We are all about strained yogurt lately as a quick, satisfying snack. Chobani is my brand of choice, but at $1+ for 5 oz, it adds up. Even though my cashew yogurt attempt was not the greatest, I’m always up to try something new. When “something new” means “something you forget about overnight,” I’m particularly interested. Dairy yogurt it was. The cookbook covers it, too!
Now, I will say that I played it especially lazy and didn’t monitor temperatures. I don’t typically use measurements, so why start with particulars now? Bacteria could be a good reason, so maybe be a little more particular than me. Yogurt-prep means scalding the milk to ward off bacteria, but it’s a balance because the very essence of yogurt is the fact that it provides good bacteria. So, the idea is to make a semi blank slate, then add in a starter – i.e. already-made yogurt.
I feel like a yogurt newbie, so I will just direct you now to others who know more about yogurt-making than I do.
But I will say that it is crazy easy. The abbreviated version looks like this:
Mix in starter.
Leave it alone.
Granted, the “leaving alone” means not touching, but you do have to make sure it stays warm-ish (150F? Or so) so it can culture.
And then it’s done.
Well, if you like yogurt. And depending on what kind of milk you start with (adding powdered milk can help), it’s probably pretty thin. A lot like Kefir. Yogurt makers cheat and add pectin. Nice.
So, I’m not a huge yogurt fan. Straining it not only thickens it, but it takes away some of that sour punch, which is evidently thanks to whey, which is what strains off. Another bonus if you are lactose intolerant! Woohoo!
To strain my yogurt, I pour it into a thin handkerchief or kitchen towel and tie the towel around a spatula or something, then lay it on a tall stock pot. The towel satchel hangs in the pot but high enough to be above what drips out.
After a day or so of straining, it’s pretty thick. Put it in the fridge overnight, and ours is actually spreadable. It’s amaaazing sweetened with honey and spread on toast or with fruit. Oh man. So good. And easy! We have been getting about 2-3 cups out of 1/2 gallon of milk. So, depending on the milk, it isn’t a shocking savings..but it helps.
The uber frugal method would be to just buy big things of plain, normal yogurt and strain them. Then, you get the more expensive “Greek” yogurt, but at the cheap plain stuff price. I imagine that the thickened store bought stuff won’t drain as well, but it’ll still be an improvement.
How do you like your yogurt?