Homemade vanilla bean yogurt and stone fruit granola bowls are a healthy and delicious breakfast recipe. In this recipe, vanilla bean yogurt is made Greek-style from scratch. It is layered on top of crunchy granola and fresh stone fruit. These granola bowls are the perfect way to brighten your day!
There is one way that I start almost every single one of my days, and that is with yogurt of some kind. It’s usually mixed with granola and fruit. Although, we live in a super small town, we have an amazing co-op who sells the most incredible granola. I hardly even make the stuff anymore! That’s how addicting it is! I am totally getting off point here, so anyway, the point is I eat a lot of yogurt and granola.
It was as I was walking through the co-op looking at all of the outrageously priced yogurts, that I realized I needed to start making it myself. I got kind of obsessed with one brand of locally made yogurt. They used vanilla bean as the flavoring, and I just went crazy for it. I still go crazy for it when I want to spend 11 bucks for 2 cups of it, but most often, I don’t want to spend this much. I started making my own, and I never looked back.
I think there is a common misconception on a lot of homemade foods being hard to make. This is totally not true. I have made my own cheeses, my own butter and now my own yogurt, and not one of them was difficult. The one thing that remains to be true about a lot of these items is that they take a lot of time to make. They do. A lot of them can take days to complete. Yogurt happens to take about 15 hours to make, but most of this time is inactive. It can be done in a weekend, and you’ll have yogurt for weeks.
I like to treat making yogurt like making sourdough bread. It requires a starter, and it’s always important to remember that as you make yogurt you always have to put a little bit aside as a starter. Don’t be scared of recipes like this. It really is insanely simple to make, and once you make it for the first time, I promise you will never look back.
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it for you. Pair it with a vanilla porter if you’re feeling extra crazy in the AM. Have a great day! xoxo
Add the milk and vanilla bean paste to your slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 2 hours. At this point, check the temperature of the milk using a candy thermometer or something similar. Once the milk has reached 180 degrees F, turn the slow cooker off and let the milk stand at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the milk has reached about 105 degrees.
Ladle 2 cups of the milk into a large measuring cup and whisk in the yogurt. Transfer the mixture back to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. At this point, you can add any additional flavorings. I only use the vanilla bean paste, but you can add in additional flavorings (vanilla extract, honey, jam, etc).
Taking paper towels or a thin dish cloth, place it over the slow cooker, leaving a bit of overhang. Place the lid back on and place the slow cooker in an undisturbed dark and warm place. I place it in my pantry. Let the yogurt sit for about 8 hours.
After about 8 hours, check the yogurt and make it has thickened substantially. If it hasn't, place the towel and lid back on. Let it stand until the desired thickness has been reached. (NOTE: It usually only take me about 8 hours, but on occasion, it has taken 10-12 hours depending on the temperature of the room.)
At this point, you can continue on and make this yogurt "Greek," or just refrigerate it and treat it as plain yogurt. I tend to make it the "Greek-style" to get rid of any whey, but this is up to you. To continue on making this yogurt "Greek," refrigerate the yogurt for 2-3 hours or until thickened substantially. Remove it from the fridge. Layer about 5 sheets of cheesecloth on a strainer that sits above a bowl. Pour the yogurt on top and let it stand for about an hour. Transfer the yogurt to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to eat. You may also choose to strain the yogurt a second time after it has chilled for a second time. The first time may not be enough to get rid of the whey. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.
Prepare your stone fruit granola bowls by layering homemade vanilla bean yogurt and stone fruit over your favorite granola. Enjoy immediately!
You will use store-bought yogurt to create your first batch of yogurt. Once you have completed this recipe, you will use your homemade yogurt as the starter. Just make sure to always set aside a cup for starter purposes.
This batch usually lasts about two weeks for me, but may be different for you depending on how much you eat per day. Make this recipe as needed.