Zero waste: Yogurt Solution

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Mmmm love me a dressed up yogurt!

My kids Love yogurt. They like the plainest, sugarless yogurt I could find, which I got in a big plastic tub. So luckily I was not forced to buy those horrid sugar filled mini yogurt cups that they market for children. Have you seen the sugar content of those little yogurt cups? Crazy!! But now we have gone plastic free, so I needed to find an alternative.

Unfortunately there is no yogurt at our bulk store, so I decided to make my own. I don’t have a yogurt maker, but I do have a crockpot. So I looked for a recipe and stumbled upon this one:

http://www.daringgourmet.com/easy-homemade-greek-yogurt/

As usual, I am highly skeptical of anything that looks too easy. I had been buying yogurt for YEARS thinking it was something difficult to make. What do you mean IT IS JUST HEATING MILK AND THEN COOLING IT?!? Ya, because that’s basically as complicated as the recipe gets!

Step 1:

Get a starter. I used 1/2cup of store bought plain yogurt (10%m.f). Once you make your yogurt, you can use it as your starter, just set aside 1/2cup to be used for your next batch.

Step 2:

Buy 2 litres of whole milk or the highest milk fat you can find. I get organic milk in glass bottles from a local farm, it is 3.8% m.f.

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Step 3:

Pour 2 litres into your crockpot, cover and set on HIGH. Leave for about 2 hours. Set a timer. Mine takes 2hr20 minutes.

Step 4:

Once your milk has reached 180F (check with a food thermometer) turn off crockpot and let your milk cool down to 115F. This also takes about 2hrs. At the same time, take your starter out of the fridge and leave it on the counter so it gradually gets to room temperature.

 

Step 5:

When your milk has reached 110-115F, ladle out a small bit and gently mix into your starter. Then pour it into your crockpot and gently mix.

Step 6:

Wrap your crockpot in towels and leave it somewhere undisturbed for 12hrs. I usually put it in my oven.

Step 7:

The next day your milk will have magically transformed into yogurt!!!! Amazing!!! All you have left to do is strain it! Line a mesh sieve with some cheesecloth, plop your yogurt in and let the whey drain. The longer you strain it, the thicker it will be. You can always add some whey back in to adjust the consistency. You can even drain it for the whole day and then it makes a cream cheese like cheese!

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Straining with a cheesecloth

The yogurt will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Keep in mind that this is homemade plain yogurt, so it will taste different from store bought yogurt, which typically has a lot of sugar added into it. Mine is quite tangy but the kids like it. When you are ready to serve, you can mix it with fruit, purees, chia, oats, chocolate chips, flax…whatever floats your boat!

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Mmmm Chia, flax, cocoa, oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, banana and a drizzle of maple syrup. How is this even breakfast!?

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Yogurt and Whey

Ps. Don’t discard the whey! It is loaded with protein. You can add it to smoothies, soup stock, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, it can also be frozen! I usually use it to make pancakes or waffles.

Update: Since learning to make yogurt, I have been able to find yogurt in glass containers! So when I don’t have time to sit around babysitting a crockpot, this is my go to option. And when I am looking for an extra special treat, I found these tiny little “petit pot” yogurts from Riviera*! They are seriously delicious and I use the glass jars as cups for the kids!

http://rivierapetitpot.com/?lang=en

Note: My Father in law always makes his own yogurt, even when they go camping!! I have not tried it but this is his method

  • use an insulated container (like a thermos)
  • Put in 2 cups of full cream powdered milk + warm water + a tablespoon of the current yogurt batch.
  • Leave for 12 hours.
  • Have yogurt!
  • They found it was best to start off with the commercial starter  (packet of EasiYo Greek starter)

Which seems crazy simple. If you try this out, please let me know if it actually worked!

*Not affiliated or sponsored by this company, just like their yogurt 🙂

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