Make It or Buy It Mondays: Yogurt

Make It or Buy It?

Organic Yogurt

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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

Crockpot

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 4 quart crockpot.

Prep Day:

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.

Serve Day:

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.

The Verdict:

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

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