Sunday, September 12, 2010

Guest Post: It's All Greek . . . Yogurt

Hello, readers! I have a special treat for you -- a guest post from a blogging/hooping friend, and a how-to on making your own Greek-style yogurt. I can hear you cheering from here! Seriously, though, I'm excited to introduce Traci, one of the most encouraging women on the blogosphere. Thanks for writing, Traci.

When I saw Beth’s adorable photo of Cody with a container of‭ ‬Chobani‭ ‬Greek yogurt on last week’s Wordless Wednesday post,‭ ‬I asked if‭ ‬Beth had ever tried making her own version of the tangy,‭ ‬creamy dairy treat.‭ ‬That led to a‭ ‬how-to‭ ‬request‭ ‬from‭ ‬Band Geeks Go to Fat Camp‭!‬,‭ ‬which led to this,‭ ‬my first ever guest blog post.

Let me start by saying I’m not a food blogger or the healthiest eater in the world.‭ ‬I’m a big‭ (‬formerly W size-wearing‭)‬ girl who always liked food more than moving and self-medicated with chocolate when life got hard.‭ ‬I’m working on changing that,‭ ‬though‭…

Beth and I met online through‭ ‬Hoop‭ ‬City‭ shortly after I started hoop dancing because it’s way more fun than any other form of exercise I’ve ever tried.‭ ‬Let’s put it this way‭ – ‬I’m still doing it after‭ ‬8‭ ‬months,‭ ‬ while every other method I’ve attempted has lasted two or three at most.

So when I found out Beth has a blog,‭ ‬I checked it out.‭ ‬That same quirky humor and positive outlook I saw in her hoop videos was evident here,‭ ‬so I started following Kitchen Courage,‭ ‬which is why you’re reading this.‭ ‬ Now,‭ ‬on to the food part of this post:‭

Greek yogurt is made in much the same way as regular yogurt,‭ ‬with one extra step:‭ ‬after the milk is heated and cultured,‭ ‬it’s put into cloth bags and allowed to sit until all the whey has strained out.‭ ‬This gives it the extra tanginess and thickness we associate with this sour cream of the‭ ‬Mediterranean.‭ (‬For more info,‭ ‬there’s an‭ ‬ad-intense yet informative article at WiseGeek.)

Greek-style yogurt,‭ ‬similar in texture and taste,‭ ‬is‭ ‬easy to make from regular yogurt.‭ ‬I can’t remember where I picked up this method‭ (‬probably on a Food Network show‭)‬,‭ ‬but I can attest that it is not complicated in the least.‭ ‬All you need is a container of regular yogurt in the brand of your choice,‭ ‬a colander or large tea strainer,‭ ‬a lining material‭ (‬muslin,‭ ‬cheesecloth or paper towels all work‭)‬,‭ ‬a bowl in which to catch the strained liquids,‭ ‬and a plate or cookie sheet under the bowl‭ ‬in case of‭ ‬drippage‭ (‬trust me,‭ ‬it’s better to have to wash a plate than to‭ ‬sop up whey liquid from a cold‭ ‬refrigerator‭ ‬shelf‭)‬.

I’ve made this once before using a‭ ‬store brand‭ ‬yogurt,‭ ‬but for the purposes of this post,‭ ‬I’m using‭ ‬Dannon All Natural low-fat plain yogurt.
Put your lining material into the colander or strainer in a single layer with the edges hanging out.‭ ‬Place the strainer device into a bowl large enough to hold it,‭ ‬then put the yogurt into the strainer.‭ ‬A couple of gentle taps of the strainer will help settle the contents and even them out,‭ ‬or you can use a knife or spoon to smooth out the yogurt.‭
Fold the edges of your lining material over the top of the yogurt,‭ ‬then put the whole contraption onto a plate or cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.‭ ‬If you use paper towels,‭ ‬you may want to drain the bowl and put a fresh layer of towels into your strainer after an hour.‭ ‬After two hours,‭ ‬all the liquids‭ ‬should‭ ‬have strained into the bowl.

Once the whey liquid is completely strained,‭ ‬you have a thick,‭ ‬creamy Greek-style yogurt that can be eaten plain or jazzed up with the add-ins of your choice‭ (‬honey,‭ ‬fruits,‭ ‬granola,‭ ‬cocoa powder and sweetener,‭ ‬etc.‭)‬.
It also makes a great ingredient for any recipe with sour cream or yogurt,‭ ‬especially‭ ‬the Greek cucumber dip‭ ‬tzatziki‭ ‬or the Indian version called‭ ‬raita‭.‭ ‬I haven’t made the tzatziki recipe,‭ ‬but I can vouch for the raita‭; ‬it’s very good and an excellent cooling sauce for spicy curry dishes.‭ ‬If you don’t have hothouse cucumbers,‭ ‬regular ones work just fine,‭ ‬and for the sugar,‭ ‬I substituted stevia.

So there it is.‭ ‬Have fun with it‭ – ‬experiment with yogurt types,‭ ‬add-ins and recipes,‭ ‬and let Beth and me know how it comes out.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this,‭ ‬you can find more of my writing at Tracings‭ and Circular Praise‭.‭ ‬Meanwhile,‭ ‬here’s a hooping video for your entertainment:

Find more videos like this on Hoop City - Hooping Community

Thanks again, Traci! I encourage you to check out her blogs. I'm a subscriber to both, and she shares wisdom, struggles, and successes from her writing and hooping endeavors. For more of what I think of as her "heck yeah!" hooping, visit Traci's video page on Hoop City.

Have you made your own Greek yogurt? Do you have a special method or favorite Greek yogurt recipe?

Want to guest post? Email me at KitchenCourage (at) yahoo (dot) com.

9 comments:

  1. Oh I love this! You make me want to learn how to hoop. Great video. And I have never made Greek yogurt so maybe I will try sometime. Yum. I always like when blogs and life intertwine.

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  2. Thanks, Maggie! And thanks to Beth for asking me to post. Hope to see you at Circular Praise, Tracings or Hoop City sometime. :)

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  3. Band Geeks Go To FatSeptember 12, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Thanks! I love Greek yogurt and I can't wait to try it. Because I'm obsessed with cost effectiveness, i.e. a penny-pinching skinflint, about how much Greek yogurt do you yield from the plain yogurt?I should mention that this is the Editor (Janet) and not the original band geek, Aaron.

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  4. Hi, Janet! Thanks for checking out my post.A 32 oz. container of regular yogurt seems to yield about 16 oz. of Greek-style yogurt. I didn't actually measure it, so I'm judging that by the look of the yogurt after I strained it and put it back into the original container; it appeared to come up to about the halfway point of the container. Hope that helps.

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  5. Thank you for this post! I love new recipes!!!

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  6. Band Geeks Go To FatSeptember 13, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    I'm eating a serving of my first batch of Greek yogurt. Chobani, eat your heart out!I used the enormous container of plain Mountain High yogurt that they sell at Costco. It was already exceptionally thick, and so I only got around a half cup of fluid. I added a can of cherry pie filling to take off the edge. It sounds like I'm negating the benefits of the yogurt, but it only adds about 50 cals per serving.I get 16 half-cup servings from the one container. Counting the cost of the pie filling, it's about 34 cents a serving. Beats the hell out of more than a dollar a serving for Chobani, and Greek yogurt has a lot more protein than your average yogurt.Thanks so much for the heads up! I'll never buy normal yogurt again.

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  7. I'm so glad y'all are enjoying the yogurt and trying fun ways to boost the enjoyment factor. :)

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  8. [...] to this serendipitous event, and I was happy to take her up on the offer.  The post is here: It’s All Greek…Yogurt. [...]

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