How to Make Greek Yogurt and Yogurt Cheese

As you can see from almost every recipe on this site, I am addicted to Greek yogurt. No. Really.  I have to have it in some shape or form or my day just isn’t complete. Fortunately for me, making your own Greek yogurt is so simple, it’s almost unbelievable. Almost unbelievable, but wonderful.

In fact, you only need one ingredient:  regular plain yogurt.

Yep, that’s it!

Like I said, I’ve been addicted to Greek yogurt for years.  My personal favorite has always been Fage, but I enjoy several of the other brands, too.  However, when I tasted my own homemade yogurt, I swooned.  It exceeded my wildest expectations!

I knew what I had to do.  I had to take it to one of my dearest friends at work.  She is a true Greek yogurt connoisseur.  I knew getting her approval would be the ultimate test.  The day after making my first batch, I anxiously brought her a sampling.  I knew I thought it was to die for…but would she??

The verdict?

She absolutely loved it!  She said she felt like she was eating the crème de la crème of Greek yogurt!!  My heart soared!  I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better compliment!

Of course, I really can’t take any of the credit.  I don’t think the amazing decadence had anything to do with my novice yogurt-making “skills.”  In truth, I think the secret was the high quality fresh, raw milk that I used to make my yogurt.

Seriously, the stuff is liquid gold.

As you can gather, I prefer making my own yogurt in my crockpot from fresh milk, but you can easily use store-bought yogurt as well.

If you do use homemade, however, be sure you’ve let the yogurt set for at least a few hours in the refrigerator before proceeding.

Now on to the fun stuff…

Homemade Greek Yogurt and Yogurt Cheese

Basically, in order to turn your regular yogurt into rich, luscious Greek deliciousness, you need to strain the whey from your yogurt.  There are different ways that this can be done, depending on what you have available:

1. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a clean dish towel.  Place the strainer over a large bowl.

OR

2.  Use this fantastic invention.  Seriously, it’s made my life sooooo much easier.  It makes the whole process of straining yogurt painless and mess-free…which is especially helpful for my OCD tendencies.  Yes, I am a Monica.  The only possible downfall with this strainer that I can think of is that you can only make a couple servings at a time.  This is just fine for me and the hubby, since I can easily strain more yogurt each night and have enough for us the next day.  Still, even if I had a large family, I think I would just buy a few more of these — yes, they are that wonderful!!

Pour the yogurt into the straining option of your choice.  Place everything in the refrigerator and allow the yogurt to drain until it reaches your desired consistency.  This could be anywhere from overnight to 24 hours+…the longer it drains, the thicker your yogurt will be!

In fact, strain the yogurt long enough (about 48 hours), and you can also use this yogurt cheese in place of cream cheese in most recipes!

Store your Greek yogurt in the refrigerator in an airtight container (I like to use glass jars).

Most of the time, I simply like to enjoy mine with fresh fruit, but you could also flavor yours with honey, vanilla, jam…whatever you like!

Of course, you don’t have to just enjoy it as a snack either.  You can create your own creamy pasta sauce, toss a dollop into mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, use it add extra moistness to a whole grain chocolate cake, or make homemade frozen yogurt for dessert!And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…there are countless possibilities!On a final note, don’t discard your whey!  Just think of all the money many people spend on whey protein powders, and you now have your own, homemade whey!!Whey is a complete, easily digestible protein packed with essential amino acids, and there are tons of possibilities when it comes to using it!  For instance, you can use it to marinade meat along with your favorite spices…you’ll be amazed how tender your meat becomes!  Use it to soak and/or sprout grains.  Add some to your favorite smoothies!  You can even use it in place of water or broth when making rice, couscous, etc.Are you slightly addicted to Greek yogurt??  What’s your favorite way to indulge in its nomminess??

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