Brace yourself for a long discussion on, well…plain old yogurt. Let me start by explaining that yogurt is a staple in our little apartment. Okay, it’s really only a staple for me (husband gets his regular doses through the smoothies I make). I began buying the large plain (and vanilla) 32 oz containers on my own in college because my mom would always get yogurt in bulk (32 or even 64 oz) growing up. So, the large yogurt tubs became a regular item to check off my grocery list for numerous reasons: (1) it’s tasty (2) it’s cheaper than buying those little yogurt cups, i.e. Yoplait (3) and hey, a little friendly bacteria goes a long way.
As my taste buds acclimated to the plain yogurt taste, it has become a preference over the flavored kinds. Strange that I love the tartness of plain yogurt?? Maybe. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the flavored yogurts are waaaaaay too sweet. My favorite is actually to combine plain Greek yogurt with some vanilla low-fat. Which brings me to my next topic….GREEK yogurt. I discovered this divine style of yogurt a few months ago. It’s got a nice thick, creamy texture…even when you buy the nonfat kind! A-maz-ing. AND it’s packed with extra protein (hint-hint all you protein shake drinkers).
Now to the exciting part (and you thought it couldn’t get any better than this…). Instead of purchasing multiple containers of yogurt per month–remember, I go through yogurt like a normal person goes through milk–I decided to try MAKING yogurt. So I have…twice now! I make it using a crock pot and followed some tips from this website. The first time turned out perfect using 2% milk. The second time I tried using skim milk and…meh, not so good. I’ll have to experiment with that again. Although I love it plain, it’s fun to add your own flavors using vanilla extract, strawberry preserves, honey, etc. Not only did I venture to make regular yogurt from scratch, but I took it one step further and made delicious Greek yogurt by straining the whey out through a coffee filter placed in a colander. You can also mix this creamy goodness with a little powdered sugar and it makes a great topping for strawberry shortcake and other desserts. Yum 🙂
I know, some of you may be thinking, “she’s making her own yogurt by fermenting and incubating milk bacteria AT HOME in a CROCKPOT?? How sketch is that?!” Calm, my friends. Keep in mind that people have made yogurt for thousands of years, and was it done in a completely 100% sterile environment with high-tech equipment and controls back then? Nope. Plus, I haven’t gotten sick yet…so there’s that 🙂
To conclude, I can’t tell you how pumped I was when I found out how much moo-lah I would be saving by making my own yogurt! It comes down to something like .68 cents for 32 oz of homemade yogurt, compared to averaging $3.00 per 32 oz container of regular plain yogurt from the store! Awesome!! Hubs would tell you it’s also awesome how much I’m geeking out over this 🙂