Do-it-yourself Greek Yogurt

Do-it-yourself Greek Yogurt

SEATTLE -- Greek yogurt has more protein that regular yogurt, but the benefits of that extra protein can easily be outweighed by all the sugars in many Greek yogurt brands.  While some list as few as 7 grams of sugars per serving, others contain 13 grams, 15 grams, and higher-  more than half the recommended daily allowance for an adult. 

You can control the sugar and many other additives by making Greek yogurt yourself.

All you need is a good strainer,  a deep container or bowl to hold the strainer, some cheesecloth -- and of course, your favorite plain regular yogurt. If you don't have cheesecloth, you can use paper coffee filters or even paper towels.

The fact is, Greek yogurt is nothing more than regular yogurt without all the liquid. Put the cheesecloth in the strainer with the strainer over the bowl, spoon the regular yogurt into the cheesecloth, cover the bowl and refrigerate.  Almost immediately, a yellowish liquid will begin to drip through the cheesecloth. That liquid is whey. The longer you strain the whey, the thicker the yogurt left in the strainer. 

I tried it with two brands of yogurt to see if there's a difference from one brand to another. About 2 and a half hours later, the first yogurt had produced a third of a cup of whey -- leaving a thick creamy Greek style yogurt in the strainer.
 
But the second yogurt, a pre-stirred regular yogurt made with modified corn starch didn't change one bit. Not a drip of liquid came through.  Modified corn starch serves as a thickener in yogurt, but it also kept the liquid from separating in the strainer.

Keep in mind, removing the liquid from plain yogurt does not remove significant amounts of sugar. The process simply gives you more concentrated protein and a thicker consistency. The key to this DIY Greek yogurt process is to start with a regular style, plain yogurt that is low in sugars and has live and active cultures- with as few extra ingredients as possible.

By straining off the liquid in your regular style yogurt of choice, you'll have Greek style yogurt and be able to control the sugars by adding moderate amounts of your own fresh fruit.