Sunday, February 7, 2010

Making "Greek" Yogurt

Yogurt is a fixture in our kitchen. I generally buy plain low-fat yogurt because it is so versatile. We mix with homemade jam for breakfast, stir it into salad dressings and soups, and dollop on top of curries and dahls. My all time favorite is Nancy's Yogurt. It is made in Eugene, Oregon and is full of live cultures.

Lately I have been craving ice cream and pretty much anything remotely related to summertime. I am trying to avoid the ice cream and the unwanted calories so I have been eating yogurt for dessert. I had a coupon for Nancy's and the store was having a sale, so I splurged on some whole milk honey yogurt. It still has less calories then ice cream, but tastes just as decadent. I decided to thicken it up by draining the excess liquid, basically making Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of regular American yogurt. It is very expensive (in my opinion) in the store, but it is really easy to modify yogurt to a Greek yogurt like consistancy. 

All you need is a strainer, a clean tea towel and some yogurt. Nonfat, low-fat, or whole will do. Although the more fat in the yogurt the creamier the finished product will be. Dump the yogurt into the strainer and place over a sink or a large bowl. Let it drain for at least an hour. Liquid will stream out, effectively halving the amount of yogurt. I started with a quart of regular and had about 2 1/2 cups of thickened yogurt after an hour.

(The finished yogurt is thicker)

We like our Greek yogurt with fruit, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of sliced almonds or crushed walnuts. Also delicious is stewing some dried apricots in honey, water, and cardamom and adding a dollop of yogurt.

In the mood for frozen yogurt? Here is a recipe.

Simply Life is having a Chobani yogurt giveaway! Check out her foodie site and enter to win a case of yogurt!


  1. My family has often made dishes with strained yoghurt.... basically making regular plain yoghurt, then setting it in an old pillow case to drain for a couple of days (usually hung on a hook over the sink). After that, we'd squeeze out the rest of the liquid by hand. Some like it flavored with berries other fruit, others eat it straight up, and some add powdered sugar, saffron, and pistachios for a kind of dessert.

    The only thing is that we'd often forget the rule you pointed out - the amount of "regular" yoghurt will not equal the amount of strained yoghurt! There have been many a time when this was forgotten, only to leave the dinner table considerably short supplied!

  2. Mangochild - the dessert with sugar, saffron and pstachios sounds amazing! Thank you for commenting. What else did your family use the yogurt for?

  3. wow, I'm so impressed! I would never think to do that but it's such a great idea!