Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Do It Yourself: Yogurt

Even though in January I changed my DIY project to butter, I still have really wanted to try homemade yogurt, so we tried it! My friend Marie, over at Adventures in Craziness is the one who put this idea in my head, the directions are very similar to how she did it.

 Here's what you need:
1/2 gallon (8 cups) of milk. 
 1/2 cup plain yogurt starter
 Sweetener of your choice - use 1/2 cup of raw honey
 1 TBSP vanilla (optional)

I'd suggest you plan a day (or afternoon rather) when you'll be home to watch it...a neat experiment for the kiddos to watch too...maybe?
First, Pour the 8 cups of milk into the crock-pot. Turn the crock-pot on low, put the lid on, and heat the milk for 2 1/2 hours. After time as passed, unplug your crock-pot and it it sit, covered, for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. 
After the milk has sat for the 3 hours, whisk in the yogurt starter.
I then took out 1/2 a cup to be my next "starter" for my next batch! 

Afterwards I put in my sweetener and vanilla.

The next step is important! Wrap your crock-pot in the insulating if you don't have one you could use towels or you could put it in the oven (warmed to 250 degrees, then turned off). This is the time the yogurt is going to culture. I let my yogurt sit over night...make sure you do this for at least 8 hours, otherwise its runny and funny looking! 

In the morning, the straining process is started. You do not have to do the straining process, but I like my yogurt a bit thick (and it will be better to make smoothies I think). To strain it use a strainer and a cloth drying towel (or you could use coffee filters, cheese cloth, or a jelly strainer). 
Ladle your yogurt into the strainer and place the bowl/strainer combo into the fridge where your yogurt can cool. In the afternoon (so many hours later) we had thick yogurt!
Scrape the yogurt out of the filter and into a container. 
The liquid that went through the strainer is your Whey. Pour that into a container too! 

Marie suggested to add a little jello powder to flavor our individual servings of plain yogurt, or you could add fresh or frozen fruit if you desire. Enjoy! 

Finally, if you want to know what to do with the Whey, check out what Marie suggests!

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