Before I made some diet changes to the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan 5 years ago, I didn’t have a great love for Greek yogurt. It was different than regular yogurt and honestly I wasn’t impressed! Little did I know that making homemade Greek yogurt in a cooler would someday become one of my routines that simplifies my life and keeps me from spending oodles of money on processed yogurt.
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Health benefits of eating Greek Yogurt
There are TONS of articles out there on the benefits of eating Greek yogurt instead of regular. Here is a short list of benefits and you can check out Day to Day Adventures' health board on Pinterest if you want to see more!
- It has tons of Protein!
- Yogurt helps digestion with probiotics
- What a great treat after a workout because the amino acids it contains helps to repair and build muscle fibers
- It can lower the risk of contracting type 2 Diabetes
- Eating yogurt supports weight loss and increases fat loss
- When you have yogurt it reduces high blood pressure and bad cholesterol
Personal reasons for eating homemade Greek yogurt
- I LOVE the amount of protein in Greek yogurt but I also love that by making it at home I know what is in it. No added sugar! It is basically just milk and yogurt(starter). We add our own sweeteners if we need it.
- I also like that I can control the thickness. We’ve tried different brands and many are too thick for our tastes. So the simple solution is the make your own!
The one brand I like is Yoplait’s Triple Zero and it is sweetened with Stevia which makes it a perfect E meal for THM! It is great for when I am traveling and trying to stay on plan.
USES for Greek yogurt
There are too many recipes to name for homemade Greek yogurt but these are my top 3.
- Yogurt Sundae--Yogurt, berries, nuts, chocolate!
- Bust-a-Myth Banana Muffins--THM Cookbook (pg. 298)
- Overnight Oats--SO many other varieties. Go search Pinterest!
Steps to making Homemade Greek yogurt in a cooler
1. Put skim milk in a large pot. My routine is to do 1 1/2 gallons each time I make yogurt. I end up with 6 quarts of yogurt but you can do just a gallon if that is a better size for you. This lasts our family several weeks!
By using skim milk, it will keep your homemade Greek yogurt in Fuel Pull land (low carbs and low fat)
2. Slowly heat your milk to between 170 and 180 degrees. I do this on medium heat so that my milk doesn't scorch on the pan. Hate cleaning up scorched milk!
3. Turn off the heat and allow the milk to cool to 120 degrees.
4. When the milk is close to 120 degrees start boiling 2-3 quarts of water. I use our kettle. Make sure to have clean quart jars ready to fill with yogurt (for me that is 6).
5. Place rings and lids (they don't have to be new) in a small pot with water. Heat water and lids/rings until boiling, turn off and cover the pot with lid.
6. Once your kettle is boiling, fill your clean mason jars 1/2-3/4 of the way with the water. Let them set for several minutes to sterilize the jars.
7. When your milk is at 120 degrees then remove 1 cup of milk and mix it with 6-8 oz of plain yogurt. This can be store bought or just use the last of the previous batch of yogurt that you made.
8. Stir all of the yogurt and milk mixture in to your large pot of hot milk. Stir until well combined.
9. Pour the hot water from your jars in to the cooler. Be careful not to burn yourself!
10. Fill your jars with hot milk. There will be some foam at the top. You can scoop this off. Fill the jars as full as you can.
11. Remove lids and rings from the hot water and put them on the jars of hot milk. Then place the jars into the cooler and shut the lid! (Yes I wash and reuse some lids. No my yogurt isn't peach flavored.)
12. Leave the jars of yogurt for 8-10 hours. Longer is fine.
I often do this after supper and leave it overnight. You can check the yogurt around 8 hours and see if it is has thickened. Tip your jar on the side and you will see it move. If it is liquid then it needs longer. If it is like Jello then you are ready for the next step.
13. Remove your cooled jars and put them in the refrigerator! They may still be warm and that is ok.
At this point you have regular yogurt. It is perfectly fine to eat and many people love it like this! But for THM it needs to have fewer carbs.
The removal process makes regular yogurt into Greek yogurt.
14. Get a small colander and a bowl that the colander will sit on top of easily. Place a coffee filter inside of the colander and then pour the yogurt in and let it drain. The whey will end up in the bottom bowl and you will have Greek yogurt in the colander.
I usually let it drain for 20-30 minutes.
Longer than that and the consistency of the yogurt is really thick which various members of our family don't like.
Need ideas on what to do with the whey?
Here are 16 ways to use whey!
It is not hard--there are just steps you must follow to make it turn out right!
Let me know how it goes for you!
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