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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 30784  
Subject: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/26/2012 8:15 AM
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I have a very simple yogurt cheese maker that has frankly been sitting in my cabinet unused for years. I'm not a huge fan of yogurt cheese, though I may start trying some cheesecake recipes with it again. IIRC, it cost me about $5, and was similar to this: http://www.fantes.com/manuals/mikes-yogurt-cheese-maker-funn... There are more expensive models out there.

I much prefer greek yogurt to regular yogurt, and it is lower in carbs as well. I'm less thrilled about the high price of it though. I also would like more options in terms of fat content, as the marketers seem to think that if you eat yogurt you must be trying to avoid fat. So I picked up a quart of "european style" yogurt from Trader Joes, a yogurt that supposedly is a bit thicker than regular yogurt already, for $2.99. Their same size of greek yogurt is $4.99

I simply put the yogurt in the funnel and let the whey drip out. I processed the quart in two batches, due to the size limitation of my yogurt cheese maker. My time involvement was minimal at best. After draining to an approximate greek yogurt texture, I weighed what was left of the solids, and found that I now had 22oz instead of the original 32 oz. No doubt some of what was lost was solids that got left behind on the funnel and on other tools, but about a third of the volume was drainage. A quick calculation showed that I saved only about $0.02/oz doing this myself, if I ignored my limited amount of time spent making it. So compared to a 320z greek yogurt at $4.99, I would spend $0.64 less per container. Our family consumes 2-3 quarts per week, and while the savings is not huge, it adds up.

More important than this small savings is that I can now control how much whey I leave in, though of course draining more whey will increase the price per ounce. I can control the fat content, raising it easily if so desired. I had previously used fat free greek yogurt to make onion dip for my son, who did not even notice the lack of sour cream, though I confess I did. I would imagine it would be even better with whole fat greek yogurt.

IP,
just reaching the bottom of her homemade greek yogurt with walnuts, chia, pomegranate SF syrup and pomegranate seeds
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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29908 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/28/2012 3:23 AM
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Thanks for the tip. You inspired me to try it.

I didn't have a cheese making gizmo so I searched YouTube. It can be done by putting a regular strainer over a bowl, lining that with paper towels and dumping your yogurt in. Leave it ovenight to drain in the fridge. Here's one video, 2 minutes long.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1G98vqRrLc&sns=em

(This lady used a giant coffee filter instead of paper towels, but lacking those flat type filters I went with paper towels)

Yes, success! It was easy to do and produced very thick Greek yogurt. By my calculation I saved about 20% in cost over buying Greek yogurt in the store. That won't make me rich, but its somehow satisfying to do it myself, knowing that there are no additives used.

Very nice addition to the low carb toolkit!

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29909 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/28/2012 6:16 AM
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By my calculation I saved about 20% in cost over buying Greek yogurt in the store.

Wow, you must be able to get some cheap regular yogurt! Dairy is expensive here, but I do live in a high cost of living area.

I tried it with the whole fat yogurt, and found for some reason that more of the solids went through the filter with the whey than the non fat did. That surprised me. I had about a 50% loss by volume, which would make the $6 quart of whole fat greek yogurt not too much of a splurge when I can find it, since I pay $3 for the whole fat regular yogurt.

I tried cheese cloth when I first started making yogurt cheese many years ago. Was not worth the hassle. Glad you found a way that works for you since it seems like the current filtration models are around $20.

Anyone try making their own frozen yogurt?

IP

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29910 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/28/2012 6:53 AM
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Wow, you must be able to get some cheap regular yogurt!

I'm in Germany, so I guess the subsidies are all different. Anyway I just discovered I was way off in my calculation. Actually I'm saving 62% by making it myself!

Greek yogurt €4.79 per liter (cheapest I could find it)

Regular full fat yogurt €0.92 per liter; assume two liters needed to make one liter Greek yogurt = €1.84

(4.79 -1.84)/4.79 x 100 = 62%

If I made my own yogurt, milk here costs €0.55 per liter, so my yogurt cost would fall from €1.84 to €1.10 then the savings would be 77% !

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29911 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/28/2012 7:29 AM
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Wow, that is quite the spread in price between Greek and regular yogurt. No wonder you are making it yourself!

Your English is impeccable...are you an American abroad? If it's not being too nosy, what took you over there?

Our oldest started college this year, and we are hoping to have him take advantage of 3 semesters abroad. Besides the fact that the global experience will be good for him, it saves us about $9,000/semester since they charge in state tuition rates when you study abroad. Win/win!

IP

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29912 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/28/2012 8:21 AM
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Yes I'm American. Marriage brought me over here. My German is extremely peccable.

