Going to the supermarket and trying to choose between Greek yogurt or regular yogurt can be challenging. Everywhere you see the ads saying how much better Greek yogurt is for your health. But is it really? Don’t you often ask yourself the questions? Is it better? What’s the difference? How is Greek yogurt made?
The process to make either Greek yogurt or regular yogurt is the same.
It’s what you do with the yogurt afterwards that makes the difference.
Here is the basic method for making yogurt:
1. Heat the milk
2. Cool to proper temperature for fermentation
3. Add cultures
4. Ferment at proper temperature
At that point, you have the yogurt most of us are familiar with, the kind we usually find in the grocery store. At that point, sweeteners, fruit, or other products may be added to regular yogurt. We can even drain that yogurt and make yogurt cheese.
Yogurt cheese is just yogurt with the liquid (whey) drained off leaving a
thicker yogurt that is very similar in use and consistency to cream
cheese. In fact, it can be used much like cream cheese as a sandwich
spread, appetizers, even in some salads or desserts.
Since making your own yogurt may take a bit of time, it’s pretty much hands off time, but it is very inexpensive. No additives make it, not just a frugal choice, but a very healthy option. Taking it one step further to make yogurt cheese, or yogo-cheese as some people call this gourmet food, is also a thrifty choice.
But in between the two, yogurt and yogurt cheese, is Greek yogurt. It’s not a cheese or spread, it’s a thicker, creamier yogurt.
To make Greek yogurt, regular yogurt is strained extensively to remove liquid whey and lactose, leaving behind a thicker-textured yogurt.
While regular yogurt may be strained, if you wish, one or two times to remove the liquid whey ( I just add mine to smoothies and green drinks), Greek yogurt is strained 3 times. This gives this delicious dairy product a firmer texture, denser, and more nutrient packed.
Greek yogurt has close to twice the protein of regular yogurt but fewer
carbohydrates. If you need to count carbs, the thicker yogurt may be
the way to go to keep the carb count lower while still filling you up.
Regular yogurt has more calcium so if this is one reason you are adding yogurt to your menu, then choose the regular kind. Regular yogurt has about 3 times as much calcium so if you aren’t meeting this nutrient through other foods then adding this to your diet may be important to your overall health needs.
Unless you add sweeteners or fruit, there is not much difference in the calorie count. Generally it’s what you add to yogurt that adds calories.
For cooking purposes: Greek yogurt is more useful since it doesn’t tend to curdle when heated for sauces or soups. But both yogurts make ideal substitutes for eggs and oils in many baking recipes.
Haven't cooked with yogurt before? You'll love this recipe.
One of the biggest differences, that you’ve probably already noticed at the supermarket, is the price. The cost for Greek yogurt rises sharply above regular yogurt, especially if you are comparing a true plain yogurt against the thicker one. Compare the cost of homemade versus store bought also plus regular yogurt versus Greek yogurt.
No matter what you choose, yogurt is a nutritious and valuable dairy product to add to your food selection. In fact, some call it an ideal health food.
Greek Yogurt or Regular Yogurt; Return To Homepage
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