Friday, March 16, 2012
My list of things I don't like about (store bought) yogurt:
Plain yogurt is too tart.
Flavored yogurt has too much sugar and other additives.
I don't like chunks of fruit in my yogurt. (Except for bananas.)
Last summer I made a new friend who told me she makes yogurt in her slow cooker. And the only ingredients needed: milk and a yogurt starter. It was too simple not to try.
It was so easy. And the yogurt was so good. It had just the right creamy consistency, just the right tartness (or non-tartness). I especially love to time it so it will sit overnight and then I eat the yogurt slightly warm right out of the slow cooker.
The yogurt takes about 14 hours to make, but requires hardly any hands on time. The only problem is tying up my slow cooker for that long!
Once the yogurt is done, you have 8 cups of plain yogurt, and the possibilities are endless.
To sweeten it, you can add a little pure maple syrup. My kids will drink it through a straw for a quick breakfast.
Add a little more maple syrup and you've got maple yogurt syrup.
For vanilla yogurt, add a little honey or powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
For fruity yogurt, slightly warm some jam (no sugar added) and stir it into the yogurt, and/or add fresh fruit.
Layer granola and yogurt in a cup, drizzle with a little chocolate and enjoy a decadent yogurt parfait.
Use it as a substitute for mayo in salad dressing.
Use it in dishes such as granola pancakes or chicken tikka masala
For a thick, Greek-style yogurt, line a fine mesh sieve with a paper towel and set the sieve over a small bowl. Add the desired amount of yogurt to the sieve and allow it to drain for 1-2 hours.
So even if you think you don't like yogurt...try it, you'll like it!
7 1/2 cups of milk (I use half whole milk and half skim milk, but any combination of whole, 1%, 2% or skim will work)
1/2 cup plain yogurt*
Pour milk into a slow cooker and put the lid on.
Set the slow cooker to low for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours, turn the slow cooker off and allow to sit (lid on) for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, stir in 1/2 cup yogurt with a wooden spoon. Replace the lid and wrap the slow cooker in two heavy towels.
Allow to sit for 8-12 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker and more tart the yogurt becomes. Eight hours is the perfect amount of time for my taste.
Refrigerate and enjoy!
*I use Trader's Point Creamery whole plain yogurt as my starter. Once you've made a batch of homemade yogurt, you can use it as a starter, but I've found that the flavor isn't quite as good if I use homemade starter more than once.