I've tried making yogurt in a cooler, on top of a fridge...17 years ago I began trying to make it. I was not motivated to try this recipe when my friend, Deja, began to brag about it. I am jinxed....but I DID buy all that milk on sale. I DIDN'T order a case of Brown Cow Vanilla Yogurt this month. I read all the comments several times at Crock Pot 365....and gave it a shot.
8 Cups whole milk
1/2 C live/active culture plain yogurt (I've discovered 3/4 C starter makes for thicker results)
2 T dry milk powder per quart of milk (to thicken, added with starter)
1 T vanilla & 4 T honey (for vanilla - I did this but will use more next time, added at the end)
3 large pureed bananas per 1 qt yogurt (not sure when they added this but most say to add fruit right before using as it breaks down the protein if you add it earlier and your yogurt gets runny).
I lined up my ingredients, determined to try once again.
I did NOT use the vanilla as Deja told me it tasted a bit funky when she did. At this point I planned to make it plain.
Pour the milk into your crock pot. Turn it on low and let it cook on LOW for 2 1/2 hours. I was out running and it cooked 3 hours (Deja said that would be ok).
Unplug pot. Leave the lid ON and let it sit for 3 hours.
(Yep, still sitting. It was at this point I decided I would add a bit of dry milk and the vanilla and honey. We LIKE the vanilla best and I read over and over that this was "sharper" than store bought. I like the way this turned out but it's close to plain....so I won't have trouble at all using it for recipes and ranch dressing...and I'll add double when I want vanilla. Come to think of it maybe those measurements above were for 1 qt?).
Scoop out 2 cups of warmish milk and whisk in 1/2 C live culture yogurt (add milk or vanilla at this point too). Dump back into Crock Pot. Stir to combine well.
Put the lid back on. ::snort:: Wrap the pot in a towel (I used 2), and let sit another 8 hours.
This was the toughest part. I accidentally chose Zander's dinosaur towel to wrap the pot in. He was NOT sure this was a proper use of his bath towel.
8 hours later...
Chill and serve. Will keep 7 - 10 days. You can also make Yogurt Cheese with this, I'll try that sometime this week I think - sounds good for bagels (which I should make sometime this week).
Mom, you KNOW I don't like yogurt. The kids really love Brown Cow and I tried it one day. It's thinner and wonderful tasting. This is similar. I had a bit over fruit this a.m. YUM!
Cost-wise this is far cheaper. Health-wise, I'm not sure. Since it doesn't keep as long it must have less preservatives (but I don't see preservatives listed on the Brown Cow label - pectin?). The Brown Cow we buy is non-homogenized and I like that....this will be made with homogenized milk....so it may be a toss up.....but I KNOW what is in this...no question about "vanilla flavor" etc. I can buy one 32 oz BC yogurt instead of two cases and make yogurt for the month. LOL
More recipes can be found on my Recipe Index.