurt in the Crockpot. If you have questions, do not ask me because I more than likely have no clue.

I kid, I kid…I mean, it’s true: I more than likely have no clue, but you are free to ask away. I’m always here for you.

Or there for you.

Or somewhere in the blogosphere for you.

One thing to mention before you dive in (as I am certain you all will run out and make some yogurt in your Crockpots): This yogurt will not be as thick as store-bought yogurt. Even using whole milk, it won’t be as thick. Often manufacturers use thickeners to make store-bought thick like you like it. Also…even if you use Greek yogurt (which I did) it will not be thick like Greek yogurt. If you want to make Greek yogurt, or even just thicker yogurt, this may not be the recipe for you. But I assure you there are PLENTY of them out there. Use my friend Google to find them.

One last word of caution (and really this is the ONLY word of caution I have in this post, so don’t panic that you missed something): This is E.A.S.Y. Breezy Lemon Squeezy, BUT it takes about 24 hours from start to finish. So be sure to start it at a time which works into your schedule. For instance, I began mine at about 3pm. By 9pm, my work (and I use that term loosely) was finished for about 12 hours, at which point I had to do one step. And then I didn’t do anything else until about 3pm. 


No, I am not Italian in any way, shape or form. Sometimes I like to channel Uncle Jesse from “Full House”.

Anyone understand the reference I am making? Please tell me yes because I am more than slightly embarrassed that I just admitted on the great big blogosphere that I knew that show well-enough to make that reference.

Please don’t leave me hanging…

So…because the hour is getting late (much later than when I began this blasted post hours ago), I shall tarry on and get to the recipe:

Homemade Yogurt in the Crockpot Recipe
  • ½ gallon milk (If you use whole milk, the yogurt will thicker, but truly any cow or goat milk will work; DO NOT USE SOY or ALMOND or anything that’s NOT “real” milk.) Also…I’m sure you know this but I did not go out and purchase a half-gallon for this very project…I used half of a Gallon jug I already had at home. It was on sale that week so my half-gallon cost me $1.
  • ½ cup plain unflavored yogurt (You can use any kind with live active cultures; I used plain Greek because that’s all they had at the store at the time. It cost me $1…which is crazy, right? Which is why I am making my own…stick with me).
  • You will also need a 4-5 quart Crockpot (duh) and a large beach towel (don’t ask but trust me on this…I’ll explain in a bit).

  • Pour all of the half-gallon of milk into your Crockpot and turn it on low. Cook it for 2 hours and 45 minutes (This is not experience talking, but be sure to set the timer to remember to turn it off!)
  • After 2 hours and 45 minutes, turn the Crockpot off and let it sit for an additional 3 hours; leave the lid on and do not stir it. JUST turn off the Crockpot (and feel free to unplug it…you’ll need it unplugged for the next step anyway).
  • AFTER the 3 hours of sitting, remove the lid and spoon a small amount of the milk into a small bowl; add the half cup of yogurt to it (I actually used the full 6 ounce container, so more than half a cup). Mix together thoroughly.
  • Dump this mixture back into the milk in the Crockpot and mix it together well.
  • Put the lid back on your Crockpot and (this is where it gets weird but trust me…from everything I read, it is important to do this!) wrap the Crockpot with the large beach towel (or blanket would work fine too). NOTE: make sure the Crockpot is unplugged and turned off! Not that you were asking for an explanation, but this step apparently helps keep the heat in the Crockpot and allows it to cool more slowly.
  • Let the beach-towel-wrapped Crockpot sit for 8-12 hours (or overnight like I did). After 8-12 hours, it should be thickened.
  • At this point, I left the lid on and put it in the fridge for an additional 6 hours. Not everyone did this…some spooned it into containers first, and others put the Crockpot (with lid) in the fridge. The theory behind this is that not disturbing the yogurt until it is chilled (as in the fridge) causes it to thicken up a little bit more.

NOTE: As you are spooning it into containers for consumption, save a half cup of this batch of homemade yogurt to use as a starter next time, otherwise you will have to buy more yogurt! This should keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or you can put it in the freezer…just thaw it out about a day before you make your next batch.

This will make about 2 quarts (which makes sense since it was half a gallon of milk…even I, the mathematically challenged, know that two quarts make half a gallon) of yogurt. This batch cost me $2 to make. This next one should be $1-$1.50 (depending on milk prices).

Just for reference, a quart of yogurt at the grocery costs $2 at the minimum. So…clearly you get your money’s worth on this.

One last thing as I wrap it up…you might be asking about flavor. Well…this is plain, unsweetened and without much flavor. My 12yo likened it to cottage cheese without the texture.

We’re really selling this recipe now, aren’t we?

BUT…he put some peach preserves in it and liked it much better. I enjoyed mine with dried cranberries and some roasted flaxseed (but then again I am a little weird). Many sites suggested sweetening with a little bit of honey, which is next on my docket to try. 

There are lots of ways you could try it…all sorts of preserves, or syrup (chocolate might be tasty?), or just some fresh fruit. It’s only bound by your imagination.

And if you have no imagination, do yourself a favor and Google it.


  1. I'm gearing up to be on a smoothie-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away kick. I'm thinking this could really come in handy. You rock. As always.

  2. I am intrigued and surely must try this. I know I would have to add sweetener to mine as I don't like chunks (that is, fruit) in my yogurt, so that wouldn't be an option for me. (Milk around here is around the $4.50 mark... isn't that terrible?)

    Also, it reminds me of Amish friendship bread with the saving of some to make next batch.

    And yes, I *sadly* did get your Uncle Jesse reference. Sadly, yes, I did.

    1. Well, I don't blame you there...that's why I am going to add the honey. I don't really like chunks either , but have found that dried cranberries are very lovely as an addition. I think because they aren't soft, squishy know how the texture thing is.

      Wow...that is high for milk. It is usually around $3 here but $4.50 is crazy. But still $2.50 for two quarts might be worth it. Because (and I'm going out on a limb here) if milk is high, yogurt probably is too. I'm just trying to help a sister out.

      Yes, I thought of the Amish friendship bread too. LOVE that stuff, but always having to deal with it is kind of a pain.

      I knew you'd come through on that reference for me. "You are not alone!"