It’s all Greek to Me
By Leanne Ely CNC
I’ve been touting the healthy benefits of eating yogurt for over 10 years now. It works well for people who are lactose intolerant and it’s a great added source of calcium. Plus, it makes a great substitute for things like sour cream and mayo.
While most everyone is familiar with regular yogurt there are many out there who have not tried Greek yogurt yet. It’s creamier and thicker than regular yogurt while providing some solid health benefits over regular yogurt. Greek yogurt has more nutritional value than regular yogurt. In addition, it can be used to prepare dishes that require hot temperatures without curdling which makes it easier to replace that sour cream in cooked dishes. Try using it as a substitute for sour cream next time you make Beef Stroganoff!
Greek yogurt has double the protein in the finished product than regular yogurt. This is because it is strained 3 times rather than just the 2 times that regular yogurt is strained. The triple straining removes so much liquid whey that it leaves the Greek yogurt very rich in protein. Greek yogurt is also lower in carbohydrates than regular yogurt as well has having 50 percent less sodium.
The only area where Greek yogurt isn’t as effective as regular yogurt is in calcium content. Because of the triple straining a lot of the calcium is removed along with the liquid whey. This leaves regular yogurt providing 3 times more calcium than Greek yogurt but still a good source of nutrition and a good substitute in your cooked dishes.
If you’d like to try your hand at making Greek yogurt it’s not difficult.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 liter of whole milk
3 tablespoons of regular yogurt
2 medium sized glass bowls
Cheesecloth or muslin
When you’ve gathered all of the necessary items, heat the milk in the saucepan, using medium heat. Let the milk steam but not boil. Then pour it into a bowl and cool to lukewarm temperature. Add the yogurt and blend well. Use a cloth napkin to cover the bowl and let it set out overnight.
Fermented yogurt should look like thick, white custard. Place your cheesecloth into the strainer with the glass bowl underneath. Ladle the yogurt mixture into the cloth and strain out the whey until you have the desired consistency. This takes hours so put all of this into the refrigerator and be patient while the straining process takes place. The results will be well worth it. After 8 to 10 hours of sitting in your fridge while it strains thru the cheesecloth you’ll have Greek yogurt. YUM!
Not ready to tackle making your own Greek yogurt yet? That’s ok. Here’s a link to try my favorite brand of Greek yogurt, Fage. Register on the Fage website HERE, and you will get a .50/1 printable coupon. If your store doubles, this will make for some cheap or free Greek Yogurt!
This is also my favorite yogurt. I use the nonfat variety. Is it possible to make it using nonfat milk?
I can never find whole milk greek yogurt at the store. Well, plain anyways. Do you know off hand a retailer that regularly stocks them?
Hey folks, just to let everyone know Trader Joes has a great HOUSE brand which offers greek yogurt in whole, fat free and low fat varieties. They do not treat the cows with rbst and all their house-brand items are GMO-free, sooo they have some great choices available (they carry Fage brand, too!)
I’ve even seen Greek yogurt at our WalMart, however, I don’t like the brands they carry because of the added sugar and I’m not sure about the quality.
I know you can meke Kefir with non-fat milk, so I don’t see why you couldn’t make yogurt, but I haven’t tried it soo… it’s sort of conjecture on my part 🙂 Anyway, enjoy!
Try TRADER JOES. They have whole, lowfat and fat free Greek yogurt made under their house brand. A little-known fact about TJ’s is their house brand guarantees that it’s free of GMO-products! They carry Fage, too if you prefer.
Check out Kefir, too, if fermented milk products interest you. I now make homemade Kefir — it’s amazing stuff. It’s one of the best proteins, and the healthy bacteria in it can supposedly make it all the way into your intestines, where they are needed! It boosts your immune system and is really a great traditional fermented food. You just get Kefir grains from a local person (there are directories online, DONT use powders you buy at the store, that’s not the real deal), and pour milk over it, let it sit our for half a day or so (depending on the amount you’re making/the temperature), and then you strain the grains out to reuse, stir it up and you can use it in smoothies and so on! Anyway, hope that’s helpful.
I make my own Greek yogurt using Mountain High brand yogurt from Costco. I simply strain it in the fridge overnight and let the whey drain out. Greek yogurt for less than half the cost of Fage! Love getting all the protein with no sour yogurt taste! It’s a great base for dressings, too. I make a homemade Ranch dressing that my boys adore.