Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homemade GREEK Yogurt...AT LAST!

So, many of you are familiar with the homemade yogurt thing, and some of you are reading this and thinking "WHU? You can actually make yogurt at home?" Well, yes, my friend, you can, and it's very cheap.

The biggest challenge for me all of these years, when it comes to making yogurt, is the thickness. If you don't culture it long enough, it can be too thin, and if the incubation period is too long, the yogurt can become very tart. And then to add insult to injury, I discover this Greek, thick, delectable, yogurt in the store dairy section.

I immediately think "Humph. They must use some sort of pectin or starch to to thicken this stuff." My Sherlock Holmes self turns to the package nutritional and ingredient info. in order to catch these Greek yogurt makers in the act.

I read cursorily through the ingredients and see no thickeners. None. Nada. No how. This persuades me to look off in the distance with a furrowed brow and wonder how the heck they do it. How does one make such thick, wonderful ambrosia without adding additional thickening measures?

Rest would not find me until this great mystery was solved. (obsessive compulsive).

My computer must have the answer. As Google appears, my fingers move fast and type the words "thick" "Greek" "yogurt" "homemade" "recipe." Alas, the answer appears! Simply strain your yogurt to achieve the Greekness! BWAAAHHAAAAA, off to my mad scientist lab to try it out.

Many of you have made the yogurt recipe posted here at the blog, but you may want to try "this recipe using powdered milk (which I prefer now). It is very economical.

Also, some of you may want to try using the crock pot to make yogurt, which I like to do as well.
After incubating your yogurt, you must now strain it to achieve the Greekness. I use a large strainer, lined with coffee filters. It helps to dampen the filters first and then stick them in the strainer.

Now, put your strainer over a large pan or bowl in order to catch the whey (which can be used to make cultured veggies...very healthy and easy..more on those later).

Spoon or dump yogurt into strainer. Drape a muslin cloth or dish towel over the top and the let sit all night either in the fridge or on the counter. I let it sit on the kitchen counter.

You will wake up with excitement, knowing you have Greek yogurt sitting in your kitchen, just waiting for you to dive in to it.

Actually, you may find that the strained yogurt is too thick. This is what happened to moi. I had to stir some of the whey back into the yogurt to make it more yogurty.

Now add fruit, vanilla, and some sweetener (if you wish) and ENJOY!



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