Make It or Buy It?
8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk (pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized).
1/2 cup store-bought local or organic natural, live active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Make sure to read labels. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)
Organic Fresh or Frozen fruit for flavoring
Honey for flavoring
Thick bath towel
This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.
I used a 4 quart crockpot.
Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.
When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.
Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.
Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.
In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened; it’s not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.
Blend batches with your favorite fruit and some honey. I did raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren’t a big deal, and will settle eventually.
Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.
My kids ate a huge serving that morning (they added honey to their servings) and have eaten it for every meal for 2 days. I’m actually kind of worried they’re over-doing it, but whatever. They’re happy and are eating real food.
This is so much more cost-effective than buying it.
To Make $1.75 a quart/plain flavored
To Buy at Trader Joes – $4.99/32 oz./plain flavored