With its thick and creamy texture, Greek yogurt is being increasingly used for various culinary purposes. It is used as dips, spreads and toppings and is also a replacement for buttermilk in pancakes, mayo in some salads, sour cream and many other such ingredients. So, if you are a person who uses this yogurt frequently, it is advisable to have a basic understanding about some substitutes for Greek yogurt.
More about Greek Yogurt
We all know that nowadays, Greek yogurt is fast gaining popularity as this dairy product is found to be delicious as well as healthy. If you take a look at the various aspects of Greek yogurt vs regular yogurt, the main factor is the difference in consistency and texture. As compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier. It is this texture that makes it ideal for dips, spreads and toppings. This texture is achieved through the unique method of preparation.
Traditionally, this yogurt is prepared by boiling milk for very long durations, as this reduces the water content in it. Once done, milk powder or butterfat is added to the milk, which gets thickened. This milk is fermented with live bacteria and the resultant yogurt is strained for removing most of the whey. Apart from being low in lactose, Greek yogurt is also rich in protein and beneficial bacteria. But, as this yogurt has high fat content, moderate use is recommended. You may also go in for low fat or no fat versions.
What to Substitute for Greek Yogurt
From the very nature of Greek yogurt, it can be inferred that it is the thick, creamy texture of this product that makes it ideal for various culinary purposes. As it is basically a yogurt, there will not be any stark difference in flavor, when it is compared to regular yogurt. So, what you need is yogurt with a similar texture. You can prepare such a yogurt with a thick and creamy texture, without much difficulty.
- In order to prepare a Greek yogurt substitute, you need some plain unflavored full fat yogurt.
- Take a bowl and place a cheesecloth over it. The cheesecloth must be big enough to cover the edges of the bowl.
- Make a depression in the center of the cheesecloth and secure its edges (to the rim of the bowl) with a rubber band. Now, put the yogurt on the cheesecloth and pull the edges of the cloth.
- Tie the edges together (with a rubber band) so that the cheesecloth forms a bag with yogurt inside it. Now place the bag over the edge of a large bowl in such a manner that there is enough space in the bottom of the bowl to collect the whey.
- Make sure that the bottom of the bag is not touching the whey in the bowl. Place the bowl with the bag inside the refrigerator. Once the whey is removed completely, take out the yogurt and use it.
- This thick yogurt is also referred to as yogurt cheese. If you are looking for a vegan substitute for Greek yogurt, then get some soy yogurt and strain it as per the above said method.
Even though, there will be a slight difference in flavor, this homemade yogurt will serve the purpose of Greek Yogurt in almost all recipes that require the latter. So, you can try this recipe, the next time you run out of Greek yogurt.