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DIY: Homemade Yogurt

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This recipe came from my friend Mary, who has raised some amazing, brilliant, and talented children.  I take advice from Mary whenever I can get it!

Mary had been making homemade yogurt for awhile, but was concerned after the food dye post because she was using flavored gelatin to flavor up her yogurt and the gelatin contained dyes.  That’s when reader Karen suggested she use fruit juice and plain gelatin instead!  Mary did, and it worked.

I tried it yesterday and had fabulous results.  Once again, the benefits of making your own are that you can control the sugar, the food coloring, the sodium, and a big priority for us right now, is you can control the cost!

diy crockpot yogurt from super healthy kids.jpg homemade yogurt.jpg

Plain Homemade Yogurt Recipe

  • 8 cups milk (any kind, I use 1%)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt
  • 0.50 ounces- 0.75 ounces plain gelatin (or three small packets)

Step 1:  Plug in your crock pot an turn to low.  Add milk, cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Step 2:  Unplug your crock pot.  Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

Step 3:  Scoop out 2 cups of the milk and whisk in the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.  Whisk in the store-bought yogurt.  Dump the bowl contents back into the crock pot.  Stir to combine.  Put the lid back on your crock pot.  Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy towel all the way around the crock for insulation.  Let it sit for 8 hours.  In the morning the yogurt will have thickened.

On another note, if you want to sweeten the whole batch, here is how she changed things:

After the 8 cups of milk has warmed for 2 1/2 hour and cooled for 3 hours,

  • Sprinkle 2 packets of plain gelatin in 1/2 c of cold fruit juice and let it sit for about 1 min.
  • Then add 1 1/2 cup boiling fruit juice and stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Then add the 1/2 c of plain yogurt and about 1/4 cup of agave to the fruit juice/gelatin mixture, stir, add to the warmish milk in the crock pot, and stir again.
  • Then wrap the crockpot in a bath towel and leave it on the counter overnight.
  • I used to add the agave to each individual cup before eating but decided this is easier.

Notes from Mary:  I have tried Cran-Raspberry juice and white grape juice both which gave me a good tasting yogurt.  The yogurt is thin when it is finished but after cooling in the refrigerator it thickens and is similar in thickness to store bought yogurt.  No more nasty food coloring.

PS. I love your healthy recipes!  Thank you for sending them to me.  Keep it up Smile

homemade yogurt from super healthy kids.jpg DSC_0666

Related post: 

Images taken for us by  Tiffany Anderson, Utah Food Photographer! 


38 Comments

Stacey

Get outta my head! I was JUST looking around for homemade yogurt recipes yesterday! Thanks!
Help me though: for the store bought yogurt, does it matter if it’s low fat or what should I look for on the packaging? I don’t want low fat for my daughter and that’s ALL I can find around here…which has so much more sugar…which is why I want to make my own.

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Love, love my homemade yogurt! I get a nice, thick yogurt without adding any gelatin, though. Two things that help – first, denature the proteins in the milk by heating it to 180 F and then letting it cool to 110-115 F before adding in the yogurt starter. That alone made a big difference in my yogurt when I first started. Second, add a little powdered skim milk to bulk up the protein. Doing both of those gives me yogurt that is as thick as store bought without adding gelatin. Of course, you can’t do that first step quickly in the crockpot, so there are advantages to the gelatin method too! :-)

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Stacey: My opinion is low fat vs full fat isn’t as important as how many ingredients are in the product. If they made it low fat by adding zillions of chemicals, stay away. If the low fat kind is all they have with few ingredients, I’d get the low fat. If you can find yogurt with the fewest ingredients possible, like basically milk without added colors and added sugars or even added fake sugars, that would be priority.

Making your own you can use full fat, non hormone, good milk and get a better product.

Cathy- Thanks for the tips, we’ll have to experiment!

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Jamie

funny, I just made yogurt this morning. I don’t use the crockpot or gelatin, and I actually use my food storage powdered milk for the milk. (great way to rotate it!) I do like cathy and heat the milk, let it cool and then add the yogurt starter and pour it into a quart jar and wrap a heating pad around it set to low.
When it’s done and cooled in the fridge, you can strain it in a strainer lined with paper towels for a few hours and get “greek” yogurt. Or you can let it drain for 24 hours and get yogurt “cheese”
As for sweetener, I leave it all plain and then sweeten it when I dish it out. My kids just like a little jam stirred in. I leave it plain or add a little honey or vanilla.

