Homemade Greek Yogurt

I love yogurt, but I don't love store bought yogurt.  This is mostly due to the fact that I don't love paying out the wahzoo for 4 oz of anything and I especially don't love it when they add lots and lots of ingredients (aka fillers and sweeteners) that are unnecessary.  So what am I to do then?  Well, make my OWN, of course.

My husband is kinda a funny guy.  He not only flies airplanes, teaches firearm courses, plays a mean rock lick but also makes homemade goodness such as granola, whole wheat bread and recently...yogurt!  (Ya, he's a pretty good catch.)  When approaching a recipe, he and I are similar in that we both tend to look at what other people are doing and then work it into how we like it!  I thought since he was on a yogurt kick that maybe, just maybe, he'd be up for trying to make me some greek yogurt.  I was wrong.  While I may love the thick and creamy texture of Greek yogurt, he does NOT! (I tend to hear a lot of mumbling about gagging on sour cream...blah, blah)  So...I was on my own to research not only something yummy but something that I would not totally BOMB and end up submitting to pinterestfail.com.

I kept seeing recipes for Crockpot Greek Yogurt on Pinterest but I just couldn't bring myself to trust a whole gallon of milk to my ancient friend.  Thus, I decided to make this recipe my own way TWICE for two reasons, 1.  I wanted to make sure it worked more than once and 2.  I really like it...a lot!

Gather your Ingredients:

1 gallon 1% milk (I'm cheap so I just used WalMart milk...I know...Reed's Dairy, I long for your expensive goodness!)
3 cups powdered milk (Family Canning)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (Nancy's)

Seriously, this recipe is soooo easy and simple.  Basically, you pour a gallon of milk into a large saucepan, mix in the powdered milk.  Be aware that it will take a long time to dissolve completely, but rest assured it will!  Heat this mixture on medium low/medium heat until 180F.  You're going to be here stirring for a while so you can do what I did in the meantime...help the kids with homework, practice violin in the kitchen, read a book, do some squats just be careful not to scorch it too badly!

Once it has reached temperature, remove from heat leaving the thermometer in until it cools to between 95 - 115F.  I have to say that I can be incredibly impatient...so I filled my sink with ice water, plopped in the pan and watched the temp go down much more quickly.  Next, pour a small amount of the warm milk into a bowl and mix in the 1/2 cup plain yogurt until smooth.  Pour the mixture back in the large pan and mix well.  Now you can pour the the milk into whatever storage container(s) you prefer.  I chose to use wide mouth quart jars.  This made 5 full quarts.  To avoid a thick, dry film on top of your jars (yeah...that happened to me the first go around) cover with plastic wrap before placing in a dehydrator at 105F for 10 hours.  This could also be done in your oven if you can trust your oven to stay at that temp for that long...unlike my late model 70s burnerator.

After a good night's sleep (or in the middle of the night for those who forget just how long this process takes) pull out your jars, stick them in the fridge to completely chill and enjoy amazingly smooth, thick and somewhat tart Greek yogurt.  YUM! 

opt homemade greek yogurt

After I knew how yummy it was I wanted to know how economical and healthy is was.  So, I added up the cost of ingredients then plugged the nutritional data of those ingredients into MyFitnessPal recipe creator and came up with this information.

I'm thinking you could do worse!  And seriously, at less that $6 a GALLON...I'm sold.

I LOVE IT!  I love the texture, the price and the fact that it has 3 ingredients, none of which includes SUGAR (other than naturally occuring)!!!  If I want it a bit sweeter I can add a little agave nectar or fresh fruit and it's great!

My 7 yr old really liked it, my 10 year old likes it with agave nectar and granola and my 2 yr will gobble it down when I throw her favorite fruits in with it.  My husband....not a fan, but I'll keep working with him. :)

Do you have any Greek yogurt or regular yogurt recipes that you love?  PLEASE SHARE!

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