Today I made two uses of a food found in most everyone’s refrigerator, and I thought to write them down to share with the rest of you.
Greek yogurt has become the yogurt-of-choice, if you are to believe the advertising and hype. I continue to purchase the other kind; it is organic, and I buy it plain, not flavored and sweetened, in the large 2-pound tub. It is not as thick as the Greek style, but here is what I do if I want the Greek style: I scoop out a cup or so into a sieve with cheese cloth and let it drain for an hour. What remains is thick Greek-style yogurt with a bit of liquid drained off below. Now, I have seen trained TV chefs, presumably educated in the preparation of all kinds food, throw away that liquid. That liquid is whey, you know, the kind in the nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffett? That whey is full of protein that you can spend many dollars on in the health food store. In one scoop, I have saved money on both Greek yogurt plus whey protein for my smoothies. Whey can also be used in place of buttermilk in recipes. It is the pH that is important here. I have also saved many dollars, and sugar calories, by not buying the little 6- or 8-ounce flavored yogurt cups. They taste good and are convenient, but way too expensive for me.
I am not a food chemist, but I do know that whey on the commercial health food market comes in many forms, and is processed in several ways. I will not attempt to explain that but know that I can get a form of the unadulterated stuff very easily on my own. It is one of the best forms of protein available, with little or no lactose or other indigestable ingredients. I understand that athletes like whey because it returns their muscles back to their former strength very quickly. I’ll have to remember that the next time I work out!
Did you know that you can make your own yogurt? This link to Eating Well magazine’s recipe will give you directions:
The abbreviated recipe is this: Take 4 cups milk and heat in a saucepan to a temperature of 180º. Remove from heat and cool to 110º (use candy thermometer). Stir in 1/4 cup of plain yogurt (this is essential for the live active cultures in yogurt). The use of 2 per cent milk and plain unsweetened yogurt is recommended. Place mixture in two 1-quart jars or a bowl, cover lightly, and keep in a warm place. After eight hours, place in refrigerator. For Greek style, strain the yogurt through cheesecloth or in a Greek yogurt maker. Be sure to save a little for your next batch.
Who knew that yogurt could be so much fun?