Homemade Regular and Greek Yogurt

20090824-yogurt-group

Greek yogurt is really expensive and I don’t really even like the taste of it. So why eat it and what is up with the greek yogurt craze?

The low down of Greek vs. Regular. Greek yogurt is just regular yogurt strained. What get’s taken out is the liquid whey. The whey is what contains a lot of the salt, carbohydrates, calcium and sugar. What’s left behind is a thicker and creamier texture that is very high in protein but low in those not so good things left in the whey.

Both are good, as long as you don’t get the flavored kind because a lot of sugar is added. If you are concerned with adding a lot of protein and lowering carb intake, Greek is the way to go. If you don’t care and just like yogurt as a snack then I say stick with regular yogurt because it’s cheaper. Greek does have a tangier taste and the thickness takes getting used to.

I am cheap and trying to add protein and lower carbs so greek is my choice. To solve the price and taste problem I decided to make my own. From reviews that I’ve read, it’s pretty easy to make. After making my own yogurt, I will say it’s simple and cost effective. It takes a bit of time but it’s well worth it. The taste is more mild and the consistency is smoother than store bought. Plus there are not any added sugars and preservatives. All you need is a crock pot, thermometer, and a little left over yogurt.

Ingredients:

half gallon of any milk- I used 1% because I read in a few places not to do fat free

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt- I had strawberry flavor on hand and used it which was fine. It just had little bits of strawberries in my finished yogurt but wasn’t enough to flavor it.

option: 1 cup of nonfat powdered milk- you don’t need this but I had it on hand. It just adds protein and helps thicken.

Pour half gallon milk to crock pot and set on low. After 2 1/2 hours, check the thermometer to see if it’s reached 180 degrees F. Mine took a little over 3 hours to reach that temperature. Once it reaches 180 degrees, turn off crock pot, take off lid and let it cool down to 110 degrees. That should be about 1 or so hour. Take some of the warm milk and add to your 1/2 cup starter yogurt, stir to temper and add back to the crock pot warm milk. Stir to incorporate the starter yogurt (this adds in live cultures) and place lid back on. Wrap a towel around crock pot (just the ceramic part not the part that has the cord attached) and place in lit oven turned off. Let it sit for 8-12 hours. Carefully open lid and stir it about to check consistency. It should look like regular yogurt. I did it at night so when I woke up and checked it 12 hours later it was perfect!

Regular plain yogurt

Regular plain yogurt

To make it Greek, refrigerate for about an hour and take a bowl with a strainer placed on top with cheese cloth or a few coffee filters to strain out the whey. Pour cooled yogurt into the lined strainer. Let it sit for an hour. Check the thickness. The longer it sits the thicker it’ll be. I left mine overnight and got this super thick creamy texture. It will lower in quantity once the whey is strained out. Don’t throw out the whey because you can use it in place of water or milk in recipes, hair rinse or make ricotta cheese!

Whey liquid regular yogurt greek yogurt

Whey liquid
regular yogurt
greek yogurt

I love homemade Greek yogurt so much more. It just tastes milder and the texture is so creamy. I can’t go back to store bought. Trust me, it was super easy. It is a long process but it doesn’t take a lot of effort. You just have to remember to check it 3 times. 1st to reach 180 degrees, 2nd to cool to 110 degrees and then take it out of the oven when you wake up. You’ll know how your crock pot temperature¬†works after you try it so just set your alarm for those times. It is definitely worth it. Add fruit, peanut butter, honey or any flavor you want for the best yogurt you’ll ever taste!

 

 

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