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Posted on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

What makes Greek yogurt different, plus how to make your own at home

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

Have you indulged in the Greek yogurt craze? I find Greek style yogurt delicious and decadent, but for those of you who aren’t familiar, here is the skinny on what makes Greek yogurt different. The typical Greek yogurt that is actually made in Greece can use either sheep or cow’s milk. Imports to the United States tend to stick with cow’s milk variants since this is what our taste buds tend to prefer. The difference in creating Greek yogurt is that after the milk is heated and cultured it’s allowed to sit in cheesecloth bags that filter out the whey. Greek yogurts don’t have any of the liquid you’d see in regular yogurt due to the straining process. This straining process is also what gives Greek yogurt its thick, creamy texture, a texture that is very similar to sour cream. One drawback to Greek yogurt is the cost. You should expect to pay anywhere between $1.50 to $3 per container. The straining of the whey means more milk is needed to produce the same volume of yogurt that contains whey. For those of you who are ambitious, here is how you can make your own Greek-style yogurt at home.

Place a strainer over a medium-size bowl and line with three or four coffee filters, cheesecloth or paper towels. Spoon 32 ounces of nonfat or low-fat yogurt onto the filter in the strainer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for a thicker consistency. Once yogurt is at its desired consistency, transfer to a container and refrigerate. You can then top this with honey and/or chopped nuts or fruit. Serves 4. Nutrition per serving: serving size: ½ cup Calories: 70 Total fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 1.5g Trans fat: 0g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 35 mg Carbohydrate: 4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 4g Protein: 9g

Melissa Gerharter MS, R.D., is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor, She is also a personal trainer and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at


Jenn Cornell

Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 8:10 a.m.

Bunk headline or not (geez, StarChild!), you've inspired me to try to make my own Greek yogurt. Seems fairly simple & inexpensive compared to the premium you pay for it at the store.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 7:57 a.m.

Thanks for the great article. I love Greek yogurt and had not thought of trying to make my own. I'm going to give it a go! Here's my two-cents on the grammar issue. Although the title was not grammatically correct, it certainly made clear what the article was about and didn't detract from the article itself. I think we all get tired of hearing from these anal retentive people who wouldn't say this stuff to anyone in person, but feel free to be rude in writing and who do it annonymously. Honestly, how much credibility can you give to someone who is so insecure in their opinions that they hide behind a screen name? It seems to me that if you have something to say that would add value to a situation and if you want to be taken seriously, you use your own name. I found the article to be of great benefit. AND I apreciate that people like you, are willing to take time out of your busy schedules to provide interesting articles, with little or no reimbursement. Having a local news source that I can go to, instead of relying on news coming in from outside my area, is a treat. Thanks again for contributing!

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

Tue, Aug 24, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

StarChild, you are correct! I don't know how I let that get passed me. My apologizes, I am working on getting that fixed.


Tue, Aug 24, 2010 : 1:24 p.m.

Is this headline gramatically correct? (also, should there be more capitalized words in the headline?) Geez.