What Makes Greek Yogurt Recipes So Popular?
Each year in the United States, there is a new food trend that rises to popularity but soon fizzles out within a matter of months. A number of food lovers and critics thought that greek yogurt would face the same fate. But in the last few years, this thick and creamy yogurt has stayed quite popular with those looking to stay healthy and fit in an all natural manner. Much like sour cream, the greek yogurt goes through a few extra steps of preparation but in fact tastes better and has a slight tangy taste to it. For most part, there are greek yogurt recipes to suit about every kind of palette.
Although one can add and subtract various elements and come out with new ways to make greek yogurt, the basic greek yogurt recipes remain much the same. The process is similar to making regular yogurt, with a few extra steps in order to get the perfect creamy and thick texture that everybody loves. The basic recipe is as follows:
1/2 – 1 gallon of milk
2 – 3 tbsps of yogurt
Muslin cloth or cheese cloth
For the recipe, there is no restriction about the kind of milk to use. While some may prefer it to be skimmed or low fat, others may use full fat and creamy milk depending on their taste. The same goes for the yogurt. It can be probiotic or regular, as long as it does have some bacteria in it that can help with the process of curdling and making yogurt.
First of all, pour the milk into a pan to heat it up. It is best to heat it on a medium flame, so that it does not burn at the bottom. After it has been heated, pour the milk into a dish to cool down. If you have a cooking thermometer with which you can measure the temperature, then make sure the milk heats till 180 F and no more. When cooling, allow the milk to come down to a 105 – 110 F. When you put the milk to cool, turn the oven on to a setting of 150 F. After the milk has cooled sufficiently, add about two to three tbsps of the yogurt into it. Adding anything more than spoils the flavor.
Stir the yogurt in, put a cover on your dish and then wrap it in a dishtowel or a tea-cozy. You can turn the oven off at this point, put make sure the oven light stays on. The heat will ensure that the milk curdles in time to make yogurt. Now, the mix has to remain undisturbed for close to 8 hours, preferably overnight. In the morning, the milk should have turned into yogurt with a little bit of water left on top. Drain away the water and you can start the next process of the greek yogurt recipes. For those you will need the muslin or cheesecloth.
In another large dish, spread out the muslin or cheese cloth in about three to four layers. Make sure it covers all of the dish and has some space at the bottom for the water to collect. Then, start to pour the yogurt into the dish, straining it with the cloth. Whatever starts to accumulate at the bottom is known as whey. It can be saved up for cooking in case one wishes to make bread at home. If not, it can be discarded. Keep refrigerating the mixture in the fridge in between straining for an hour so that the yogurt does not lose its consistency. Following these greek yogurt recipes should give you a thick, creamy, slightly tangy yogurt after about three hours.
If you have prepared a large enough batch of greek yogurt, there are plenty of recipes in which it can be used to replace sour cream or even plain yogurt. Doing so allows people to live a much healthier lifestyle due to the way in which greek yogurt has been prepared. For most part, it is used as an accompaniment with various kinds of breakfasts, but it is fast catching on in desserts, parfaits and even with cereal.
Potato salad is one such light first course dish that can use greek yogurt. Instead of using sour cream and mayonnaise to make the creamy part of the salad, simply add the yogurt you have made at home. It can be flavored with vanilla or bean extract if you like. Another simple idea is mashed cauliflower served with greek yogurt, beans and a touch of crushed peppercorns and oregano. There are also a fair number of greek yogurt recipes for dips, that replace the cream with the healthy and delicious yogurt. Making guacamole with it is one such wonderful idea.
Even though the taste of greek yogurt sets it apart from most other similar creams and condiments, it is the many nutritional and health benefits that truly make it a winner. It is become a popular item in breakfast items and low fat preparations due to the low calorie count as well.
Greek yogurt is probiotic in nature. Since it is made from regular yogurt, it is full of bacteria that are in fact quite helpful for our digestive system. These probiotic bacteria reduce the amount of germs and microorganisms in the body that can cause infections and keep the digestive tract clean. Not only do food items made from greek yogurt recipes feel lighter on the stomach, they are much easier to digest as well. Those seeking relief from disorders of the abdomen will find a great deal of relief from this yogurt.
When greek yogurt is being prepared, it is put through an extra process in which it is strained further. Doing so removes even the slightest bits of water present in the yogurt, allowing for a creamy and thick texture. Another purpose the straining serves is to bump up the amount of proteins found in greek yogurt recipes. Being such a rich source of protein, it is especially helpful to those on a diet and struggling to find healthy sources of protein through the day. Since it can have as much as three times more protein than yogurt does, one can have lesser quantities of it as well.
Diabetics that love having yogurt but are worried about the sugar content that will go into their bodies can rejoice with some greek yogurt recipes. Due to the process of straining, there is also a great deal of sugar content that is removed from the final mixture. This is why it is seen to be a boon to those looking to get fit and maintain a fat-free lifestyle. Homemade greek yogurt is the best for those wanting to stay away from sugar as it definitely does not have any of the additives that bigger companies put in.
At the same time, greek yogurt is low on sodium content which is wonderful news for those at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. For most part, having the yogurt can curb the rise of blood pressure and other heart related disorders. Since it cuts down the sodium content by 50%, it also allows for more helping through the day. All in all, adopting many of the greek yogurt recipes available makes for a healthy lifestyle any given day