With eight kids in our family, we go through yogurt very quickly, which can start to get expensive. As a way to save some money, I make vanilla yogurt in a crock pot. It is easy to do, and I can make a lot at one time so it can last for a week or two.
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Yogurt and granola is a great breakfast in the warmer months, especially with fresh berries. The kids will often have oatmeal in the colder months but once the warm temperatures arrive, it’s nice to have a lighter breakfast.
What you need to make yogurt
- crock pot
- yogurt (with active and live cultures)
- whole milk
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
What is yogurt starter?
Yogurt starter is plain, unsweetened yogurt with live and active cultures. I usually use plain Greek yogurt as my starter.
How to make vanilla yogurt using a crock pot
- Warm the crock pot. Turn your crock pot to low and let it heat up while you prepare the yogurt.
- Bring yogurt starter to room temperature. Put your yogurt starter in a measuring cup and let it sit at room temperature so it can warm up a little.
- Heat the milk. Pour the milk into a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 185°F.
- Prepare cold water bath. While the milk is heating, fill a sink half full with cold water. I like to add ice to it also to speed up the cooling process.
- Cool the milk. Once the milk reaches 185°F, remove it from the burner and place it in the sink to cool. Let the milk cool, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 100°F. Remove it from the water.
- Transfer the milk. Pour some of the warm milk into the yogurt starter and the remainder into the crock pot.
- Add yogurt starter. Stir the warm milk and yogurt starter together and then add to the crockpot. Stir.
- Add sweetener. Add maple syrup and vanilla to the crock pot and stir it up.
- Let it sit. Turn off the crock pot, remove the pot from the base, and wrap a heavy towel around the crock. Let it sit for 6-10 hours.
After the yogurt has sat for 6-10 hours I then like to let it sit in the fridge for 6-10 hours. You don’t need to do this but I think it helps the yogurt thicken up more.
When making yogurt, I like double it and use a whole gallon of milk. I make it in the morning and let it sit during the day. Before I go to bed, I put it in the fridge and it’s ready for breakfast the next day.
If you want to make Greek yogurt, use a few layers of cheesecloth to strain some of the whey out of the yogurt. If it gets too thick, stir some of the whey back in to get your desired consistency.
What is the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt?
Greek yogurt is creamier, thicker, and more tangy than regular yogurt. It is made by straining out the extra whey from regular yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar than regular yogurt but regular yogurt has more calcium.
How to Make Vanilla Yogurt in a Crock Pot
Homemade vanilla yogurt is easy to make in a crock pot. Using whole milk and maple syrup, this yogurt is healthy and yummy.
- 8 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup yogurt starter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Turn your crock pot to low to let it heat up.
- Take your yogurt starter out of the fridge and put it into a measuring cup to warm up.
- Pour 8 cups of milk into a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 185°F.
- While the milk is heating, fill a sink half full with cold water. I also like to add ice to speed up the cooling process.
- Once the milk reaches 185°, remove pot from the burner and place it in the water to cool.
- Let the milk cool down, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 100°F. Then remove the pot from the water.
- Pour about a cup of the warm milk into the yogurt starter and stir. Pour the remainder of the milk into the warm crock pot.
- Pour the milk/yogurt mixture into the crock pot and stir.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla to the crock pot and stir it until well combined.
- Put the lid on the crock pot, turn it off, and remove the pot from the base. Wrap the crock in a thick towel and let it sit at room temperature for 6-10 hours.
- Yogurt starter is plain, unsweetened yogurt that has live and active cultures.
- If you want Greek yogurt, use a few layers of cheesecloth to strain some of the whey out of the yogurt. If it gets too thick, simply stir some of the whey back in until desired consistency is reached.
- To make plain yogurt, simply omit the maple syrup and vanilla.
- I like to make this in the morning and let it sit at room temperature under a towel during the day. I then put it in the fridge overnight. This helps it thicken nicely. Then it is ready to eat in the morning.
- Granulated sugar can be used in place of maple syrup.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 4gSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 13gSugar: 12gProtein: 4g