Greek Yogurt

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For the past couple of years, I have, to my consternation, seen recipes calling for the use of Greek yogurt and not been able to find any.  About a year ago this enigmatic food came to my local Ingles grocery store.  I decided that, unless they put it on special sale, I could never buy it because it was hugely expensive.  Well, luckily it did go on sale and I tried it and was hooked.  I like regular yogurt, but Greek seems so much creamier, that even the plain variety is pretty good, and when mixed with fruit, granola, and/or honey, it's the stuff I daydream about.  It works as a substitute in recipes calling for sour cream and sometimes even mayo.  It's a great dairy product. 

It is, however, too expensive for me to buy regularly.  So, what then is a girl to do?  Make her own.  That's right.  Greek yogurt is not some special concoction only known by a select few.  It's really just regular yogurt with much of the liquid removed. 

I came across this recipe or method on Southern Living, in the how to division of the food section.  There's a great video here. 

Before tasting the end result, I was a little worried- would this taste as good as what I buy in the store, or would it fall short?  Would it have the same creaminess?  Amazingly, I can't tell a difference between this yogurt and store bought.  Unless I have a coupon, I will never buy Greek yogurt again.  I will be making it.

To make Greek yogurt, buy a large carton of the yogurt of your choice, and allow the liquid to drain out over several hours through a coffee filter lined sieve into a bowl.  Discard the liquid (if you can find a use for this please let me know what you do!), and store in a container in the fridge. 

See pictures below for the method!
1.  Purchase a carton of yogurt.  I prefer plain because of the low sugar content and the different additions I can make.  For any legal purposes, this is not an official endorsement of Laura Lynn brand. :)

2.  Get a large bowl.  Place inside it a large sieve.  Place inside the large sieve a large coffee filter.  Pour in yogurt.

3.  Cover with plastic wrap and drain at least 8 hours.  I did this overnight.  Here's what it looks like afterward:

4.  Look at all that liquid!  I know you can't tell it from the picture, but it's at least a cup and a half.  Again, just pour that out or let me know if you can think of something to do with it!

5.  Now I know why Greek yogurt is more expensive!  I placed the yogurt back in its original container and saw how much I lost.  It's reduced to about 1/2 to 2/3 its original volume.

Now, just use the yogurt like you would any other kind of yogurt- eat plain, with toppings and add-ins, or sub in for sour cream or mayo in certain recipes.  I used this in a quiche in place of mayo and in a cake in place of sour cream.  Both turned out great, but that's another post.

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