Years ago I tried my hand at making crock pot yogurt. I or my family didn’t care for it at all. I made the mistake of making plain yogurt instead of the sweet vanilla that we normally prefer. Beyond that, it came out runny and we like thicker yogurt. I quickly went back to buying store-bought yogurt.
Recently, my family has been back on a yogurt kick and I came across this vanilla bean and maple yogurt recipe. I am not a big fan of maple flavor so I changed around the recipe a bit. I came up with an easy slow cooker vanilla bean yogurt that is just the right amount of sweet and very thick.
I recommend starting by using whole milk. I have read before that the more protein in the yogurt the thicker it will be. Add 12 cups of milk to a crock pot and set it on low for about 2-3 hours until the milk reaches 190 degrees. Then turn off the slow cooker, remove the crock from the heating element and let cool down to 120 degrees. This took about 1 1/2 hours for me.
Once the milk has reached 120 degrees remove 2 cups of the milk and stir in 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste and 8 oz. of yogurt. The vanilla bean paste is what gives the yogurt the sweet vanilla taste. You should be able to find vanilla bean paste near the vanilla at the store or you can get it here from Amazon.
When the yogurt and milk have been mixed well you can pour the mixture back into the crockpot and stir well. Place the lid back on it and keep at temperature for about 10-12 hours. I started my yogurt in the afternoon and just stored it in the oven overnight to keep it warm.
After 12 hours you have yogurt! I pulled out the crockpot to find this creamy yummy yogurt.
From here you can do one of two things. If you like your yogurt thinner then you can move the yogurt from the crock pot to the containers. If you prefer thicker yogurt then I recommend letting some of the whey drain from the yogurt. Place a paper towel in a strainer and then let the strainer sit on top of a bowl for about 30 minutes to an hour. When the yogurt reaches the thickness you prefer remove it from the strainer and store in the containers.
I like to use ball canning jars to store my yogurt. I usually put some yogurt in 1 or 2 of the large ball canning jars. I use the rest of the yogurt to fill some smaller ball jars. I like the way I can just grab an individual serving from the fridge. You can also add some jams to the yogurts to give it even more flavor. My son loves homemade raspberry jam in his vanilla bean yogurt.
This slow cooker vanilla bean yogurt will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. If you want to make more yogurt remember to save about 8 oz. of the yogurt to help cultivate the next batch.
Slow Cooker Vanilla Bean Yogurt
12 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
8 oz. yogurt
Add 12 cups of milk to a crock pot and set it on low for about 2-3 hours until the milk reaches 190 degrees. Then turn off the slow cooker, remove the crock from the heating element and let cool down to 120 degrees. When the milk has reached 120 degrees remove 2 cups of the milk and stir in 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste and 8 oz. of yogurt. Pour the mixture back into the crockpot and stir well. Place the lid back on it and keep at temperature for about 10-12 hours. Strain if desired. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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