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How to make your own Greek yogurt

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How to Make Your Own Greek Yogurt - www.ohlardy.com
If you want to be sure your Greek yogurt is the real stuff, make your own!!
Making your own Greek yogurt/yogurt cheese/strained yogurt is a pretty simple task.  You need the following ingredients:
  • full fat, plain yogurt (organic if possible)
  • cheesecloth or a very thin dishtowel
  • strainer
  • bowl
  • a large jar with wide mouth (or blender)
  • wooden spoon

**update 8/27/12, European ‘creamy' style yogurt will not strain.  Plain yogurt will work best**

How to Make Your Own Greek Yogurt:

Put your strainer in a large bowl.  Lay your cheesecloth in the strainer.  Pour the plain yogurt in the cheesecloth.  Some of the liquid whey will drip into the bowl.

Preparing to make Greek yogurt

Wrap the yogurt in the cheesecloth, wrapping and tying the ends around a wooden spoon.  In this picture we used clothespins to keep the little bits of cheesecloth tied (could also use binder clips or rubber bands).  Using your large jar or blender, suspend your ‘yogurt package' as shown in picture.  If you are going to be saving the liquid whey, you could pour the whey that collected in the bowl into the bottom of the jar at this time.  Be sure there is plenty of room between the bottom of the cheesecloth and the bottom of the jar.  This is where the liquid whey will collect.  You do not want the cheesecloth sitting in the liquid.  This would defeat the purpose.

Straining yogurt

Put this jar in the refrigerator overnight.  (to be honest, I have left it on the counter because I forgot and everything was fine.  I don't recommend this, however!)  In the morning, you will have perfectly strained Greek-style yogurt!  (*note,  I have also done this without the cheesecloth and just used a fine mesh strainer.  It worked but the whey did have a little more yogurt seepage in it.  Not a huge deal, but the cheesecloth gives a cleaner strain).

An added bonus is the liquid whey that you have collected.  Some people like to drink it straight (not me, makes me gag).  You can use this to lacto-ferment foods (if that is up your alley) or use it when you soak grains and legumes overnight to make them more digestible.  You can also add it directly to your smoothies as it has plenty of minerals and some good quality protein!  Whey will last for quite a while in your refrigerator (I have some that is over 2 months old and still fine.  But I also left yogurt on the counter overnight, so maybe my standards are sketchy.  heehee).  Whey can also be frozen and thawed.  A great idea would be to freeze in ice cube trays and add cubes directly to your smoothies.

Now, what do you do with this Greek yogurt?  You can use it as you would plain, Greek yogurt.  You could add some berries and honey to it for flavor.  You could make a tzatziki dip or other creamy dip.  Personally, I like to separate my yogurt cheese into 2-3 small containers.  One I keep plain and use as I would yogurt or sour cream.  To a second container, I swirl in raw honey and mashed mixed berries.  To a third container I add some celtic salt, diced chives and use as I would a chive cream cheese!  The possibilities are endless!

Have you ever made your own Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese?  What do you do with the leftover whey?

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How to Make Your Own Greek Yogurt - www.ohlardy.com


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  1. You Can also Make it from scratch with raw milk it is a little extra time but well worth the effort. I take 4 liters of raw milk and heat it in a pot to 85 celsius. Cool it down to 41 celsius. Then add 1/4 cup yoghurt natural. You then leave it standing for 6-12 hours at 40-45 Celsius, the longer and hotter the more sour (so you adjust your personal flavor).
    Mash it through a siv to remove lumps and put it into a cheesecloth and Leave it to strain for minimum 12 hours. The longer the more firm.
    I use the whey to bake breads with (fabulous) instead of water or boil it with 1 l of whole milk for ricotta cheese. My chickens also love the whey but I am careful not to give them too much at a time.

  2. My favorite is to put a couple of heaping tablespoons in a cup and then pour a goodly amount of good olive oil over. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and scoop up with pita or naan. This dish – called, variously, lebeneh, labneh, etc., depending on which Mediterranean cuisine you’re cooking – is my breakfast most days, along with a piece of fresh fruit. Yum.

  3. I make “ Greek yogurt “ weekly.. but all I do is empty a quart container of plain, either full fat or fat free yogurt in a paper towel lined colander in a large bowl, put more paper towel over yogurt, place a saucer atop of that and put a weight on top of that , a (28oz can of tomatoes does the trick,) and in less then 1 hour, almost all the whey has drained out..

  4. I am new to blogging so I’m always reading every blog I can. I came across this recipe which I wil definitely try. I love the honesty you share, makes you real!

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