I am HUGE fan of Greek yogurt if you all haven’t noticed. My only complaint is that it can cost so much more than regular yogurt. You can save a ton of money by making your own and it’s so simple to do. I think the BEST part about making your own Greek Yogurt is that you can control how thick you want it.
You only need TWO things to make your Greek yogurt.
Your favorite brand of PLAIN nonfat or lowfat yogurt. I used Nancy’s but Stoneyfield is another great option. You should choose one that you like the flavor of ~ Yes, you did hear that right, you can MAKE FLAVORED GREEK yogurt using this method too! Either buy a flavored yogurt or add all natural preserves and fruit to sweeten after you make it!
And any brand of Cheese Cloth will work.
You will need a medium sized bowl that will fit a colander.
Line the bowl with 4 damp layers your cheese cloth.
Add your ENTIRE container of yogurt.
Cover your yogurt concoction and place it in the fridge.
Now this is the important part as it is KEY for the consistency you are desiring from sour cream to Greek yogurt to yogurt cheese/cream cheese.
* Yogurt strained 4 to 6 hours results in sour cream type texture.
* Yogurt strained 8-12 hours results in GREEK YOGURT!
* Yogurt strained 24 hours results in Yogurt Cheese aka Cream Cheese.
Strainer Yogurt will keep in the fridge for about 1 week, however, does ANY greek yogurt last that long in your house?
Ok ~ now, let’s check out some results. After straining my yogurt for 12 hours, here is what I am left with. It’s about 1/2 the size of the container.
For those HARD CORE people, the watery liquid that drains off is called WHEY. Yup, that is the protein powder in your shakes – fun, right?! Oh and ALL the bitterness that is in regular plain yogurt goes into the Whey part. That is why GREEK Yogurt can be creamy and not bitter.
Check out the consistency – thick and creamy.
It’s stays on the spoon when turned upside down.
And it is enough to fill an entire cereal bowl!
I usually just put it back into my original yogurt container (recycle/re-use) and scoop it out as needed. The container is HALF full, not half empty 🙂
My favorite ways to flavor GREEK Yogurt are:
* Agave Syrup plus Vanilla Beans – just a little of each to taste!
* Natural Apricot Preserves ~ 1 Tbsp works per cup depending on your desired sweetness.
* Fresh fruit with the fruit juice or Frozen pineapple tossed in with the yogurt and it’s unthawed by mid morning.
* Parfaits – Click HERE to see some I’ve made.
* Better yet, top your waffles with it!
If you choose to strain it for 24 hours you can make:
* a fantastic “cream cheese” dip Adding 1-2 cloves garlic, fresh or dries herbs, 1 green onion minced, sea salt and pepper to taste. You can use this for any recipe that calls for sour cream or cream cheese for alot less calories/fat than the real deal!
* Whipped Cream Cheese ~ Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and top your favorite muffins. Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon would be awesome too.
* CAKE FROSTING!!! Add 2 cups of yogurt cheese (described above) with 1/2 c powdered sugar and 1 Tsp vanilla extract.
Ok ~ that’s all! Super easy, right?! I’d LOVE to know your favorite ways to use and/or flavor Greek Yogurt….Leave a comment below to add to the ideas above.