Monday, September 26, 2011


I am a yogurt lover.  Not liker.  Lover.  I eat a bowl of yogurt for breakfast.  I eat smoothies with yogurt.  I eat yogurt for lunch.  As dessert.  In the States, you can buy big containers of yogurt, but in Costa Rica the largest size in yogurt is about 300 mL.  This lasts me about 1.5 days and costs between $3-$4.  Now they do have 1L bottles of drinky, fruity yogurt.  But I like mine plain, preferably no fat.  So I began looking up recipes for making your own yogurt.

It was quite intimidating at first.  Most recipes called for all sorts of equipment that I have none of.  All want you to have a thermometer, and the rest vary from using an oven, stove, double boiler, cooler, glass thermos, electric blanket, jars, lids, etc.  They were all labor intensive and finicky, ie: heat milk to exact temperature, reduce milk to exact temperature, add yogurt, keep yogurt/milk at exact temperature for 6 hours.  I had almost given up on the idea when I found a way to make yogurt with a slow cooker.  You can google "yogurt in crock pot" and you'll get tons of hits.  All recipes are basically the same as the one I've linked here.  The only equipment you need is a crock pot and a towel.  Yesterday, Oscar and I bought a slow cooker for 17,500c in WalMart.  Equivalent to about $35, the cheapest we could find.

Following the recipe is simple and easy.  I began the yogurt at 3pm yesterday.  Oscar and I went to drink coffee with his mom and by the time we got back, 2.5 hours later, the milk was ready for the next step.  Then I cleaned up and we watched a movie.  As soon as the movie was over (at 8:30pm) I completed the last step.  I let the crock sit over night and this morning after taking Perlita on a walk, I scooped out a perfectly solid lump of yogurt!  I couldn't believe it worked and was so easy!

Right now most of my fresh yogurt is in the fridge but I left a little to drain through a coffee filter to turn it Greek-style.  So here's the steps in case you don't want to read through the other pages.

Equipment: Crock pot (slow cooker), towel
Ingredients: Yogurt with active culture (en espanol: con probiotico), milk
Steps:  1. Put crock pot on LOW.  Pour in how ever much milk you want to turn to yogurt.  Let sit for 2.5 hours.  Don't take off the lid.
2. Unplug crock pot.  Let sit for 3 hours.  Don't take off the lid.
3. Take out a couple cups (I used like 2 mug-fulls) of warm, stinky milk.  Into this milk, stir in some of your active culture yogurt.  Pour milk/yogurt combo back into crock pot and stir.
4. Put top back on.  Cover with towel.  Let sit overnight (8 hours or so).  Mine sat for about 12 hours.
5. ENJOY.  Now you can add in honey, fresh fruits, or any flavor.  You can also let it drain through a coffee filter to make Greek-style.  I'm also thinking about making some fro-yo pops!  YUM!


Straining to make Greek-style

Yum yum

The only equipment you need!!!


Jasmine said...

Awesome I will definately be trying that out!

Anonymous said...

testing the comments ... tuve éxito, whoohoo!

So I made the yogurt (I have the exact same crock pot as you) and it worked, but is more thin like the drinkable type you can buy in bottles. That's OK with me, I don't have any big coffee filters, plus I was too impatient to add straining to the process. Honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and yum.

Signe said...

Re thin yogurt: I've found that over time my yogurt is coming out thicker. Don't know why. I think putting in more yogurt into the "warm milk" makes it thicker. Dunno though.

Also the straining is super quick. When I'm storing my yogurt I take a couple scoops and throw it in a coffee filter/strainer combo. That way I have at least one container of strained, and the others are liquidy.