I think one of the things I like most about yogurt is all the great things you can do with it. I mean, here you have a bowl full of whole milk yogurt containing healthy fats, protein, probiotics and lots of possibilities. It is one of our favorite breakfast or snack foods and because of this I love making it at home so I know what is going into it. It is really easy to make a big batch of yogurt in the crock pot and is very budget friendly too! You can make an entire gallon at once which can go a long way and it is so simple because the crock pot does most of the work. While it does take a little planning for timing purposes it is really easy to do and you can just figure in the time estimates to see what timing is best for you. I usually try to start mine around 10 or 11 in the morning and then it is usually ready to be wrapped up by bedtime. Here is how!
Crock Pot Yogurt
1 gallon whole organic or whole raw milk
1 cup plain organic yogurt (make sure the container says it has probiotics)
-In the morning place your gallon of milk into the crock pot and turn it on high. Leave it in the crock pot until the milk is almost gently boiling up around edges. This takes about 4-5 hours usually, you just want to peek at it occasionally to catch it when it is ready.
-Once it has come to the light boil, turn off your crock pot and leave to cool. You can even crack the lid open a little to help. You want it to cool until you can hold your finger in it for a while without getting burned, but it is still warm. This usually takes another 3-4 hours.
-Once it has cooled, add in your 1 cup of yogurt and mix well using a plastic or rubber utensil. You do not want to use metal in it! Place the lid back on and wrap the crock pot in a bath towel to help keep it warm. Let it set overnight.
-In the morning open up your yogurt and scoop out one cup placing it in a pint jar with a lid. You can place this aside in the fridge and you now have your starter for the next batch!
-Your yogurt is now ready to eat! Oftentimes it seems a little watery at first, but it has always firmed up well after a day in the fridge. You can sweeten it with sugar, honey, maple syrup or your sweetener of choice. Or just leave it plain! You can add in fruits, nuts, chia seeds, powdered herbs, coconut and even chocolate chips. It is fun to tailor the yogurt to just how you like it or to let your little ones put on their toppings of choice! Enjoy!