January 23, 2013

Homemade Greek Style Yogurt

Yogurt is one of my staple foods. It can be breakfast, lunch or snack and occasionally dinner. Sometimes I use it for baking and I usually put it in smoothies. I've written about making yogurt a couple of times before. It is a fairly simple practice and one that I have kept up regularly for the past few years. Even when other made from scratch foods are neglected, I keep making yogurt. Often I fit it in while I am doing other things since most of the process doesn't require my attention. Other times, while the milk heats and cools I use the time to work on making more kitchen staples or washing the ever present pile of dishes.


Recently I have turned to Greek style yogurt as an even better yogurt option. Traditional Greek yogurt is made very thick by straining out the whey so it has more protein than regular yogurt (since I'm pregnant I've been trying to get as much vegetarian protein as I can). We have been buying Greek yogurt for a while but our kitchen is filling up with plastic containers and the cost of a quart of this yogurt is about the same as a gallon of organic milk. One gallon of milk makes four quarts of regular yogurt. When I strain this yogurt, with cheese cloth and a colander, I end up with about half as much thickened yogurt. I've been experimenting with the left over whey adding it to smoothies instead of water or juice and, because it is acidic, I think it might make a good substitute for buttermilk.

When I write or think about homemade food rituals and projects I have to return to my motivation for these practices. Sometimes it seems silly to spend this time making something that I don't have to but I appreciate the kitchen rituals, being actively involved in my food, and facilitating a magical transformation.

homemade greek style yogurtIf you want to make your own Greek style yogurt, follow these instructions for making yogurt at home. Once the yogurt has fully cooled in the refrigerator, pour it into a colander or strainer lined with two layers of cheese cloth or a clean tea towel. Let the yogurt drain for about two hours or until it reaches your desired thickness, stirring every so often to make sure it strains evenly. You can also make yogurt cheese by straining it until it is as thick as cream cheese and use it accordingly.

If you are interested in trying more kitchen staples from scratch, I have updated my list which you can find on the side bar under Homemade Kitchen.

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