I'm sure your son would have an unforgettable time at college in Europe. Take a look at universities in Vienna. I think there are over a hundred thousand students there and the place is full of culture. It depends what he enjoys but that place impresses me for student life. Be careful though he might end up like me and not come back :)

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29913 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/28/2012 8:39 AM
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His school has campuses or professor led semesters abroad in various places all over the world, so to keep things easy with credit transfer, (treated same as at main campus if you use their schools or approved programs,) he can chose from those. He can even do a work abroad semester, particularly in conjunction with study abroad to round out the year. Those are nice because you are paid pretty well and often have housing provided or at least an allowance. He's looking forward to doing 3 semesters of internship as well as study abroad. No tuition charge, ability to explore the US and even the world on someone else's dime, all while earning much more money than coming home to work at Staples for the summer would get him.

Be careful though he might end up like me and not come back :)

I hear you. I almost stayed in France myself after living there for 14 months. Would have stayed if Mom had not extracted the promise I would return even before I left.

If it were not my job to encourage him to spread his wings and become independent, I would have been very tempted to encourage him to go with his first instinct to stay nearby, but at my prodding he looked at schools far and near and got his first choice which is a 13 hour marathon drive from home. Choice number two was only 20 minutes away. He absolutely loves it, and I am finally managing not to burst out crying at unpredictable moments. I guess I prepared him better than I prepared myself!

IP,
who actually likes her kids, and can't understand the parents who are eager for the kids to move out

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29914 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 9/29/2012 5:37 AM
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Anyone try making their own frozen yogurt?

Not yet, but if it came out ice-cream like that would be the holy grail for me. Let's experiment.

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29915 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/7/2012 3:36 AM
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So far I've not been able to keep the Greek yogurt available long enough to do some ice cream experiments. Family loves it so much its gone within a half day of me making it.

So far my batch size is 600 grams (20 US fluid ounces) yogurt at a time*. This fills the largest strainer/bowl combo that I can easily fit into my fridge. Guess I'll have to expand the scale of my operation with some more serious (and space efficient) equipment and a bigger fridge :)

*600 grams because the only size of full fat yogurt available in my local discount store is in little single portion cups of 4 x 150 grams. I'd prefer to buy it in liter quantities but they only sell bigger sizes for low-fat and sugared yogurts. I guess the demand for the simple real yogurt is too low to offer choices. The irony is that despite the higher packaging cost (and packaging waste) those little cups are a lot cheaper per unit weight of yogurt than the jumbo sugar yogurts. That tells me something about profit margins.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29916 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/7/2012 8:03 AM
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This fills the largest strainer/bowl combo that I can easily fit into my fridge.

I leave mine on the counter in this cooler weather, and only put it in the fridge for long term storage. I've stopped making it, however, as it is just not an economically profitable use of my time. The fat free Greek Yogurt we get from Trader Joes is pretty darned good, so I just watch for sales if I want to cook with the full fat version.

If it is that hard to get decent amounts of full fat yogurt, what about making your own from scratch, and then filtering out the whey?

IP

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29917 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/7/2012 12:08 PM
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If it is that hard to get decent amounts of full fat yogurt, what about making your own from scratch, and then filtering out the whey?

That's a good idea, especially if you think it doesn't need to happen inside the fridge. Somebody on YouTube said it really needs only four hours to mostly drain, I suppose being on the counter for four hours would not create a bacteria problem. After all I suppose the true Greeks didn't use a fridge for this.

With more bulk I'd also need to go beyond the small strainers I have, I wonder if a colender would do the job?

I've been searching Amazon for frozen yogurt makers. The way they work is that you freeze a glycol-insulated bowl for a day beforehand then this machine does the periodic stirring while the stuff cools. The reviewers seem reasonably satisfied with the result, though they seem mostly sugar based. I may buy one of those, they're not too expensive. E.g. (US example)
http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-ICE-30BC-Indulgence-2-Quart-...

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29918 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/10/2012 5:39 PM
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OK I took it to the next level. Made my own yogurt from scratch from whole milk, then Greeked it. Bought an ice cream maker of the no-salt type that cool through frozen glycol-insulated bowl.
http://www.amazon.de/Krups-GVS2013-Eismaschine/dp/B004N86DRE...

Added 400 ml (2 cups) cream to 700 ml Greek yogurt, plus a cup of frozen strawberrie and maybe ten squirts of my sugar free sweetener, a cyclamate/saccharin blend. Blended it all in the food processor.

Then, go get the ice cream machine bowl from the freezer. I soon realized, that that is one seriously frozen bowl. Just carrying it 50 feet from my freezer to my kitchen and my thumb was stuck to the bowl. The instruction book warns about frostbite, I had assumed that was either a joke or just somebody trying to avoid being sued. No, it's for real.

Then put the motor on top and stir blade underneath and turn it on. Blade begins turning. Within about 10 minutes the stuff begins to solidify. After about 20 minutes it was so solid the blade couldn't turn it any more.

Dish it out and enjoy.

The texture was identical to that of ice cream or ice yogurt. Very smooth and creamy. Yay!

