Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Growing Bacteria in My Kitchen...On Purpose.

Doesn't that title just make your mouth water in anticipation of a dinner invite from our family?

Yesterday, I decided to try my hand at a new kitchen adventure: home made yogurt. Now, you may be asking yourself, "Why would someone want to make yogurt, when there is perfectly good yogurt you can buy at the store?" I know there are people asking themselves this, because those were the exact words that ran through my head when a friend offered me a yogurt maker 4 years ago. I ended up passing it on to my mom because, "she does weird things like that" and never gave it a second thought...Until I had a 10 month old who is consuming yogurt at the rate of 2 quarts/week. You read that correctly: 2, $3.50 quarts of yogurt per week. That would be $28 dollars in yogurt/month, $336 in just yogurt/year. Ouch.

Milk however, is $4.00/gallon from a local dairy here. So yesterday, with the aid of my favorite kitchen appliance the crock pot, I turned 2 quarts of milk into 2 quarts of yogurt. Each quart of yogurt now costs ~1.00, a savings of $240/year. Not too shabby.

Without further ado, here's how I grew bacteria in my kitchen on purpose:

First, I poured 2 quarts of milk into the crock pot and set in on low for 2.5 hours. The milk is heated for sterilization purposes, since you will be leaving it at room temp for quite a while, you only want the right kind of bacteria growing.

Next, I unplugged the crock pot and let it sit (lid on) for 3 hours. The milk must cool to a good incubation temp for the bacteria, somewhere between 90 and 110 degrees.

Then, I wisked in 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with active bacteria (I just used the bottom of the tub from the store) and let it sit, wrapped in a towel for 8 hours.

Honestly, I was a little skeptical. Could it really be that easy? At 10pm last night, I unwrapped the crockpot and found...yogurt. It tastes like and has the same consistency of the store bought yogurt for a fraction of the cost.

It's probably not something I'd bother with if I didn't have such a voracious yogurt eater, but I have a feeling I'll be making quite a few batches during this season of our lives.

Caleb wasn't so sure about his first bite of yogurt way back in March, but now, it's a breakfast staple

7 comments:

Mama C said...

Wasn't the crock pot the greatest invention ever!? I used this recipe a while back and was amazed that it actually looked like yogurt when I opened the lid! The picture of your little yogurt eater is adorable!

The Vogt Family said...

I may be brave for using diaper pins, but YOU are brave for making your own yogurt. Go Sarah! :)

Sarah_Joy said...

It's the crock pot, I'm telling you! There is something about that appliance that just makes me say, "Yes. I. Can." : )

Stephanie Cunningham said...

I love it! I always love a new challenge of trying to make something homemade...this one seems to be very cost effective for you guys...nicely done!

AmyKB said...

wow, neat! Do you know how to flavor it? I assume this makes the regular kind... obviously you could mix in fruit, but what if you wanted vanilla? just add vanilla extract?

Sarah_Joy said...

I honestly have no idea! Caleb just eats it plain, and I stir honey into mine : )If you find out, let me know too!

Tiffany said...

I make this recipe all of the time! I then strain it through cheesecloth for two days - voila Greek Yogurt! We all love it! My favorite way to eat it is with a little honey drizzled on top and a few walnuts mixed in. Yummm!

Be Blessed.
~Tiffany