Homemade Yogurt: Crockpot Style

This yogurt is SO easy and so yummy. It is frugal too! Not to mention a great way to seriously decrease the amount of sugar in your diet (flavored yogurt has a lot of sugar). Plain yogurt is extremely versatile - put it in cheesecloth and let the whey drip out, and you've got yogurt cheese (a substitute for cream cheese); use it in place of sour cream; throw it in your smoothies; eat plain or with honey or berries or granola; or make a nourishing muesli for breakfast...see...the possibilities are truly endless. And with such an easy task, there's no reason you shouldn't at least give it a try!

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Homemade Yogurt

8 cups full fat milk
1/2 cup yogurt starter
(this is yogurt leftover from the previous batch or plain yogurt from the store with live active cultures and no additives like pectin - think Dannon, Brown Cow, etc)

Place milk in crockpot, cover, and set the temperature to low. Cook for 2 1/2 hours and turn the crockpot off. Continue to let milk sit for 3 more hours. After 3 hours has passed, stir in the yogurt starter and replace lid. Wrap entire crockpot with heavy towels to incubate and let sit on counter for 8-12 (or more) hours. Place crockpot in refrigerator for a few hours to let the yogurt set, then transfer to quart jars for storage. Makes 2 quarts of yogurt.

*You are basically heating the milk to a certain temperature then letting it cool down before adding in the yogurt culture. Don't be afraid of letting the milk sit out - once you add the culture in, the good bacteria will proliferate and do it's magic. This bacteria is good and your body needs it! Your milk will not go bad unless you forget to add in your yogurt starter, so no need to worry. This makes a nice, thick, tart-but-not-too-tart yogurt. Tastes exactly like the plain yogurt from the store only it's very fresh and extremely frugal.