It wasn't flavorful enough, though. I thought the strawberries would do the trick. Next time I'll try more intense flavoring.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29919 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/10/2012 6:28 PM
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Congrats! How did the family like it?

The next trick will be to see if it keeps at all in the freezer, or if you have to eat the entire batch in one sitting. I never had luck storing home made ice cream in the freezer. It was never the same quality.

I've never heard of mixing yogurt and cream, but then again I've never made frozen yogurt. Is that something you saw in a recipe, or something you simply decided to try?

IP

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29920 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/10/2012 7:25 PM
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I watched a few YouTube videos and they mostly added cream, so I did too. This was my favorite
http://youtu.be/mkC-Ukl9SoY

Though she used sugar, and suggested agave nectar for those wanting not to. I looked up agave nectar on the web and it seems to be 90% fructose, bad stuff indeed.

Some people add egg yolks, I skipped that.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29921 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/10/2012 7:56 PM
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I watched a few YouTube videos and they mostly added cream,...

Ahhh, got to love YouTube. Can't tell you how many projects I've taken on around the house because I've googled and watched a few other people doing them. Amazing the conflicting advice you can get on them too, which actually is great because I get to benefit from other people's mistakes before making them myself.

I am old enough to remember life without the internet. Really wouldn't want to do without it. Has definitely made our lives easier in so many ways, if also making us more sedentary and more in need of watching our weight!

IP

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29922 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/11/2012 1:11 AM
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How did the family like it?

They liked it, except for one flavoring mistake I made that I forgot to mention. Most of those YouTube videos added a dash of vanilla or rum flavoring, but I couldn't imagine that going well with strawberry. Anyway I took a risk and added one of those tiny vials of rum flavoring that they sell for cake baking. These have zero carbs. But the family was unanimous that that detracted from the flavor. So scratch that idea off the list.

Overall the process is pretty simple and easy and ends up with a great product. It does require planning; to get 700 ml Greek yogurt I need to run two sequential yogurt cycles with the setup I have (or buy a bigger mason jar, which I guess I should do), and the ice bowl needs 24 hours in the freezer beforehand. So it's not a spur of the moment kind of thing. But much easier & less messy than the old salt-ice method.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29923 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/11/2012 6:35 AM
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Most of those YouTube videos added a dash of vanilla or rum flavoring, but I couldn't imagine that going well with strawberry. Anyway I took a risk and added one of those tiny vials of rum flavoring that they sell for cake baking. These have zero carbs. But the family was unanimous that that detracted from the flavor. So scratch that idea off the list.

I don't see rum flavoring with strawberries either, but vanilla is a slam dunk. I use vanilla extract often with fruit based yogurt. Or Orange/lemon. A little goes a long way though, and too much can be disgusting.

Since you are not putting eggs in it, you should be tasting your base every step of the way. That allows you to make adjustments if things are not just right.

IP,
who loves to create new recipes

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29925 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 10/14/2012 4:50 AM
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Made another batch of Greek ice yogurt, used frozen cherries this time plus a dash of vanilla. Taste was great.

The yogurt I used was different - I bought something called "cream yogurt Greek style" which was half the price of true Greek yogurt. It has a blander taste, less tart, but the taste of the cherries dominates anyway so that's OK. Cream yogurt has 10% fat and only cream and yogurt as ingredients so is still low carb friendly.

Still my objective is to do it from scratch myself which will still be 50% cheaper even than with cream yogurt. Even that savings isn't much in the grand scheme of things, one euro saved per liter of yogurt. It's more the fun of doing it myself and having control over the ingredients.

One thing about ice yogurt made this way - when stored in the freezer, it gets too hard and seems dry. But letting it thaw restores it, it becomes just like partially melted ice cream. Delicious. The instruction book with the ice maker warned about this, so its nothing to do with low carb or the sugarless sweetener. I guess commercial ice cream must have some gummy gunk added to it to prevent this problem. I'm glad to avoid gummy gunk.

These cherries were historic - came off my own tree two years ago - yes frozen that long because I always feared the carbs in cherries eaten as-is. Diluted in ice cream, that is less of an issue. Alas, the tree is now dead and gone, victim of some kind of fungus. Sweetest cherries on the block, they were. Neglected trees (as this was) usually produce the best fruit. My apple tree confirms that (will harvest this week, make juice from that I won't do more than taste). Stress creates flavor.

Stones were removed before freezing with a little manual stone remover gizmo - doesn't get them all so have to be careful eating this ice cream - not a problem really because I don't chew ice cream.

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Author: eaglehaslanded Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 29938 of 30784
Subject: Re: Made My Own Greek Yogurt Date: 1/14/2013 3:48 PM
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My father-in-law has been making yogurt in his crock-pot. He used greek yogurt as the starter for the culture last week. It was good with no sweetener, just a little vanilla. I'll try to find the recipe.

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