Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crockpot Yogurt

Dear friends,

I just finished eating a lovely glass of yogurt -- that I made for myself in my crockpot! 

Last October, I was reading Julie Druck's Life in Skunk Hollow blog and saw her link to a recipe for crockpot yogurt. (Julie's post is here: Yogurt Making 101 and the post she linked is here: You Can Make Yogurt in Your  CrockPot! ) It looked easy enough, so I gave it a try!  I've made it several times since then, and it's always a big hit with my kids. 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Turn on low for at least 4 hours (about 2 1/2 hours if  you are doing only a half gallon).
  3. Turn off the crockpot and unplug it.
  4. 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.
  5. Put the lid back on the crockpot and cover with a towel to keep the warmth in.
  6. Leave for 8 hours or overnight.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.
  10. Chill in the refrigerator until set.
  11. Enjoy!

Here are a few pictures of the process for you visual learners...

Skimmed liquid

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!

Virginia Knowles

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.

P.P.S. I invite you to join the Food on Fridays carnival at Ann Kroeker's blog.   I've been linking in new recipes from my blog each week, so far Honey Apricot Chicken and Pineapple Pie.  It's fun looking at all the recipes others have linked from their own blogs, too.


  1. Thanks, Virginia, for the Crockpot Yogurt recipe. We have yogurt once or twice a day at our house; how fun to attempt to make it. I was so happy to come upon your recipe that I went right to the refrigerator (even before finishing learning how) and got out the two unopened containers of milk and poured them into my crockpot. Yea.

  2. Thanks! Trying this today (as a science lesson for the kids). If it works it will become a weekly event.

  3. OK, so I made a gallon of 2% milk... I heated, cooled, added the 1 cup of started and got it nice and cozy for it's overnight stay in the oven. I checked it this morning and its thicker than milk but still very loose! I don't have any powdered milk but I do have Knox Gelatin on-hand. Would it be OK to put it in now? Should I mix it in and put it in the fridge to thicken? Or leave it in the oven? and how much should I use?

  4. Yes, Katie, I would add the Knox gelatin now. Sprinkle it in lightly so it won't clump as you mix it in. I hope it works! Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error.

  5. do you dissolve the gelatin first, or stir it in with some yogurt first, or just sprinkle it in? i would be concerned about it not mixing in well. what has been your experience?

  6. Jen, I sprinkle it in top. I occasionally still have little clumps, though.


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