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Selvi

I have been thinking about making this for a very long time. In India this is a daily process like cooking dinner. My mom just boils the milk in stovetop, cools it down till its just warm, then adds culture and keep aside. Tastes awesome!

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How timely is this? I was just thinking I need to get my act together and make the homemade yogurt I have been talking about for awhile and made as one of my New Year’s Resolutions. For real, today I went to put yogurt on my grocery list and thought “no, you need to just make it!” This looks sooooo easy….thanks!

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Michelle

This is great. I really want to make yogurt, but my son is allergic to milk… can this be done with soy milk? Soy yogurts are so expensive!

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I have to ask you: how long does it keep for in the fridge? There are only 2 of us who like/can eat yogurt, but we 2 love it! (I’m also interested in the answer to Michelle’s comment. I have 2 boys who can’t have milk!)

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Ok, it does have a short shelf life, like 2 to 3 days (according to Mary) The flavor starts to change after that.

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sallyjrw

Stacey, I read that babies and toddler should have whole milk yogurt and for the life of me I could not find it. Someone finally explained to me to find a yogurt that doesn’t say lowfat or nonfat and there you go! The yogurt I buy says Dannon All natural plain yogurt 32 oz. I add frozen fruit and wheat germ and she loves it!

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[...] Healthy Meals and food for Healthy Kids » DIY: Homemade Yogurt Then wrap the crockpot in a bath towel and leave it on the counter overnight. I used to add the agave to each individual cup before eating but decided this is easier. Notes from Mary: I have tried Cran-Raspberry juice and white grape juice both which gave me a Our yogurt gets eaten super fast around here, so I'm not sure how long it lasts. I have asked my friend Mary though, and I'll let you know when she responds. I've never tried soy, but I found this recipe here: . [...]

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Jan

I made my first homemade yogurt in the crockpot. It came out great! I am so excited. Just wondering …since I added splenda and vanilla to my batch, can I use it for the starter for the next batch?

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I asked Mary, and this is what she said :
Yes. I have done it and it works well. I start over with fresh each time because I flavor my yogurt with the juice and I like to try different flavors.

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Corbett

I made this yesterday and this morning I have solid brick of yogurt. Is 3oz of gelatin right? Or three packets from a 1oz box?

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I’m so sorry to all those who have tried this recipe, as I had the wrong amount of gelatin posted. The recipe is now fixed!

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Hi Tonya,
I have seen it in every grocery store I’ve been in. Costco has the best price though.

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Netty

Does it matter which milk I use to make the yogurt. We dring Horizon Organic 2% milk. I read not to use organic milk because of UHT. Should I just use plain grocery store milk instead? We have really enjoyed making homemade yogurt but I’m no concerned I’m using the wront type of milk.

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I really don’t think the organic milk will make any difference! Definitely give it a try with the milk you have.

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Amanda

Hi, I discovered your site about a week ago and love it! I tried making the yogurt but it came with sort of a grainy texture….not like sand-grainy, but with very tiny little clumps-not smooth like I was expecting. I stirred it, but there is definitely a grainy (I can’t think of a better word) texture that my kids won’t go for. Any suggestions? Have you ever heard of this happening before?

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Hi Amanda.. A few questions: Was your crockpot on low the whole time? Also, were you able to whisk the gelatin until it totally dissolved?
I think this is one of those recipes you might have to try a few times to get it right, but once you do, I think you’ll love it!!

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Deb Terrill

Any idea how to make it without the gelatin? My daughter is allergic. Might pectin work?

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Mindi

I am excited to try this. It has been killing me buying yogurt from the store. I was wondering if you can use honey instead of agave?

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abby

Ok can someone please explain how this is home made yogurt when one of the main ingredients is yogurt??

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Jan

It’s really NOT the main ingredient – just a half cup, and once you make your homemade yogurt, save some of that for the next batch you make and you won’t have to buy any at all.

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Abby

But the first time you do have to put store bought yogurt in it …so it’s not fully home made yogurt until the 3rd or 4th batch.

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Jan

Well you have nowhere else that I can think of to get those important bacteria so that they can grow in YOUR yogurt and make it better for your gut! Small matter to me and worth it! Get the healthiest store bought you can find. Essentially it is a homemade product as you are making yogurt at home yourself.

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