The Scoop on Dairy: All Things Yogurt
I’m back with another blog post about the wide world of dairy foods!
Believe me, I’m surprised myself that there’s this much to talk about. Originally, I thought the vast array of dairy products could be described in just two blogs, which you can find here and here. This is part three and it covers yogurts. I’ll finish up the series next month with part four.
- Medium-thick, tangy and creamy, plain regular yogurt results from fermenting whole, low fat or skim milk with beneficial bacteria. A variety of sweetened fruits or flavors may be added, creating a plethora of choices. Use regular yogurt in any recipe that simply calls for yogurt. Also try it blended into smoothies or atop fruit and cereal.
- Straining regular yogurt creates Greek yogurt. Straining removes whey and other liquids, as well as some lactose (a natural milk sugar), some calcium and some sodium. The result is thicker yogurt with nearly double the protein of regular yogurt. Made with whole, low fat or skim milk, Greek yogurt may be plain or flavored. Use it in recipes requiring Greek yogurt, in smoothies or mixed with fruit and cereal. Also try substituting plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream in salad dressings and dips. The word “strained” on the label indicates that your yogurt is Greek yogurt as opposed to Greek-style yogurt (see below).
- Greek-style yogurt looks and tastes like Greek yogurt, but it is made without straining. Instead, manufacturers add thickening agents and protein to regular yogurt, creating a product similar in texture and protein content to Greek yogurt. Use it as you would Greek yogurt.
- Icelandic yogurt, also known as skyr (SKEER) uses different bacterial cultures than other yogurts, giving it a much tarter flavor. It is strained even further than Greek yogurt, so it’s richer, more dense, higher in protein and lower in calcium. Most Icelandic yogurt starts with skim milk, but whole milk versions exist. Unless you have a recipe calling for Icelandic yogurt, use it in a beverage or topped with cereal.
- French-style yogurt is “pot set” meaning that it is cultured right in individual jars instead of being made in big batches and transferred into small containers. Since it’s not strained, it’s not as thick as Greek or Icelandic yogurts. The rich and creamy texture of French yogurt comes from whole milk. You can use it anywhere you would use regular whole milk yogurt.
- Unstrained and made with whole milk, Australian yogurt differs because it uses a slower cooking process, making it slightly creamier than regular whole milk yogurt. Usually, it’s sweetened with honey. Use this yogurt in any recipe that calls for Australian yogurt, in a smoothie or try it on fruit and cereal.
- Increasingly popular and convenient, drinkable yogurt is made with the same sorts of active cultures as traditional yogurt. And like regular yogurt, drinkable ones are frequently flavored. Brands of drinkable yogurt vary from very thin to almost-hard-to-drink viscous. Try different brands and flavors to find your favorite.
Want to make your own yogurt? Try our Homemade Yogurt recipe!
That’s the scoop on yogurts. Keep your eyes open for The Scoop on Dairy Products, Part 4—Cultured Creams.