1. Ingredients: 1/2 gallon of 2 % milk, 1/2 cup yogurt (as a starter, this gets the live culture in there), 1 packet of plain gelatin (this helps thicken the yogurt. You can also use dried milk), 2 tsp of vanilla, and fresh or frozen fruit (optional)
2. In a medium to large crockpot, add milk, vanilla, and gelatin.
3. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours (enough time for me to go to the gym)
4. Unplug the crockpot, and let the mixture sit for three hours. This was a enough time for us to eat dinner (leftover Applesauce Chicken and wild rice, a twist on chicken bog).
5. After 3 hours, measure out 2 cups of the warm mixture into a bowl and whisk in the 1/2 cup of the store's yogurt. Pour back into crockpot and stir all.
6. Put the lid back on, cover the entire crockpot with a heavy bath towel for 8 hours. This is why I started mine in the late afternoon. I wanted it to sit while I was sleeping, so I wasn't tempted to keep checking it. :)
7. After 8 hours, your yogurt should be done! Place in a air tight container. Make sure to set aside 1/2 cup for your starter so you don't have to buy anymore store yogurt to make your own.
8. At this point, you can add your fruit or whatever you like to your yogurt. NOTE: the longer it sits in the fridge, the thicker it gets. After day 3, mine was pretty thick (not greek yogurt thick, but thick).
Here are a few things I did with my yogurt:
a. Made smoothies that my daughter and I shared. I mixed strawberries, a little cinnamon, and bee pollen:
b. I also made pancakes with yogurt instead of just milk.
c. I mixed some yogurt with dark chocolate instant carnation for a yummy breakfast.
d. I also mixed it with dark chocolate hot chocolate mix for a dessert.
NOTE: this makes a TON of yogurt and is most definitely cost effective. It's good for you because you can control the fat and sugar content to your desire. The original recipe calls for whole milk, but I'm not a big fan of whole milk. I am going to try it to see if it changes the taste/consistency.
Give it a shot and let me know what you think. I really don't think you will regret this recipe!