Homemade Crockpot Yogurt – Cooking with Kids Recipe

Homemade Crockpot Yogurt - By Little Spoons and SpiceThis homemade yogurt has become a staple at our house.  Since its part of our daily meal routine, we quickly spiral into kitchen chaos when it runs out. Ok, maybe not chaos, but we do use yogurt quite a bit… in smoothies, with fresh fruit and granola, with cinnamon and applesauce, homemade frozen yogurt, dips, and in place of sour cream for cream-based recipes.

A lady that I worked with introduced me to homemade yogurt almost a year ago. Once I started, I was hooked.  We usually make a gallon of yogurt every other week, sometimes weekly.

I’ll admit, if you’re used to eating flavored or vanilla yogurt, this is a big change.  Most people think plain yogurt is the yummy vanilla flavored yogurt in parfaits.  I’m sorry to disappoint but that’s not what you’re making here.  Flavored yogurt contains quite a bit of added sugar. This yogurt is plain. And yes, we do add fruit for flavoring. Oh, and it’s loaded with probiotics.

Probiotics are microorganisms that are considered “good” bacteria.  According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, research has shown some evidence that probiotics support digestive disorders, allergic disorders, periodontal disease, liver disease, and even linked to the helping with the common cold.  Further research is still needed to study the different types of probiotics.

Changing your family to homemade yogurt will not only save you money, it will have a positive impact on your health.

OK, let’s start fermenting.  Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need:

  • Crockpot – with programmable thermometer (5 quart or larger) preferred
  • Thermometer
  • Spoon
  • 3 Large heavy towels

AGE APPROPRIATE COOKING TASKS

Every child’s ability varies depending on maturity or cognitive and physical ability.  Parents need to use their own discretion when assigning tasks.  These are general guidelines for the Homemade Crockpot Yogurt.

Younger than 3 years old

  • Name and count ingredients with child
  • Assist with pushing buttons on crockpot
  • Put lid on crockpot
  • Assist with wrapping towels around crockpot

3 – 5 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Pour milk into crockpot
  • Help clean off and sanitize thermometer in between temperature checks (if you don’t have a programmable thermometer)

6 – 7 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Stir in yogurt starter (clean hands are very important for this step)

8 – 9 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Use thermometer to check temperature of milk during cooling process

10 – 12 years old

  • All of the younger tasks

FRIENDLY REMINDERS:

  • Wash everyone’s hands!
  • Clean all work surfaces before starting.
  • Leave tasting until the end. Your child might not understand the difference between a ready-to-eat ingredient and a raw unsafe ingredient.
  • It is okay for your kitchen to get a little messy.
  • Keep in mind that your child is learning, so patience is key!

Homemade Crockpot Yogurt - By Little Spoons and Spice

 

Homemade Crockpot Yogurt

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 1 gallon (32 - half cup servings)
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Stacey Weichelt, RDN, CD

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of milk
  • ½ cup Yogurt starter plain yogurt

Instructions

  • Add milk to crockpot and cover with lid.
  • Turn crockpot on High and heat to 180℉. If you have a programmable crockpot, insert thermometer probe and program your crockpot to 180℉. This typically takes around 2-3 hours.
  • Remove lid and cool to 120℉. I often slowly stir it to speed up the cooling process. It is important to sterilize your thermometer in between each temperature check and use a clean spoon as well.
  • Once the milk reaches 120℉, stir in your yogurt starter.
  • Return lid to crockpot and cover the entire unit with heavy towels. I use 3 clean bath towels because they insulate well. The idea is to maintain a warm, dark environment. Once you do this, do not touch it for 6-8 hours. This is important because the cultures need dark, quiet and a warm environment to grow. This step works great to sit overnight.
  • Remove towels and place in refrigerator for 7 hours.
  • Don’t forget to take out ½ cup of yogurt as a reserve for your next batch. You can freeze your reserve if you don’t plan on making another batch of yogurt in the near future.
  • Yogurt will keep for 2 weeks in a refrigerator.

Notes

Note: We use whole milk however you could use a lower fat milk.

REFERENCES:

“Probiotics: In Depth.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Feb. 2018, nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm.

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