Friday, June 3, 2011

Frugal Friday: Yogurt!

The almond milk

This past weekend my hubby (and son) went on his annual "man-cation" to the desert of Eastern Oregon with a bunch of his buddies. They take their guns, tents and some food and live in the desert for a few days, doing, well, lets just leave it at "manly things". :)
Last year the girls and I were sick the whole time so all of my plans for a fun "girls" weekend didn't happen. Instead we watched a bazillion princess movies and PBS Kids and laid on the couch.
Not this year! Hooray! We were all feeling fine and we had a wonderful weekend. One of my best friends came and spent the weekend with us. (Her other half was with mine in the desert). We cooked lots of yummy food that the guys don't like, went to the farmer's market, stayed up late talking, AND we made yogurt! Homemade, yummy, organic yogurt. In the CROCKPOT!

The whole milk

I had been wanting to try making yogurt for some time but was kind of scared to try because some of the recipes I had found seemed rather intimidating. But then I came across this recipe on making it with a crockpot. How cool is that? I was super excited to try it out, and my friend was willing to do it with me.

We got our milk ready and our yogurt starter. I just used the last of the yogurt that I had in the fridge for my starter. Just plain, cultured yogurt. And I used whole milk. My friend used almond milk since she can't have dairy. And she used soy yogurt as the starter. (We had read that some people have done it with non-dairy milks so thought we would give it a try).

Tucked in for the night :)

After warming and cooling the milk for 5 1/2 hours, it was time to tuck it in for the night. It was so exciting to wake up in the morning and unwrap everything to see if we had yogurt. And we did! For hardly any effort, we had two quarts of yogurt! (1/2 gallon of milk makes 2 quarts of yogurt) Unfortunately, the non-dairy did not turn out, but aren't giving up yet. We're going to try using just plain almond milk since what she had was vanilla and maybe try a goat's milk yogurt for the starter as goat's milk doesn't seem to bother my friend.

2 quarts of organic yogurt...I just reused an old yogurt container and some other storage containers to store it in the fridge.

All in all our first time making yogurt was a success. We had lots of fun and learned a new skill. And I think the best part is that my girls love it! We just poured a little maple syrup on top and stirred it in. A perfect and healthy snack!

What makes this frugal, you ask??? Our homemade organic yogurt cost $2.99 for 2 quarts. I don't know what your organic yogurt costs in the store by you, but to me that is a HUGE savings on organic yogurt. I can't even get 1 quart for that price.

I'd love to hear about it if you try making yogurt in your crockpot or if you make yogurt another way!

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