My oldest has an allergy to mold. She is so sensitive to mold that she can not eat anything remotely close to it's expiration date, and store-bought dairy products with the exception of Milk are out of the question. Unfortunately my daughter is also a picky eater, and getting protein down her is like trying to give a cat a pill. She used to love yogurt, cottage cheese, and hard cheeses but the store bought versions of these all contain mold spores because quite frankly they're too old once they're made, shipped, and stocked. I've been praying about my daughters diet because her doctor was worried she was too thin. To make a long story short I was able to find a fabulous EASY yogurt recipe, at Alicia's Homemaking. I've tried making homemade yogurt once before and it FAILED miserably but I've been making this recipe several times a week for over a month now and it has not failed once. The following recipe is a somewhat simplified version of Alicia's. This year on my Father's side of the family we're doing a White Elephant gift exchange, I'm planning on making some yogurt, dressing up the jar, and including smoothie recipes with it. (I'll be sure to share my smoothie recipes as I compile them.)
No Fail Crock Pot Yogurt
-1/2 a Gallon of Milk (I've used skim, 2% and whole all worked for me)
-1/2 a cup of Starter Yogurt (Can be store bought, just buy a small cup of plain or vanilla yogurt, I used yoplait)
-1/2 a cup of Sweetener (Optional, I've used splenda and honey in the past, both work well)
- 1 tbs of vanilla extract (Optional)
-Heat the milk in a crock pot on LOW for 2 1/2 hours
-Unplug your crock pot and let the warm milk rest for 2 1/2 to 3 hours
- After the milk has rested whisk in your starter yogurt, sweetener (if using), and vanilla (if using) If you like sweetened yogurt now is the time to sweeten it, if you wait until the process is complete it will not blend as well
- Insulate the crock pot in a bath towel or several dish towels and allow it to incubate for 8+ hours, over night is fine.
-At this point you have a very thin yogurt, I strain mine using cheese cloth or a coffee filter.
This will stay good for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, however if I'm giving it to my daughter I use it within a week, we've never even made it that long in my house. Whenever I start to run low on yogurt I start a new batch and use the last 1/2 cup as my starter.
By the way, since I hand wash and reuse my cheese cloth, this recipe only costs $1 to make and turns out fabulous yogurt EVERY time!
Click Here to find out where I'm linking up today.