Super Easy Slow Cooker Homemade Yogurt (No Straining) & Refrigerator Oatmeal

This is one of those recipes that I had to ask myself…why have I not been doing this forever?!? I am amazed at how easy it is to have a bunch of homemade yogurt to put in my fridge for a lot less money than buying it at the store.  Also, I love knowing EXACTLY what’s in my yogurt.

My recipe for slow cooker homemade yogurt has been adapted from Money Saving Mom’s recipe here.

This step is NOT necessary, but….If you would like a thicker yogurt or Greek yogurt, here are some tips for straining your yogurt. If you do this, you can save the whey that is strained.  Freeze in ice cube trays or containers.  I have made this Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffin recipe using strained whey.

Interesting articles about uses for whey…

Whey in baking

How to Use Leftover Whey

I used to strain all my yogurt, but found that the extra step was too much for me.  Now, it works out great to make my yogurt into refrigerator oatmeal.  The oats soak up some of that liquid and it makes for a great texture.

Here’s the recipe.

Super Easy Slow Cooker Homemade Yogurt

Ingredients

  • About 12 cups Whole Milk (I pour enough milk so that it is roughly 2 inches from the top of the slow cooker)

    • Note: more or less…I’ve used 8 cups with this same recipe before and it turned out the same)

  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt

    • Note: This recipe is pretty forgiving, so this amount can be altered if needed. For the first batch, you will need to buy plain yogurt from the store as a starter.  For future batches, just reserve 1/2 cup from your last batch of homemade to use as a starter for the next one.

Tools

  • Slow Cooker

  • 2 Bath Towels

  • Whisk

Step 1: Pour milk into slow cooker.

Step 2: Turn slow cooker on LOW for 2-1/2 HOURS.

Step 3: Turn slow cooker OFF, *UNPLUG SLOW COOKER*, and let sit for 5 HOURS.

Step 4: Mix in plain yogurt using a whisk.

Step 5: Wrap slow cook with 2 towels, each towel in a different direction. Let sit 12 – 18 HOURS. Make sure slow cooker is unplugged!

Step 6: Ladle yogurt into containers or make Refrigerator Oatmeal (see below).

Step 7: Refrigerate for 8 HOURS.

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Maple Blueberry Refrigerator Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Old Fashioned Oats

  • 1-2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

  • 1/2 C. Yogurt

  • 1/2 C. Blueberries

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a container in order listed.  Stir gently to mix.

Step 2: Refrigerate 8 HOURS.

 

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Tot School 2014 – Week 3

We spread this week’s plans out over the span of two weeks because we had some very special people come to visit – Grandpa & Grandma Black.  Such a wonderful time for all of us and I am sitting here feeling so grateful for family that spends their time and money to come see us – it takes so much sacrifice to travel our way and I’m really appreciative of that generosity and love.  And you’d think we’d give them a vacation 🙂 but they spent a lot of their time helping us corral two little ones, cooking, and doing dishes!…couldn’t be more thankful for those two.

Well, after a few weeks of planned activities, observing how little B reacts to the books/activities, and too much time reading blogs, I am tweaking a couple things.  Starting with Week 4, we will be using the Sonlight P3/4 Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Fun for Little Learners curriculum for some guidance in what to read and to make things easier planning-wise for me.  This guide is mainly just a big checklist of classic stories and fairy tales to read aloud to B with easy activities (pretend play, cooking, etc.) that encourage quality time and a love for learning about the world around him.

I still would like to do the Before Five in a Row book that I talked about here; however, it has been backordered on Amazon a long time…so we decided to go a different route.

I was a little leery to buy the huge package of books that comes with the Songlight P3/4 curriculum, so I just purchased the companion guide for now.  We visit the library almost weekly, and I was able to see through the online catalog that our interlibrary loan will have all the books we need. We checked out the first book already, Harper Collins Treasury, and have started reading through the stories.  B is loving the stories and has asked to read a couple of them twice.  I love watching his enthusiasm for reading grow and look forward to the simple (and already planned out) activities that go along with the stories.

We will also be dropping the Fitness Fun Busy Book.  I feel like there is enough structure for B with the other activities.  I’d like him to have some time to decide what to do on his own when we go outside.

The Plans – Week 3

  • Bible/Devotional book
    • The Beginner’s Bible for Toddlers
  • Habit
    • Morning routine – Dressed, brush teeth, make bed
  • Living Book – Paddington
    • Make a suitcase (from a cereal box), scrapbook, and orange marmalade (orange playdoh in a jar)
    • Have tea (milk) with cakes or toast/jam – use little teacups
  • Independent Activity
    • Binoculars
    • Poker chips
    • Fall sensory bin
  • Curious George – Home for Pigeons (S1:E2)
    • Feed the birds and use binoculars to watch them
    • Examine bird seed to see what birds eat, sensory bin
    • Make a home for birds or bird feeder

Books…

beginnersbible

duckling gets a cookie

harpercollinstreasury

pigeon finds a hotdog

pigeon takes a bath

paddington

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BigThoughts

sillysnacks

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 What we loved…

  1. A special trip to the store to buy binoculars and using them to look for birds
  2. Drinking about 10 cups of milk out of a tiny cup while Mommy tensed every time B picked it up…these were my tea cups from Italy (only ones I had)…yes, I’m nuts to let my toddler use them.
  3. Mo Willems books…Pigeon Needs a Bath was probably the fave.
  4. A wonderful visit from Grandma and Grandpa. 🙂
  5. …and the camera. Can you guess which photos are B’s?

 

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Tot School 2014-2015

Tot School 2014 – Week 2

 The Plans – Week 2

  • Bible/Devotional book
    • Big Thoughts for Little People
  • Habit
    • Morning routine – Dressed, brush teeth, make bed
  • Living Book – Guess How Much I Love You
    • Chat: Who do you love? How big/fast/tall is your love?
    • Act out book
    • Sing Skinamarinkki Dinky Dink
    • Measure how long he can stretch is arms, how high he can jump
  • Independent Activity
    • Plastic animals
    • Detective Kit (see below)
    • Puzzles
  • Curious George – From Scratch (S1:E1)
    • Make a detective kit (magnifying glass, spoon, flashlight, tweezers, ruler, camera, etc)
    • Plastic animal tracks in playdoh
    • Look for animal tracks outside
    • Play with magnifying glass outside
    • Eat cannoli!
  • Fitness Busy Book
    • Riding Toys (13% on Kindle)
  • Cookbook
    • Broccoli Haystacks

Books…

guesshowmuch

 

 

 

 

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BigThoughts

 

 

 

sillysnacks

 

 

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What we loved…

  1. Camera…so, we (the parents), no longer own our camera…it is now B’s camera.  Or so he says. He loved taking pics throughout our week, and I am definitely NOT posting the crystal clear, full-frame picture he got of my behind!
  2. Detective kit + moth (see pictures below).  He examined the moth with a magnifying glass. He pick up the moth…with scissors. He photographed his own eyeball. He photographed the moth. He stepped on the moth.
  3. Tracks in the play-doh.
  4. Acting out the book Guess How Much I Love You.

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This was the – “We are NOT going inside” – face.

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Tot School 2014-2015