Using shop bought organic natural yogurt is a simple and frugal way to create your own thick and creamy home strained Greek yogurt. It also ensures you are getting the real deal, as many brands selling Greek ‘style’ yogurt actually use thickeners to obtain the excellent texture, which frankly cuts corners and reduces the nutritional content. True Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than the unstrained or thickened kind since it is a more concentrated product. It is also lower in sugar and carbohydrates as the lactose, a form of sugar present in all dairy products, is removed with the drained whey. I like to buy the 0% fat organic natural yogurt to get the nutritional hit without the calories.
Strained yoghurt goes by many names across the world. In the UK we call it Greek yoghurt, however in the Middle East it is Labneh (great for topping Black Sesame & Halloumi Flatbread) or Turkey it is süzme yoğurt. The recipe was inspired from my recent sailing trip to Greece where I was island hopping with my sister and friends. Their yogurt is so deliciously creamy over there, so I wanted to see if I could duplicate the lovely texture back in the UK as I have found no shop bought brand which quite lives up to the real stuff.
Home Strained Greek Yogurt
You will need:
- Natural Yogurt of your choice (I like the 0% organic yoghurt)
- Muslin, nylon bag or thin tea towel ( I find the nylon straining bags are excellent and hard wearing)
- A large bowl to catch the drips
- An elastic band or string
- Place your muslin/ nylon bag/ tea towel over your bowl.
- Pour your yogurt onto the fabric.
- Pinch the corners of your fabric together to create a loose bag, and tie with the elastic bag or string.
- Suspend the bag over your bowl and leave it to drain for 2-4 hours. The longer you leave it the thicker it will become.
- Put the yogurt in an air tight container and refrigerate until you want to eat it.
You can save the whey to use instead of water when cooking rice, or in biscuits and bread making.
To finish here is a picture of a school of wild dolphins we saw when island hopping in Greece. It was about 7:30 am on our first morning in a beautiful bay off the mainland near the town of Paleros. It’s the first time I’ve seen wild dolphins and the first for us all to see them in Greece so it felt very special.