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DIY Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt This year, eat more Greek yogurt! Image courtesy Food Network Magazine.

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.

Hungry Girl Guacamole Hungry Girl’s Holy Moly Guacamole Sprout and Pea’s Hummus With Greek Yogurt

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

Ellie's Broccoli Slaw 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.

Spicy Delicata Squash Soup With Cilantro-Lime Yogurt

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

Guava Swirl Cheesecake 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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