You’ve probably been hearing about Greek yogurt. Maybe you’ve tried it. Perhaps you are addicted to it like I am. Save money and make your own Greek-style yogurt at home.
You can use any plain yogurt, but I prefer a whole-milk (full-fat) version. Buy a large container of it. To make Greek-style yogurt, you just need to strain the yogurt through some sort of material. I used 2 paper coffee filters since I had some buried in a drawer, but you can also use cheesecloth which is more traditional. Another benefit of cheesecloth is it is easy to find in most grocery stores and can be reused over and over (do not put in the washing machine, hand wash with a little dish soap and air dry). I created a little straining system using things I already had in my kitchen. Here is what you’ll need:
This week we’re doing a deep dive on the very popular, Greek-style yogurt. The first post, Greek-style yogurt 101, was dedicated to explaining what Greek-style yogurt is, why it’s different than regular yogurt, and how to make it at home. The second post was all about what to look for at the grocery store including fat (we’re pro-fat around here), flavors, and additives. Today, is all about the brands. We took 9 popular brands and compared everything from price to additives. The one thing missing? Taste! We want to see what our readers think:
The brands below are listed in order from best to worst. We looked at the following information to rank the yogurt:
Yesterday, we took an in-depth look at what Greek-style yogurt is, why it’s different than regular yogurt, and how to make it at home. In today’s post we’ll show you what to look for when buying Greek-style yogurt.
Not all Greek-style varieties are created equal. As always, you have to read the ingredient label. Traditionally, Greek yogurt is only made with 3 ingredients: milk, cream and live cultures, but many of today’s versions contain other “stuff.”
We’re starting with flavor because that might be the most important decision when buying yogurt. The best advice here is to look for plain Greek-style yogurt. It is often the flavored varieties that add additional calories, sweeteners, thickeners, and colors. If you need to sweeten it, add your own toppings such as fresh fruit, granola (try this homemade tropical granola recipe), 100% pure maple syrup, or raw honey.
Milk Protein Concentrate – This cheap ingredient is added to Greek-style yogurt to increase thickness and the raise the protein levels. The concerns with MPC is that it is “ultra processed,” almost always imported, and highly unregulated (not a good combination). There is no reason to add this ingredient in pure Greek-style yogurt.
I’d been seeing “Greek-style” yogurt for quite some time before I actually tried it. My first thought was why the heck did I wait so long? This stuff is tasty. It’s thick, uber creamy, tart, and satisfying. Apparently, I’m not the only one licking my spoon. 5 years ago Greek-style yogurt was a $60 million business in the US. Fast forward to 2011 and sales are predicted to be $1.5 billion. Everyone wants a piece of the action and yogurt giants, Dannon and Yoplait, are scrambling as tiny player, Chobani, sky rockets to #1 with 10% market share in all yogurt.
Yogurt is often called a “superfood” and for good reason. It’s high in protein and the live cultures (probiotics) and helpful bacteria help maintain the healthy flora in our gut. A recent long-term study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that yogurt was inversely associated with weight gain. The more yogurt the participants ate, the less they gained weight. The popularity of yogurt shows no signs of slowing down as just last year, The Dairy Council of California named yogurt as the food trend of the decade. If you haven’t tried Greek-style yet, you’re missing out. Here is a helpful Q&A on this special variation of yogurt:
The “Potato Chip Study,” published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, found interesting links between certain foods and weight gain. Researches from Harvard University looked at the long-term effects of diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes in a study that included over 120,000 men and women.
4-year weight change was most strongly associated with these foods (average weight gain/loss is shown in parentheses):
Names: E412, Gyamopsis Tetragonolobus, Gum Guar, Guar Flour, Guaran
Description: Extracted from the guar bean; made with the ground up guar seeds. Used as a thickener, binder, and stabilizer in a variety of foods. The guar bean plants are mainly grown in India and Pakistan. Also used as a bulk laxative.
Found In: baked goods, cereal, fruit drinks, frozen fruit, cheese spread, dressing, jelly and preserves, yogurt, kefir, sauces, ice cream
Possible Health Effects: If consumed in large quantities or without enough water, may swell and cause throat blockage. As with many fiber products, may cause flatulence and abdominal cramping…read more on Guar Gum.
Copyright August 8, 2010 Be Food Smart
My hubby and I are addicted to the Food Network. We love Alton Brown’s wacky show and decided to try his granola recipe after watching an entire show devoted to the cereal. Granola is something I’ve loved since childhood, but I’d never made it from scratch.
This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown’s granola formula. If tropical flavors are not your thing or if you want to mix it up, you can substitute any of the dried fruit in the recipe for your favorite (raisins, blueberries, apricots, cranberries, apples, etc.). You can also add a variety of seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower. When buying ingredients, make sure your dried fruit does not contain added sugar or the harmful preservative, sulfur dioxide.