Just in case you haven’t heard, I’ll give you the scoop. Greek style yogurt is all the rage. What is Greek yogurt? Basically, it’s just yogurt that has had some of the moisture drained off so that it has a thicker, creamier consistency. Some people also love it because it has more protein per ounce than traditional yogurt (everything concentrates as the moisture is removed). Greek yogurt is great for making dips (like the tzadziki I’ll be making later this week), topped with honey, nuts and fruit as a snack or as part of big bowl of Yoatgurt.
The problem with Greek yogurt is that it’s insanely expensive. I’ve seen little 4 or 6 oz. cups retailing for over a dollar when regular yogurt cups usually sell for about $0.50. Sure, it takes more regular yogurt to make the same volume of Greek yogurt but I really believe that some of that extra cost is a “fad fee”. People are lovin’ the Greek yogurt right now and are so willing to pay for it.
So, promise me this: If you’re a lover of Greek yogurt, don’t pay over $1 for a tiny portion. Buy some regular yogurt and magically transform it into Greek yogurt in your refrigerator and save yourself some money. K? Good.
Greek Style Yogurt
Pictured here with honey and almonds. YUM.
- 32 oz. plain yogurt $2.39
- Set up your straining contraption by getting a large glass bowl and placing a colander inside of it. You may need to place something under the colander, like a small measuring cup, to lift it up off of the bottom of the bowl just slightly.
- Place a coffee filter (or cheese cloth, muslin or a clean, lint-free dish cloth) in the colander. Fill the filter with plain yogurt. Cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hrs. During this time the extra moisture in the yogurt will drain out the bottom leaving you with nice, thick, Greek style yogurt!
- At the end of the three hours the volume of your yogurt will have reduced by about half. If the yogurt is too thick you can simply stir some of the liquid back into the yogurt. If the yogurt is still too thin, refrigerate longer. Make sure the liquid in the bottom of the bowl is not touching the bottom of the filter in the colander. Raise the colander up as needed (with a small object like a measuring cup).
- Empty the yogurt into a resealable container and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
Step By Step Photos
Place a colander inside of a large glass bowl. Place a small object under the colander to lift it up another inch or so.
Place a coffee filter in the colander and fill it up with yogurt. Make sure the yogurt does not spill over the edge as it spreads out. (I had some tiny coffee filters from a coffee maker that I don’t have anymore so I had to do 4 small filters full. Large filters are definitely better.)
This is all of the liquid that drained off after 3 hours. That is the measuring cup that I used to elevate the colander.
The yogurt is now so thick that a spoon will stand up straight in it!
NOTE: You should only use plain, unsweetened yogurt for this because as the liquid drains out, sweeteners will also become more concentrated and the resulting yogurt will be sickeningly sweet.
I used low-fat yogurt for this because I like the taste/texture of some fat but didn’t want all of the calories of full fat yogurt. Remember, as the liquid comes out everything gets more concentrated, even calories.
If you’re feeling really crafty you can even make the plain yogurt from milk which will probably save you even more. That project was a little too involved and time consuming for me today but perhaps I’ll post some instructions in the future. It’s pretty easy! Until then, a simple google search will give you plenty of online how-to’s.