Thursday, March 17, 2011
How to Make Greek Yogurt
Plain yogurt has been a favourite food of mine for many years. It was about 1970 when a friend gave Mom some bacterial culture and taught her how to make yogurt in a thermos with sterilized milk. Later, I bought an electric yogurt maker which was used for years until the plastic exterior deteriorated. I visited Israel around 1977 and remember the delicious pots of thick, white, creamy yogurt which were staples at the breakfast buffets we enjoyed. I never developed a taste for sweetened versions, many of which are thickened with other starches. My dairy consumption is down to a minimum in recent years but I do eat cultured milk products from time to time.
There is a Greek yogurt craze at the moment. Containers of no fat Greek yogurt boast 20g of protein per 175 g portion and grocery stores cannot keep them in stock. We used to call Greek yogurt “yogurt cheese” and I made it as a substitute for sour cream or cream cheese. Yesterday I ran into a friend at the grocery store who was looking for Greek yogurt as it was recommended at her Weight Watchers group. There was one 500 ml container on the dairy shelf and it cost over $5.00.
So I decided to make some for myself and it was well worth the effort and was considerable cheaper too.
A 750g container of plain no fat yogurt cost me $2.99 at a discount grocery store. This plain yogurt is better tasting than similar products sold by our major dairy companies.
I lined a fine sieve with 3 thicknesses of cheesecloth, placed it over a bowl and dumped the plain yogurt into the sieve.
Within two hours, a little over 250 ml of whey was in the bowl and 500 ml of delicious Greek yogurt was in the sieve. It tasted even better after sitting overnight in the refrigerator and in my opinion, was superior to the container of Greek yogurt I did purchase.
What can you make with Greek yogurt? It is delicious as a parfait with fruit and granola. It can be used as a base for dips like tzatziki or raita. Or you can eat it in a traditional fashion, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with fresh nutmeats. A little goes a long way. Yummy!!