I have adjusted the recipe to suit my tastes, and this last batch is the best of all. Using vanilla yogurt and flavored gelatins instead of the plain versions is all the sweetener that is needed. I buy all of my ingredients at Aldi, which makes it more cost effective. This is much less expensive than eating pre-packaged yogurt. I spent less than $5 on my ingredients for about 1 gallon of yogurt. That's about 21 six ounce servings, which would cost at least $10 if I purchased them in the little cups and about $8 if I bought it by the pint container.
Here is how I make it, with pictures below. You may wish to experiment with a smaller batch at first.
Pour 1 gallon of whole milk into the crockpot. You can also experiment with low fat milk, but it tends to turn out more of a liquid consistency.
Turn on low for at least 4 hours (about 2 1/2 hours if you are doing only a half gallon).
Turn off the crockpot and unplug it.
Add 1 pint vanilla lowfat yogurt and mix well. (You could add as little as 1 cup, according to the original recipe.) This is the "starter" for the process so that it can ferment. If you like, you can save some of your homemade yogurt (before adding the gelatin) as the starter for the next batch.
Put the lid back on the crockpot and cover with a towel to keep the warmth in.
Leave for 8 hours or overnight.
Skim off any liquid from the top and discard. You may have to press down on the surface and at the edges to see if any more bubbles up. I removed over a pint from my last batch as pictured below. The more you can remove, the firmer your yogurt will set.
Mix in 2 or 3 small boxes of gelatin, your choice of flavors. For firmer yogurt, add more gelatin. You can use Knox unflavored gelatin if you don't want the added sugar.
Optional: add in fresh or frozen fruit, such as berries, mango, etc. If you need more sweetener, honey and powdered sugar both blend in easily.
Chill in the refrigerator until set.
Here are a few pictures of the process for you visual learners...
Yogurt after skimming
Mixing in the gelatin
A stack of two large bowls of lemon-orange yogurt
ready to be chilled
This batch set up very well!
My little trivet says, along the right hand side,
"Happiness is homemade."
Actually, happiness is a gift from God,
but homemade is a good part of that!
The "Live Laugh Love" at the bottom
is sure sweet, too! Enjoy!
Why I am showing you this picture again at the end of the post? It's because I went back for thirds after I finished writing this! Yum!
P.S. If you are new to my blog, WELCOME! I imagine that some of you got here by doing a web search on yogurt! Feel free to poke around for inspiration, or pop over to one of my other blogs on home schooling or motherhood listed in the left hand sidebar. I also have a Recipe index page on this blog, so take a peek! I cook for a huge family (9 kids still at home), so I tend toward developing or adapting recipes that are thrifty and easy, but with a bit of flare.