Another post for you lovely, frugal homesteaders to get excited about!
In the crock pot.
Homemade yogurt is rockin' because it only has one ingredient. Milk. No crazy sweeteners, no colors, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives. Just the good ‘ol milk the Lord gave us. Well, technically he gave milk to cows. Not sure why we drink it…or for that matter, why someone in history ever looked at a lactating cow and thought “Self, that looks tasty. You should try some”. That has never been my response when I see a lactating animal. Unless it's a cow of course. I digress.
Onward and upward.
Step One: Turn a crock pot on low and dump a half gallon of milk in. Cook on low for two and a half hours. We use organic, whole milk for this.
Step Two: After two and a half hours, unplug the crock pot and let it hang out on the counter for three hours.
Step Three: After three hours, stir in half of a cup of “starter yogurt”. For this, you can use a half cup of whatever kind of yogurt you normally eat. Plain yogurt works best.
Step Four: Once you have thoroughly mixed in your starter yogurt, put the lid back on the crock pot and wrap a towel around it to keep it a little warm. Then, let it hang out on your counter for 8-12 hours. Overnight works well for this step.
Step Five: After 8-12 hours, remove the lid and SHAZZAM! Yogurt is born. It will be a little runnier than your typical yogurt, but it works perfectly for smoothies or for granola. If you like a thicker yogurt, spoon the yogurt into a cheesecloth lined strainer and allow the liquid to drain off.
After your yogurt has been born, save a half cup for your next starter yogurt! You can flavor the yogurt with vanilla, sweetener, fruit, or even cocoa (this makes a great fruit dip!) I usually keep it plain so I can also supplement it for mayonnaise or sour cream in recipes.
Depending on what type of yogurt you typically buy, this can help save a significant amount! We pay roughly $5.50 for a gallon of organic milk and use half of a gallon to make a batch of yogurt, so roughly $2.25 in milk. This yields us 2 1/2 to 3 32 ounce containers of yogurt. If we buy a 32 ounce container of Nancy's Organic Yogurt, it typically costs us about $3.75.
Home: $2.25 in milk = 96 ounces of organic yogurt
Store: $3.75 = 32 ounces, $11.25 = 96 ounces of organic yogurt
A savings of $9!
Pretty cool, huh?
Not as cool as the brave hero who risked his health, and reputation, to first try milk, but cool none-the-less.
For great recipes monthly make sure to check out The Elliott Homestead Cooking Community HERE.