This tip is so simple but makes your homemade yogurt even more amazing.
First of all, I think it’s amazing to make yogurt. Or maybe I’m just a science geek. But I can’t get over the transformation of warming milk, stirring in a tablespoon of yogurt starter, letting it sit overnight – et voila! Yogurt. If you haven’t made yogurt before, go do that now!
I’ve been making my own yogurt for over a year now. But it always turns out really thin. Which hasn’t bothered me too much if I eat if over homemade granola or with some fruit compote. But it’s not always the picture-perfect yogurt you might serve to company. (Does anyone serve yogurt to company? Well, I will now that I can make thick, creamy Greek yogurt!)
The secret to making thick Greek yogurt? You have to strain your homemade yogurt.
Straining is easy, just use some cheesecloth and a strainer over a bowl. The liquid (whey) drips into the bowl and you’re left with a cheesecloth full of thick, creamy yogurt. It’s a bit messy, but oh-so-tasty.
So that’s it. No step by step tutorial required. Just make yogurt, strain it, chill and eat.
I like to eat my yogurt with walnuts and honey, like in the picture above. Yum!
But what is this “whey” stuff in the bowl?
At the end of the straining process, you’ll have a bunch of liquid whey. Yes, just like the stuff Little Miss Muffet ate. Whey is a bi-product when you turn milk into cheese, and it’s also a component of yogurt.
It turns out you can do a lot of stuff with whey … including making lacto-fermented sauerkrauts and other vegetables (for lots, lots more on this subject, read Nourishing Traditions), making ricotta cheese (I’m going to try this one!), adding it to bread dough, and just drinking it (I’m not ready for that one yet!).
How do I store whey?
I put the liquid whey in a clean jar in the refrigerator - clearly labeled! The whey should last for 3-6 months. As with any traditional ingredient like this, trust your senses. Always look and smell ingredients before using them to make sure they’re in good condition! I’ve had my first jar of whey for one month, and have been using it without a problem.
If you make your own yogurt, try straining it next time – you’ll love the results! And if you have any experience using whey, let us know in the comments.