DIY - Make Your Own Greek Yogurt *Giveaway*

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Jamie Geller
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Because we are new olim, Hubby started going to Ulpan. As you probably know, that’s a crash course in spoken Hebrew, but the immediate payoff is a circle of friends – people who are as clueless as you are about how to say in perfect Hebrew, “I think I’m on the wrong bus and I don’t want to go to Solomon’s Mines.”  At least, you’re supposed to learn how to say this fast enough to get off before the bus hurtles into the Negev.

A true Israeli, the Ulpan teacher has a habit of introducing inexplicable grammar rules with the preface "This is how it is; if you don't like it, start a revolution." Now of course this all goes down in Hebrew but the word for revolution she uses is "revolutzia." That’s not one of my classic vocab words from 6th grade Hebrew class, but I love the sound of it.

Fact is, when I arrived I nearly started a big fat revolutzia of my own.  It was all about yogurt.  Greek yogurt.

Old habits are hard to break you see, even when you resolve to make aliyah and change everything. Wherever in the world I find myself, I like to start my day with a cup (or more) of plain fat free Chobani Greek yogurt sprinkled with Truvia and mixed with fruit. It comes right after my grandma-style hot water with lemon. Every day. First thing in the morning.

So I come to the Promised Land – and there’s no Chobani!  The horror of it all was nearly too much to bear.  My husband’s mother (who really is an angel disguised as a mother-in-law) emailed Chobani to ask if they distribute to Israel.  The simple, sad, intense, frantic return email read: NO!

I was calmed only by the notion that Greece is closer to Israel than the US, so there must be an authentic Greek brand – properly hechshered – just waiting for me at the supermarket.

It wasn’t there. That's when I got all into revolutzia mode.

But starting a war probably wouldn't make me all too popular with the locals so I took a deep breath in and out and thought that technically I knew how to and even clearly explained on this here site that it’s oh SO EASY to make your own homemade Greek yogurt.  While it’s something I never had to do before, I decided to try.

So, every two days I make my own – only because my strainer isn’t large enough to handle more than that.  Once the whey is strained along with all the water and dissolved salts and sugars, 3 cups of regular yogurt yield 1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt.  So in fact, it’s double the cost of standard yogurt which is in keeping with the hefty price tag of store bought Greek yogurt.  Yup that’s kind of pricey, but why quibble over a few shekels when you’re saving a life? My life. My breakfast. My morning.

So we’ll have to revise our budget, Hubby.   But better that then me starting a revolutzia, no?

GreekYogurtDiagram

Quick little Greek yogurt primer, What is Greek Yogurt? 

The rich texture of Greek yogurt is achieved by straining it through a cloth, a paper bag, or a filter to remove the whey.  Because the whey is removed, even nonfat varieties are rich and creamy. Straining the yogurt removes water and dissolved salts and sugars, so by volume Greek yogurt has twice the protein and less sodium, carbohydrates, and sugar than regular yogurt. The consistency achieved is between yogurt and cheese, and the distinctive tangy taste is preserved. That’s why Greek yogurt has recently become so popular. It has a richer taste and is lower in carbs than unstrained yogurts.

Homemade Fat Free Greek Style Yogurt with Step by Step Photo Instructions

Many thanks to the amazingly talented photographer, blogger and recipe developer Sina Mizrahi from the TheKosherSpoon.com.  I fell in love with Sina, her cooking her photography, after visiting her beautiful blog.  She opens up about her life, her food, her family and cooks (sometimes) simple meals with seasonal produce that are (mostly) nutritious.  Please visit her site.

Addendum - Many of you in the US have been asking for a Cholov Yisroel Greek Yogurt and now you can get yours.  Kosher Today announced that Norman's Dairy is releasing the first Cholov Yisroel (higher kosher standard for dairy) Greek Yogurt in 6 flavors.  Look for it at your kosher markets this Winter.

***Giveaway*** Win a sampling of Papa Ben’s Kitchen 5 varieties of Mandelbroyt.   Enter the contest below.