Greek yogurt seems to be all the rage these days and I have become addicted to it! I eat it literally every day for a quick healthy breakfast. I prefer the thick, creamy texture to regular yogurt and also appreciate the double amount of protein! Greek yogurt also has approximately half the amount of carbohydrates and half the sodium as regular yogurt as well, but also half as much calcium. So what is it about Greek yogurt that makes it different than regular? Well, this Christmas I found out!
My boyfriend bought me the most thoughtful cool present, a Greek yogurt maker by Dash. It is this cute little blue and white contraption that boasts it makes easy and healthy Greek yogurt all for the fraction of the cost of the store-bought kind. All you need to get started is a half a cup of what they call “starter yogurt,” any milk of your choice, and a food thermometer. Oh, and anything you may want to flavor the yogurt with. For my first batch I attempted a blueberry flavored version. I couldn’t wait to taste my own yogurt, but unfortunately I had to wait a while because the whole process takes approximately 12 hours or more.
What you need:
DASH Greek Yogurt Maker
5 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup plain yogurt for “starter” (I used Chobani plain Greek)
1 cup frozen blueberries (thawed)
Light agave nectar
What to do:
The first step is the hardest part. You have to heat your milk to exactly 185 degrees via a double boiler.
This. Takes. FOREVER. Well over an hour. It seemed like my milk got up to 150 degrees pretty easily but had trouble getting any warmer from there. Make sure you have enough water in the pot that you are boiling–I got about 40 minutes in and realized all of my water had evaporated. You can also use the microwave to heat your milk but you have to stir it after each minute, which gets old pretty quickly. Once the milk is at 185 degrees, take it off the boiler and cool to between 100-110 degrees, but not below 90. Then whisk in your starter yogurt so that there are no clumps.
I have to admit the heating process was quite a pain in the ass. Since it has to be such a particular temperature, you can’t very well let the milk on the heat and go about other things around the house. You have to consistently stir and check the temperature so that is just so. But this will likely get easier after I try it out several times. Then, after the milk heating/cooling, all is smooth sailing and the machine does the rest of the work.
From here, pour your milk/yogurt mixture into the small yogurt container. Then place in the Dash yogurt maker and set the timer. For 2% milk, the company recommends cooking the yogurt for 9 hours. The machine will automatically turn off after time is up.
After the 9 hours is up, you now have regular yogurt! You’ll see some yellow-ish liquid on top, which apparently is the “whey” and is packed with protein. You can use this in smoothies and other recipes. Or you can just stir it back into the yogurt like I did. If you want regular yogurt, just add your flavoring and pop this into the fridge for a few hours and you’re ready to go!
If you want Greek yogurt, you need to strain out the majority of the remaining whey. So, pour your yogurt mixture into the strainer and place in the large white container. You will immediately see the whey pouring out into the reserve. Place your yogurt in the fridge so it can cool while it strains for approximately 2 hours. Shorter if you like thinner yogurt, longer if you like thicker.
Now voila, you have plain Greek yogurt!
Here is the gross looking whey leftover!
Now it’s time to add your flavoring. For the blueberry flavor, I pureed 1 cup of blueberries with agave nectar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir into your yogurt and add additional agave and vanilla to taste. Place back in the fridge for several hours to cool before eating. Enjoy!
What a fun project and cool machine! You can certainly make Greek yogurt without the Dash machine, but I love the mess-free, convenient process that Dash provides. My first attempt turned out tasting awesome! However, it was a little rich for my liking. Next time I plan to use skim milk instead, or even try with soy milk. What a great way to make a homemade, healthy, all natural snack!
Have you ever tried making your own yogurt?