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Vanilla Yogurt- Ninja Foodi Recipe

The second that the new NINJA FOODI DELUXE came out, I immediately bought it!  I’m not exaggerating!  I signed up for email notifications for the minute that it was available on the Ninja website.  I ordered it the day that it came out and was so incredibly excited to get it in the mail 2 days later!  Why was I excited?  Well, there’s the updated look of the unit, but there’s also the fact that it has a YOGURT button!!!!  What?  Yes!!!!!!

So, I don’t eat a lot of yogurt, but my family does so I figured this was a pretty good excuse to get a new NINJA FOODI!!  :)

I was so excited to get to work on my very first homemade yogurt that I didn’t do a lot of research……..and I paid deeply for that mistake!  But, lucky for you, I’m sharing all of my mistakes with you so that you don’t make the same ones!

Take 1:  My first attempt at making yogurt!!

  • I was so excited to make yogurt that I didn’t spend enough time looking through the user manual of my new NINJA FOODI DELUXE!!  OOOOPS!  So, I ended up slow cooking milk for roughly 12 hours.  I don’t recommend this to anyone.  The final result was a liquid brown smelly goo.  I did not have any yogurt!!!
  • I made the mistake of stopping on the function that says slow cook/yogurt.  I didn’t realize that I needed to go one more notch to actually get to the yogurt function.  Instead, I ended up waiting for the milk to boil for roughly 5 hours before going to bed for the night.  The cookbook that comes with the Ninja Foodi said that it could take several hours for the milk to boil.  Yes, 5 hours seemed like a long time.  I spent some time online looking to see how long it should take and I came up with nothing.  So, I let it keep going……for hours and hours.
  • When I woke up in the morning, the screen still had not changed.  So, I opened up the lid…and there it was……my boiled milk.  Gross.  I poured it down the drain and decided to start again.

Take 2:  Do Over!!

  • Thank goodness I bought an entire gallon of milk for try number one.  I had only used half of the gallon so I didn’t need to go to the grocery store for more supplies.  This round, I actually pushed the turned the dial until it said “yogurt!!”  I know- it seems so easy!  I don’t know how I missed this the first time.
  • I used the same milk, yogurt starter, vanilla and honey.  I followed the same exact steps.  The only difference is that the screen actually changed to show “boil, “”add and stir,” and “incubate!”  We are making progress!!  The boiling portion did not take 5 hours this time.  To my amazement, it boiled in less than an hour!  Yippeee!!!  We are going to have real yogurt this time!!!  Finally, the beep went off and it was time to see my beautiful, thick, yogurt.  And then it happened!  I opened the lid and I had yogurt soup!  What the heck!!!???
  • Ok, so- lesson learned.  DO NOT ADD HONEY while the yogurt is cooking! Why you ask?  Apparently honey has something in it that reacts with the active yogurt cultures that prevents the yogurt from fully forming.  Once again- I should have researched this before making it.  Lucky for you, I made this mistake so that you don’t have to.
  • To try and get the yogurt a little thicker, I put it in the refrigerator overnight. It did get a little thicker but was still more like drinkable yogurt and less like regular yogurt.   Once we got past the consistency (similar to white glue lol), the flavor was actually pretty good.  We were moving in the right direction!!

Take 3:  Third time’s a charm!!

  • Ok, so I ran out of milk and yogurt starter so I needed to go to the store to get more supplies.  I bought different milk and yogurt.  I figured at this point it couldn’t hurt.  I bought the highest fat % yogurt that I could find.  5%!  That’s got to do something right!?!
  • At this point, I was determined to make actual yogurt!  I used the actual yogurt function and skipped the honey and vanilla.  Needless to say, my family had lost faith in my yogurt making abilities but I was determined to get it right!  To my amazement, it worked!!!  I ended up with thick, beautiful yogurt!!!  Directions and recipe below to accomplish Take 3 yogurt….I’ll spare you all of the details on Take 1 and Take 2!

 

Tips for this recipe:

  1. Do not add honey to the yogurt until you have completed the incubation period and have refrigerated the yogurt for a couple of hours.
  2. Be sure that you are actually using the “yogurt” function and not the “slow cook” option.
  3. Be patient!  If the yogurt does not set up quite as much as you would like, continue to incubate it longer.  You can continue to incubate before you reach the refrigeration step.

