DIY Greek Yogurt

This year, make a new year's resolution you can keep all year long: Eat more Greek yogurt! It's thick, creamy and tart, high in protein and super-versatile. Here's how to make your own, plus tons of ways to use it.
By: Liz Gray
FOODNETWORK_20081002_103.tif

FOODNETWORK_20081002_103.tif

This year, make a new year's resolution you can keep all year long: Eat more Greek yogurt! It's thick, creamy and tart, high in protein and super-versatile. Here's how to make your own, plus tons of ways to use it.

Greek Yogurt 101

Greek yogurt is one of those delicious foods that's also amazingly good for you. It has twice the protein of classic yogurt, and (if you buy non-fat or low-fat varieties) it's low in calories with a thick, luxurious texture.

It's becoming more and more common in supermarkets (Check out this taste test of popular brands), but you can save some cash by making your own, easily, from regular plain yogurt. Here's how.

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Line a strainer with a coffee filter, 2 thick paper towels or 4 pieces of cheesecloth.  Place 4 cups plain, nonfat or low-fat yogurt in the lined  strainer over a bowl.  Cover the yogurt, then cover with a plate and some type of weight (a 20-ounce can works great here.) Refrigerate for 1 hour.  There should be liquid in the bowl; what's left is your strained Greek yogurt (should be the consistency of sour cream.)

It will yield a little over 2 cups of strained yogurt.

Note: If you prefer a super-thick, more tangy yogurt, refrigerate, covered, overnight to extract even more liquid.

What to Do With Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is delicious on its own, with a drizzle of honey or fresh, in-season fruit (right now I like mango and pineapple), but there are so many more things to do with it.

Here are a few ideas from Cooking Channel chefs and the blogosphere:

Add creamy texture to favorite dips, like Hungry Girl's guacamole and Sprout and Pea's Greek yogurt hummus.

Use it in place of mayo in creamy salads, like in Ellie's Broccoli Slaw.

Garnish soups with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, like in My Life Runs on Food's Spicy Delicata Squash Soup With Lime-Cilantro Yogurt.

Sub for some of the butter in baked goods, or mix into cheesecake -- yes, CHEESECAKE! Try this Guava Swirl version from The Noshery.

What do you do with Greek yogurt?

Get more tasty, healthy recipes from our Fresh Start: Healthy Eating page.

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