Guest Post: It's All Greek . . . Yogurt

Hello, readers! I have a special treat for you -- a guest post from a blogging/hooping friend, and a how-to on making your own Greek-style yogurt. I can hear you cheering from here! Seriously, though, I'm excited to introduce Traci, one of the most encouraging women on the blogosphere. Thanks for writing, Traci.

When I saw Beth’s adorable photo of Cody with a container of‭ ‬Chobani‭ ‬Greek yogurt on last week’s Wordless Wednesday post,‭ ‬I asked if‭ ‬Beth had ever tried making her own version of the tangy,‭ ‬creamy dairy treat.‭ ‬That led to a‭ ‬how-to‭ ‬request‭ ‬from‭ ‬Band Geeks Go to Fat Camp‭!‬,‭ ‬which led to this,‭ ‬my first ever guest blog post.

Let me start by saying I’m not a food blogger or the healthiest eater in the world.‭ ‬I’m a big‭ (‬formerly W size-wearing‭)‬ girl who always liked food more than moving and self-medicated with chocolate when life got hard.‭ ‬I’m working on changing that,‭ ‬though‭…

Beth and I met online through‭ ‬Hoop‭ ‬City‭ shortly after I started hoop dancing because it’s way more fun than any other form of exercise I’ve ever tried.‭ ‬Let’s put it this way‭ – ‬I’m still doing it after‭ ‬8‭ ‬months,‭ ‬ while every other method I’ve attempted has lasted two or three at most.

So when I found out Beth has a blog,‭ ‬I checked it out.‭ ‬That same quirky humor and positive outlook I saw in her hoop videos was evident here,‭ ‬so I started following Kitchen Courage,‭ ‬which is why you’re reading this.‭ ‬ Now,‭ ‬on to the food part of this post:‭

Greek yogurt is made in much the same way as regular yogurt,‭ ‬with one extra step:‭ ‬after the milk is heated and cultured,‭ ‬it’s put into cloth bags and allowed to sit until all the whey has strained out.‭ ‬This gives it the extra tanginess and thickness we associate with this sour cream of the‭ ‬Mediterranean.‭ (‬For more info,‭ ‬there’s an‭ ‬ad-intense yet informative article at WiseGeek.)

Greek-style yogurt,‭ ‬similar in texture and taste,‭ ‬is‭ ‬easy to make from regular yogurt.‭ ‬I can’t remember where I picked up this method‭ (‬probably on a Food Network show‭)‬,‭ ‬but I can attest that it is not complicated in the least.‭ ‬All you need is a container of regular yogurt in the brand of your choice,‭ ‬a colander or large tea strainer,‭ ‬a lining material‭ (‬muslin,‭ ‬cheesecloth or paper towels all work‭)‬,‭ ‬a bowl in which to catch the strained liquids,‭ ‬and a plate or cookie sheet under the bowl‭ ‬in case of‭ ‬drippage‭ (‬trust me,‭ ‬it’s better to have to wash a plate than to‭ ‬sop up whey liquid from a cold‭ ‬refrigerator‭ ‬shelf‭)‬.

I’ve made this once before using a‭ ‬store brand‭ ‬yogurt,‭ ‬but for the purposes of this post,‭ ‬I’m using‭ ‬Dannon All Natural low-fat plain yogurt.
Put your lining material into the colander or strainer in a single layer with the edges hanging out.‭ ‬Place the strainer device into a bowl large enough to hold it,‭ ‬then put the yogurt into the strainer.‭ ‬A couple of gentle taps of the strainer will help settle the contents and even them out,‭ ‬or you can use a knife or spoon to smooth out the yogurt.‭
Fold the edges of your lining material over the top of the yogurt,‭ ‬then put the whole contraption onto a plate or cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.‭ ‬If you use paper towels,‭ ‬you may want to drain the bowl and put a fresh layer of towels into your strainer after an hour.‭ ‬After two hours,‭ ‬all the liquids‭ ‬should‭ ‬have strained into the bowl.

Once the whey liquid is completely strained,‭ ‬you have a thick,‭ ‬creamy Greek-style yogurt that can be eaten plain or jazzed up with the add-ins of your choice‭ (‬honey,‭ ‬fruits,‭ ‬granola,‭ ‬cocoa powder and sweetener,‭ ‬etc.‭)‬.
It also makes a great ingredient for any recipe with sour cream or yogurt,‭ ‬especially‭ ‬the Greek cucumber dip‭ ‬tzatziki‭ ‬or the Indian version called‭ ‬raita‭.‭ ‬I haven’t made the tzatziki recipe,‭ ‬but I can vouch for the raita‭; ‬it’s very good and an excellent cooling sauce for spicy curry dishes.‭ ‬If you don’t have hothouse cucumbers,‭ ‬regular ones work just fine,‭ ‬and for the sugar,‭ ‬I substituted stevia.

So there it is.‭ ‬Have fun with it‭ – ‬experiment with yogurt types,‭ ‬add-ins and recipes,‭ ‬and let Beth and me know how it comes out.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this,‭ ‬you can find more of my writing at Tracings‭ and Circular Praise‭.‭ ‬Meanwhile,‭ ‬here’s a hooping video for your entertainment:

Find more videos like this on Hoop City - Hooping Community

Thanks again, Traci! I encourage you to check out her blogs. I'm a subscriber to both, and she shares wisdom, struggles, and successes from her writing and hooping endeavors. For more of what I think of as her "heck yeah!" hooping, visit Traci's video page on Hoop City.

Have you made your own Greek yogurt? Do you have a special method or favorite Greek yogurt recipe?

Want to guest post? Email me at KitchenCourage (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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