Guest post: Simple homemade yogurt!

Today's guest post is brought to you by Aubrey over at Cookingmycsa

So simple, so cheap, so delicious. Why haven’t I heard of this before?
Apparently everyone and their mother is making their own yogurt in the crock pot, but I was left out of the loop. If you also didn’t get the message then don’t feel too bad. Pull up a chair, sip some tea, and hang out with us other outcasts for a few minutes while I explain to you this process.

You will need:
½ a gallon of milk. I used whole organic milk because that’s what we always have. ½ cup of plain yogurt to use as the culture. 

Crock Pot Yogurt

•    Turn your crock pot to low and pour in 1/2 gallon of milk.
•    Heat on low for 2 ½ hours.
•    Turn  your crock pot off. Leave the lid on. Let the milk cool in the crock for 3 hours.
•    After 3 hours remove 1-2 cups of the warmed milk and place in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of yogurt with live active cultures.
•    Pour the yogurt-milk mixture back into the milk and blend it all together.
•    Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot in a thick bath towel to help retain the warmth.
•    Let it culture overnight, 8-12 hours.
•    In the morning, stir and put into serving containers.
•    For optimum texture, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

Your yogurt should last 1-2 weeks refrigerated. Be sure to save ½ a cup for the next batch, too!

As you can see from the second picture, this version doesn't have the same gelatinous consistency that store bought does. To remedy this I’ve seen recommendations to add gelatin, pectin or powdered milk when you’re mixing the culture with the milk.  I’ve tried this and didn’t have luck.  The consensus that we came to in our house was that we would rather have a thin texture and leave the recipe more--for lack of a better word—real, than to keep experimenting with substances to replicate what we buy in the store.   I’ve also found this is the perfect texture for making breakfast smoothies with so, bam! Silver lining!

You may notice that your yogurt is lacking a little certain something that store bought yogurt generally has a ton of: sugar. Luckily for us there are plenty of alternatives to traditional sugar that you can use to flavor your yogurt:

A little bit about Aubrey:
My name is Aubrey and my New Year's Resolutions last year was to focus
on gardening and cooking.  With two little girls and a big hungry husband at home it seemed like the right time to combine the two and really make some lifestyle changes that revolved around us eating the right way.  That meant eating fresh food, which subsequently meant shopping locally. 

After joining our local CSA, weekly visits to farmer's markets and doing research, I couldn't help but feel like this was a cause I really wanted to share with others. Thus my site, Homegrown & Healthy, was created. Join us for more simple, inexpensive and healthy ideas!

Thanks Aubrey for your great guest post!  Have a post you'd like to share?  Email me at beingfrugalbychoiceblog at gmail dot com!