Making Greek yogurt without much strain
Q: How does Greek yogurt differ from regular yogurt? A: All yogurt starts out the same way: "Friendly" bacteria cultures are added to heated...
Q: How does Greek yogurt differ from regular yogurt?
A: All yogurt starts out the same way: "Friendly" bacteria cultures are added to heated milk, which causes it to thicken. The difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt is that the latter is then strained, separating out the watery whey from the curd. The result is a thick, creamy yogurt with an intense, slightly sour taste.
Because Greek yogurt is strained, its nutrients are more concentrated, so you don't need to eat as much to get the same benefits. These include high levels of calcium, protein, vitamins B6 and B12, and magnesium, which promote intestinal health and cure bacterial infections.
Along with the enhanced nutrients, Greek yogurt contains up to 20 grams of fat if it's made with whole milk, compared with the 8 grams of fat of whole plain yogurts. That said, most brands come in low-fat and even fat-free versions.
Greek yogurt is available in many grocery stores in larger cities, and in health-food stores and specialty shops across the country.
If you can't find it in your area, it's easy to make a Greek-style yogurt (also called yogurt cheese) at home. Simply line a sieve with a few paper towels, cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Rest the sieve over a bowl, and fill it up with plain yogurt (low-fat or whole will work).
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight, then discard the whey that has strained into the bowl. Enjoy the remaining yogurt in many of your favorite recipes, including with fruit and honey, or with chopped garlic and chives as a refreshing dip.
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Copyright 2007, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Distributed by New York Times Special Features.
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