How To Make Full-Fat Greek Yogurt At Home [In A Crockpot/Slow Cooker]
I use greek yogurt quite a bit as an amazing protein source in my break-fasts. Unfortunately, a high quality greek yogurt can be hard to find and quite expensive. Today, I'm sharing a super simple method to make your own greek yogurt at home (and save money in the process!)!
What Are The Benefits Of Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt, when done the right way, is an amazing health food. It's extremely rich in protein, calcium and an essential vitamin called K2. Just 1 cup of greek yogurt contains around 20 grams of protein, making it a simple vegetarian protein source. As greek yogurt is fermented and strained, it's also a fairly low lactose product, making it ideal for those who are sensitive to lactose.
If you're using a full-fat and grass-fed greek yogurt, you get the added perk of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is most well known for helping to activate a protein that transports calcium out of the arteries and into the bones. Because of this, it's been thought to help prevent the calcification of arteries while simultaneously boosting bone health.(1,2) Unfortunately, if you're using a low-fat and grain-fed greek yogurt, you're completely missing out on the vitamin K2 perks. Vitamin K2 is made in cows by converting vitamin K1 in grass into K2. So if a cow is grain-fed, it doesn't have the opportunity to make this essential conversion. Even if you DO use a grass-fed greek yogurt, if you opt for low or zero fat, you will also miss out on the K2, as it's a fat soluble vitamin and requires fat for transport. This is why opting for a full-fat AND grass-fed option is key.
Another unfortunate fact about full-fat, grass-fed greek yogurt is that it can be incredibly hard to find OR expensive. This is what lead me down the path of figuring out a way to make grass-fed, full-fat greek yogurt at home and save some money in the process. As you'll learn with my video below, this simple recipe ends up saving me about $436 a year!!
Not to mention there's such a weird satisfaction you get from making your own greek yogurt out of milk. Trust me, you'll feel the same way when you try making it yourself.
The process of making greek yogurt is quite simple, but does take a bit of time. Below I have both a written recipe AND a video to walk you through the process so you can gain access to high quality grass-fed, full-fat greek yogurt while saving money, too!
How To Make Full-Fat Greek Yogurt At Home
The entire recipe doesn't take much active effort, however the fermentation and straining process takes quite a while. For this reason, I recommend starting to make the recipe a day and a half before you need it.
Full-Fat, Grass-fed Greek Yogurt
Makes about 48 oz. of greek yogurt
Ingredients and Tools:
1/2 gallon grass-fed, full-fat milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt (from a previous batch or store-bought with active live cultures)
Crockpot (I use a 4 quart sized Crockpot)
Greek Yogurt Strainer (THIS is the one I use)
With the crockpot OFF, add the milk to the crockpot. Once added, cover and turn on LOW for 2.5 hours.
After 2.5 hours, turn the crockpot OFF and unplug it. Keep the crockpot covered and allow to cool for an additional 3 hours.
While the milk is cooling for 3 hours, measure out 1/2 cup greek yogurt and allow it to get to room temperature. (This is to ensure that your greek yogurt doesn't make the milk cool too quickly when added into the milk and hinder fermentation.)
After 3 hours, add the greek yogurt to the milk and give it a quick whisk. Cover the crockpot (while still turned OFF) and wrap it with a large dishtowel to help keep it insulated. Let this sit for 12-18 hours. (The longer you let it sit and ferment within that range, the less lactose the final product will contain.)
After sitting for 12-18 hours, you should now have yogurt. To make your yogurt into greek yogurt, we have one final step.
Pour your yogurt into a greek yogurt strainer (see the one I use listed in the ingredients and tools section above). This will remove excess lactose and water to make for a final greek yogurt product more concentrated in protein. Cover and allow to strain in the fridge for 12-18 hours (depending on how thick you like your greek yogurt).
The top, strained part is your greek yogurt. Pour this in glass containers and store in the fridge. The bottom part is "whey water". You can toss this or use it for future recipes (I'm currently experimenting with making homemade ricotta cheese from it).
As the greek yogurt is a fermented product, it should last for a few weeks in the fridge. You can also double this recipe if you have a larger crockpot.