How to make Vanilla Yogurt in the Ninja Foodi:

  1. Turn the Ninja Foodi Deluxe “on.”
  2. Choose the “yogurt” function.  (Be sure that the screen says yogurt and not “hi.”)
  3. Pour in 1/2 gallon of milk.  Do not add in yogurt, flavors or sweeteners.  Only the milk should be added in this step.
  4. Close the “pressure cooker” lid and move valve to “vent.”
  5. Push the start button.  The screen should say “yogurt” and be set to a time of 8:00.
  6. Milk will boil in the pot during the initial cooking time.  Once the milk has reached a boil, the Ninja Foodi Deluxe will beep and the screen will say “boil” on it.  This step should take about an hour.
  7. After the milk has boiled, it will need to cool.  The Ninja Foodi Deluxe will automatically change to the “cool” mode.  The milk will cool for about an hour.
  8. Once the milk has cooled, the Ninja Foodi Deluxe will beep and the screen will say “add and stir.”  When this happens, open the “pressure cooker” lid.
  9. Add in 2 tablespoons of yogurt (the yogurt must have active yogurt cultures).
  10. Whisk the milk and yogurt together with a plastic or silicone whisk.  Do not use a metal whisk as this will scrape the pot.
  11. Replace the “pressure cooker” lid and make sure valve is set to “vent” position.
  12. Push start button again to get the Ninja Foodi Deluxe going again.
  13. The screen should now say “incubate” and be set to 8 hours.
  14. Let the yogurt incubate.  When the timer beeps, remove the lid and check to make sure that the yogurt has set up.  You can do so by stick a spoon in the middle of the yogurt.  The spoon should stand up on it’s own.
  15. Refrigerate yogurt for at least 4 hours.
  16. Add in honey and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.  Stir until well combined.
  17. Place into mason jars or whatever food storage containers you prefer.

Ingredients for Vanilla Yogurt in the Ninja Foodi:

  • 1/2 Gallon of whole milk- Ultra-pasteurized worked best for me
  • 2 Tablespoons of yogurt- it must have active yogurt cultures
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 Cup of honey

Vanilla Yogurt- Ninja Foodi Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 8 Cups
Calories: 216kcal
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Equipment

  • Ninja Foodi Deluxe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon Milk (Ultra Pasteurized)
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt (Plain with active yogurt cultures- Any brand will do but the Fage 5% plain Greek yogurt worked for me!)
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract (I used vanilla bean paste! :))
  • 1/2 cup Honey

Instructions

  • Turn the Ninja Foodi Deluxe "on."Choose the "yogurt" function.  (Be sure that the screen says yogurt and not "hi.")
  • Pour in 1/2 gallon of milk.  Do not add in yogurt, flavors or sweeteners.  Only the milk should be added in this step.
  • Close the "pressure cooker" lid and move valve to "vent."
  • Push the start button.  The screen should say "yogurt" and be set to a time of 8:00.
  • Milk will boil in the pot during the initial cooking time.  Once the milk has reached a boil, the Ninja Foodi Deluxe will beep and the screen will say "boil" on it.  This step should take about an hour.
  • After the milk has boiled, it will need to cool.  The Ninja Foodi Deluxe will automatically change to the "cool" mode.  The milk will cool for about an hour.
  • Once the milk has cooled, the Ninja Foodi Deluxe will beep and the screen will say "add and stir."  When this happens, open the "pressure cooker" lid.Add in 2 tablespoons of yogurt (the yogurt must have active yogurt cultures).
  • Whisk the milk and yogurt together with a plastic or silicone whisk.  Do not use a metal whisk as this will scrape the pot.
  • Replace the "pressure cooker" lid and make sure valve is set to "vent" position.
  • Push start button again to get the Ninja Foodi Deluxe going again.
  • The screen should now say "incubate" and be set to 8 hours.Let the yogurt incubate.  When the timer beeps, remove the lid and check to make sure that the yogurt has set up.  You can do so by stick a spoon in the middle of the yogurt.  The spoon should stand up on it's own.
  • Refrigerate yogurt for at least 4 hours.
  • Add in honey and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.  Stir until well combined.
  • Place into mason jars or whatever food storage containers you prefer.

Tips for this recipe:

  1. Do not add honey to the yogurt until you have completed the incubation period and have refrigerated the yogurt for a couple of hours.
  2. Be sure that you are actually using the "yogurt" function and not the "slow cook" option.
  3. Be patient!  If the yogurt does not set up quite as much as you would like, continue to incubate it longer.  You can continue to incubate before you reach the refrigeration step.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe? Let us know how it turned out in a comment below!

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. I found this just in time. I too slow cooked milk for about 12 hours last week. I never really understand the directions that came with my foodi. I decided to try again today. I had looked high and low for videos or a blog and never found anything helpful until now! Thank you so much! I was set up for failure today as well. I was slow cooking milk again until I saw your instructions that there is one more setting in there. That is a terrible design, by the way!! Now I am learning from your other mistakes and making sore I only add the yogurt starter!! Thank you so much for this!!!

  2. 5 stars
    YAY! I did it on the first try! I let it hang in the fridge in cheesecloth all night though, and almost made cheese!! But I added back in some whey liquid and it’s quite nice!

  3. Thank you!! I just slow cooked milk for 8hrs. I knew it wasn’t right but didn’t figure it out until I read your post. The foodi recipe is not very helpful. Here’s to take #2!!

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