2017-07-26 / Entertainment

Slow-cooker yogurt is the best by far

By DONNA ERICKSON

We’re a yogurt-loving family. We wake up to it topped with crunchy granola and fruit, or it’s whirled with other good stuff in the blender for energy-packed smoothies to go. It’s an easy to pack car travel snack, the basic ingredient in homemade popsicles, and everyone around the dinner table enjoys rich, lemony flavored yogurt over summer berries for dessert.

No wonder my ears perked up when a friend said she makes yogurt in her slow cooker. “Hmm,” I thought. “Why add yogurt making to my already busy schedule when I can just pick it up at the store?” Then, when curiosity took over, I did some research to test it out.

Much to my amazement, after a couple of easy steps in two timed intervals in the afternoon, I woke up the following morning to perfect, creamy, organic yogurt. Lots of it! Astounded, I ladled the more-than-we-could-use bounty into mason jars and shared the creamy deliciousness with my neighbors. Now they’re hooked.

Lesson learned: The next time around, I halved my original recipe and got a yield of 7 cups. Give it a try with your kids. It’s cost effective, nutrient-rich and provides a memorable experience in kitchen science.

SLOW-COOKER
YOGURT
8 cups whole milk (I use
organic)
Food thermometer for
testing milk temperature
1/ 2 cup whole- milk,
unflavored (plain) yogurt
with live/active cultures for
starter
Thick bath or beach
towel
Storage containers with
lids

1. Midafternoon, pour
milk into your slow cooker
and turn setting to low.
Cover. Set a timer for 2 1/2
hours.
2. At 2-1/2 hours, use
a kitchen thermometer to
check that milk has reached
180-185 F.
3. Turn off, unplug, cover,
and let the milk temp drop
to around 115 F. Skim any
milk film off the top of the
milk with a spoon.
4. Remove 1 cup of the
warmed milk and combine
with room temperature yogurt in a small bowl. Gently
stir.
5. Pour the mixture into
the slow cooker and stir with

a couple of strokes.
6. Cover and wrap the
towel all around the slow
cooker to help insulate. Culture overnight 8-12 hours.
7. In the morning, stir
yogurt and ladle into storage containers. Refrigerate
at least 4 hours before eating. Save 1/2 cup to use as a
starter for your next batch.
Makes 7 cups.

TIP: For variety, make
Greek-style yogurt. Spoon
two cups of the slow cooker
yogurt into a strainer lined
with cheesecloth or coffee
filters. Let the liquid (whey)
drip through for about 30
minutes. Makes 1 1/4 cups
of yummy thick yogurt. Delicious!

©2017 Donna Erickson
King Features Synd.

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