Fat Free Greek Yogurt

Last week, one of my teenagers firmly and dramatically bellowed that they “work harder than any other person in this family!!!”  Aaaahhh….to be so stupid.

These types of mothering experiences are those that make me go hmmmm.  (Cue CC Music Factory).

Do they really believe that?  Are they that wrapped up in themselves that they honestly don’t see the unending slavery we go through on their behalf?

I know they will learn for themselves how eternally frustrating rewarding this all is when they become parents themselves.  But by then, I will be too senile to enjoy their misery.

Make this yogurt.  Make it now!   You will never go back to buying it.  It is sweeter and not as tart.  Not to mention, it is loads cheaper to make yourself.   I love the texture just as it is, but if you like it thicker, just strain it for a few hours in some cheesecloth or coffee filter to allow some of the whey to drain.

There are so many variations of this recipe out there, but after much research, this is my own take on quite a few different recipes.  If you don’t want to use your crock pot, you can complete this on top of your stove, but be sure you don’t scorch your milk when bringing it to 180 degrees.  I like the crock pot method because I can dump it in and walk away.

You can certainly make this with higher fat milk as well, but I needed fat free.  Also, be creative with what you mix in with your yogurt.  My kids favorite is my homemade raspberry jam but you can easily recreate your favorite store bought flavors at home.  In fact, I usually just add a bit of my favorite Crystal Light powder.  Great fruit flavor with no added sugar.

Some people have struggled with making yogurt at home, but it is EASY!  Newbies can sometimes make one of these mistakes:

  • You added the live yogurt when the milk was too hot and killed it
  • You used ultra pasteurized milk which won’t work
  • Your live yogurt wasn’t really “live”.  Be sure the label mentions active live yogurt!
  • You didn’t keep it warm enough during the overnight period.  Some people like to wrap it with an electric heating pad just to be sure :)

Fat Free Greek Yogurt
makes about 9 C
1/2 gallon (8 C) skim milk
1 C nonfat powdered milk
1 C store bought plain nonfat greek yogurt (or once you have made this recipe, just use 1 C of the stuff you made!)

1.  Combine the milk and powdered milk in your crock pot.  Heat on high for around 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the milk is at least 180 degrees.
2.  Leave the cover on (or a skin will form on top) and allow the mixture to cool about 2 hours until it is around 110 degrees but be sure it is below 120 degrees or it will kill the active yogurt cultures you are about to add.  It helps to occasionally open the lid as it cools and stir to allow the heat to escape faster.
3.  Remove a couple ladles of the warm milk mixture and whisk in the store bought yogurt until smooth.  Add this mixture into the warm milk in the crock and whisk until completely mixed.  Promptly cover your crock and wrap your crock pot with a thick blanket or two.  Your desire is to keep this mixture warm for as long as possible.  Allow it to sit 8 – 12 hours.
4.  You can now either eat your yogurt as is or strain it in some cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove some of the excess whey.  That will result in a thicker yogurt.  I carefully transfer it to a rubbermaid container without mixing it.  As it sits, the excess whey will rise to the sides which you can then remove with a spoon.  Each time I get some yogurt out, I remove any whey that has pooled.
5.  Add your favorite toppings:  jelly or jam, honey, nuts, granola, fresh fruit (whole or pureed), maple syrup or other sweetener.


  1. says

    As the mother of 3 teens and 1 young adult – YES! They really are that wrapped up in themselves. Some more than others of course. I can’t wait until they hit their 30s…. I’m assured that’s when they realize all the time and effort we put into their upbringing.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this recipe for making Greek Yogurt at home. I eat it every single day, and love the idea that I can save money by making it myself. Thanks!!


  2. says

    Love this! Julius goes through GOBS of yogurt. It is one of the 4 foods he will eat. HyVee has their milk on sale for $1 tomorrow so I will have to try it out. Any suggestions for vanilla flavor?

  3. says

    Try using a bit of vanilla flavoring with some type of sweetener added. If you had any vanilla bean, that would be outstanding, but not quite as cheap as vanilla flavoring :) I scoop up individual servings of the plain yogurt and then flavor each serving according to what each kids wants because they never want the same….

  4. says

    Do you make the powder milk or use it dry? I want to try it today.

    PS whenever I read your facebook or blog, I miss you. You are an amazing person.

  5. says

    Great recipe Carole. I added 1 T pectin to the mixture when I added the starter and it came out perfect. No need to strain and it doesn’t really separate either. (My new go-to recipe! Thanks!)

  6. Anonymous says

    Do you know if you have to use a crock pot? I live overseas where crock pots aren’t available and wondered if there is an alternative?

    • says

      You can use the stove or oven as well. The temperatures and fermenting time is what is most important. I like a crockpot because I doesn’t have to be watched. Do some online research for the oven method.

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