What makes Greek yogurt different, plus how to make your own at home
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: Â½ 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, joustfitness.com. She is also a personal trainer and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at Melissa@joustfitness.com