After Stonyfield Farms made the unfortunate decision to homogenize their organic yogurt, I was determined to try my hand at making my own. And since the only milk we buy and consume around here is raw milk, of course it was going to be raw milk yogurt.
I bought a nifty yogurt maker on Craigslist and some lovely yogurt starter from Cultures for Health. I was so excited! I envisioned my youngsters eating raw milk yogurt topped with fruit for breakfast, snacks and dessert.
Two totally failed attempts later, discouragement set in. I was already about $30 invested in this project with nothing to show for it. Ouch. Since kefir making is so easy and free, I had almost decided to just give up and let kefir be my main dairy probiotic food.
What I didn’t know yet was that making yogurt from raw milk without cooking it a little first (hence, making it not raw) was nearly impossible. Most people are unable to pull it off. Why? Because the naturally occurring enzymes, one of the things that makes raw milk so good for you, compete with the yogurt culture. The yogurt never sets.
After doing some more research, I was at least determined to heat my raw milk first. Even “cooked”, the finished product would be far superior to anything store bought. But I still wanted a simpler method.
I enjoy Christine’s blog, A Year of Slow Cooking. One day while perusing her recipes I found this on the sidebar: You Can Make Yogurt In Your Slow Cooker.
A big huge bowl of raw milk yogurt, made in the slow cooker. Teehee.
It’s delicious, I think even tastier than store bought. I like the taste of plain, unflavored yogurt, but I’m sure the kids will want to add a little honey or fruit. It has a very mild, clean refreshing taste. Yum!
The only caveat is that the texture is a little runny. I think I need to keep the milk heated in the slow cooker a tad longer next time. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just add a packet of plain unflavored gelatin. I don’t mind the texture, it’s like drinkable yogurt, but I bet the kids would prefer it with a little more drag on the spoon. It was so easy too. And only one bowl to wash (the slow cooker crock).
I’ve calculated that making my own amounts to at least a 50% savings over store bought to boot. Because I despise “uni-tasking” appliances, I’m thrilled that I can now sell my yogurt maker.
If you’re interested in making raw milk yogurt (or pasteurized for that matter) in your slow cooker, be sure to check out Christine’s instructions. The comments have some useful info too.