I love ice cream.
Yes, I know, everybody loves ice cream, but my love for the deliciously sweet,smoothly textured dessert from Heaven can be obsessive. I could, very easily eat a quart every day. After a long, grueling day at work, I would reward myself with two large bowls every night before going to bed.
It wasn't harming me, I told myself. In spite of all the ice cream I was inhaling, I was still burning more calories than I was consuming so I wasn't gaining weight. Why shouldn't I indulge myself if I wasn't suffering any ill effects?
After my latest "health risk assessment" - when blood was drawn and tests taken - I learned that the ice cream was affecting in ways that weren't healthy. My glucose level was too high as was my triglyceride levels. The totals weren't so high that I need medication, but it was clear that I needed to make changes in my diet.
So, I agreed to eliminate ice cream completely for a month. I've still a couple of weeks to go.
I've looked around for healthy substitutes. Yogurt seemed a good choice. Not frozen yogurt but honest to goodness real yogurt. Problem is, although commercially produced yogurt may be healthier than ice cream, it still leaves much to be desired......added sugars, gelatin and who knows what else.
It would be much better, I believed, to make my own yogurt at home. Unfortunately, yogurt incubators aren't as easy to find as they may once have been. A Google search lead me to two websites ( #1 and #2) explaining how to make yogurt using a crock pot.
The instructions are essentially identical:
Turn crockpot to low setting. Add 1/2 gallon of milk and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
After the milk has cooked, unplugged the crockpot and let the milk set for 3 hours.
When the 5 1/2 hours have passed, remove 2 cups of the warm milk - put in a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup of store bought, plain active culture yogurt (after the first batch, you can save a 1/2 cup of your home made yogurt to use as a starter).
Return the milk and starter to the crockpot. Stir in.
Put the lid back on the crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.
Now, let the little bacteria do their thing for 8 hours.
The yogurt will have thickened ......though not as thick as store bought yogurt. It's supposed to thicken up a bit more after the yogurt is divided into smaller containers and refrigerated.
How good is the recipe?
Well, I started my first batch this morning. It's not ready yet, so my verdict will have to come in another blog post.