Thursday, May 24, 2012

DIY Greek Yogurt

One thing I really miss while living here in Mexico is Greek Yogurt, as they have yet to bring it to the grocery store shelves. But while I was browsing the internet, I came across an incredible knowledge that I could easily make my own!!! The only difference between Greek yogurt and its counterpart is that Greek yogurt is strained excessively to remove excess liquid (whey) and that's it! That's all the difference... well in how it's made, but definitely not in its nutritional value.

By removing much of the liquid whey, we also remove a majority of the lactose, cut sugar in half , double the protein and give the yogurt a thicker consistency with about the same amount of calories! The only downside is that you do lose some of its high calcium content. On the up-side though, by straining your own yogurt, you will save tons of money wasted on overpriced Greek Yogurt (in my opinion). It also can be super versatile! As you can mix it with fruit and granola, or sub it in baking in cakes, muffins, and even cheesecakes, or as a sour cream base for dips or a dollop on your baked potato or tacos.

Plain Greek yogurt has a strong and somewhat sour taste, so often people like to add a tad bit of honey or sweetener in their yogurt cups and remember that the straining only works with unflavored versions.

Some nutrition facts: [source]
Protein. Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps promote fullness. A typical 6-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams, the amount in 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams.
Carbohydrates. Greek yogurt contains roughly half the carbs as the regular kind—5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Plus, the straining process removes some of the milk sugar, lactose, making Greek yogurt less likely to upset the lactose-intolerant. Although, remember to choose plain or less sweetened yogurt, being your best option. 
Fat. Look out though as some full-fat Greek yogurt's can packs 16 grams of saturated fat—or 80 percent of your total daily allowance in just a 7-oz serving. (That's more than in three Snickers bars.) Read nutrition labels carefully. If you're going Greek, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.
Sodium. A serving of Greek yogurt averages 50 milligrams of sodium—about half the amount in most brands of the regular kind. 
Calcium. Regular yogurt provides 30 percent of the federal government's recommended daily amount.  A 6-ounce cup typically supplies about 20 percent of the daily recommendation.
Comparing Labels:

Greek (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)
  • Calories: 80
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
  • Sodium: 50 milligrams
  • Sugar: 6 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)
  • Calories: 80
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol 5 milligrams
  • Sodium: 120 milligrams
  • Sugar: 12 grams
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.

DIY Greek Yogurt:
1 Container of unflavored yogurt (I used plain)
Large steel mesh strainer
Cheesecloth, heavy paper towel, or coffee filter (I used coffee filter)
Container or measuring cup

Place mesh strainer over a bowl or yogurt container, and line with a thick paper towel, coffee filter, or cheesecloth. Pour as much yogurt as you can fit  into the strainer. Note: I had to do two batches, and place the straining set up in the refrigerator. Allow for yogurt drain overnight. In the morning you should have thick yogurt and whey liquid in the bottom of your bowl or container. (You can save the whey and use it for other things, I discard it.) and Viola, now you have your own Greek Yogurt! And this can store for the same sell date posted on the container.

What you will need.
You can use the yogurt container or bowl/ measuring cup.

You can already see it draining...

Place in the fridge and let strain overnight.

This is the liquid whey from one batch of straining yogurt.

Place back in the container and use by sell date labeled.
And enjoy however you like to eat your yogurt!

I am simply loving this discovery!!! I like to make a yogurt bowl, adding a tad Agave for sweetener w/ a little flavoring such as vanilla. Or using to make some tasty overnight oats (recipe coming soon) or into a delightful parfait , and have so many other ideas to sub it in. Try it yourself and let me know your favorite ideas, enjoy!

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