How to make Greek yogurt

What is this madness?

We've been making some changes in our food habits lately. Eating more vegetables. Eating  less in general. Making less-bad snack choices (usually). Brian's been having yogurt-based smoothies. I have kefir when it's in the house. 

Brian asked the other day what the difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt is. My understanding is that Greek yogurt is regular yogurt with whey drained out of it. Incidentally, it's pretty easy to make. I made my first go of it yesterday, with a little encouragement from my Nourishing Traditions cookbook.*

Have you ever gone a day or two and then looked at your yogurt tub and found this yellowy liquid in the middle? That stuff is whey. And have you noticed that the yogurt itself is a little thicker when it separates like that? Ta-da, Greek yogurt by neglect!

It's easy to make on purpose, too. Most instructions will tell you to set a strainer in a bowl, line it with cheese cloth or a dish towel, and spoon the yogurt into it. Check back in a couple of hours and test it for thickness. When it's as thick as you like it, put it in a container. 

Me, I'm not so much into washing dishes when I don't have to. So I saved the previous yogurt container and washed it. If you look at that picture, you can figure out what else I did....but I'll spell it out for you here, anyway. 

I pulled the yogurt container from the fridge, folded up some cheesecloth, rubber-banded it over the container, and turned that thing upside down over the empty one. Easy, peasy, and no extra dishes to wash. (I did wash the cheesecloth, though. That stuff is gonna see some good use.)

Too thick? Stir some whey back in. 
Lots of time to wait? Let it drain until it's done draining and you've got cream cheese!

My guess is that most people toss the whey, which is unfortunate because there's some cool stuff you can do with whey. I haven't tried any of it yet, but I have some ideas. It'll keep in the fridge for 6 months, they say, so I've got time. 

I'm thinking about soaking rice grains before cooking them and/or playing with something called lacto-fermentation. 

I really love this stuff. 

*Not an affiliate link.

What's the most ambitious thing you ever made, in the kitchen or otherwise?

1 comment:

  1. You can combine your whey with curds and eat them on a tuffet.


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