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!!


  1. I bought a special maker, which you use hot water. I buy he yoghurt mix. But after a couple of monhs, I got tired of it. I still have 1/2 a container of it which I was thinking of freezing, but never got round to doing it.

  2. I admit, I have jumped on the Greek yogurt craze. I was looking for another breakfast menu and the low sugar, fat, carbs and high protein counts is what has drawn me in. I cut up 5 strawberries with 1/4 - 1/2 cup yogurt. It wasn't that pleasant at first, but after adding some splendia in the mix I am enjoying it. It's expensive, but for me it's better then cereal or bread in the morning.

  3. Can't imagine paying that much for a "faddish" yogurt.

    I've become a fan of Yoplait whipped chocolate raspberry.

    How about adding minced cucumber to your yogurt for a great salad dressing?

  4. Since you're posting this online, maybe you should call it Geek Yogurt.

  5. I love plain yoghurt too! Tart and plain, not stirred or sweetened. I also used to make my own yoghurt years ago when the children were small. In those days, I used to buy a small container of plain yoghurt for the culture, bring some milk to an almost boil, stir in the culture and place the mixture in the oven overnight. It worked every time! Now, the yoghurt you buy in the grocery stores is so processed that it cannot be used as a culture any more.

    Great that you can make your own Greek yoghurt. I'd love to give that method a try. Sounds easy.

  6. I strain my yogurt as well to make Greek yogurt whenever I need it (we use it in the place of sour cream in more places.) I also keep the whey since it is full of good stuff and add it in smoothies, bread or sometimes just drink it.

    I have never tried making yogurt, though I wonder how different it is from making paneer (cheese made from whole milk and lemon juice.) Actually I wonder if I could just use the strained whey as a yogurt starter. My dehydrator has a temperature setting to male yogurt...

  7. I love Greek is usually more expensive than regular..but i have found it in a few places where its not too pricey.
    I used to make plain yogurt from scratch..well except for milking the cows..hee hee..
    Will have to try your recipe..


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