In sharing recipes for the BellySatva blog and newsletter over the past couple of years, I have in passing referred to using homemade lebneh or Greek yogurt as an accompaniment to many sumptuous dishes, including Lebanese dandelion greens, Turkish zucchini fritters, and smoky cocoa-infused Mexican chili. I realize however that the process of straining yogurt at home for that indulgently thick, creamy texture that has made bellies smile the world over may perhaps deserve more than a footnote. This month’s recipe therefore is devoted to the art of straining your own yogurt at home. Aaaand, I might add, my first pictorial culinary how-to guide in the kitchen. To your health!
Step 1: What You Need
- Quality Organic Whole-Milk Yogurt (32 oz.) *if available, I recommend Brown Cow brand’s Cream Top Whole Milk Organic*
- Mesh Strainer
- Mixing Bowl
- Cheesecloth or Paper towels *cheesecloth is the purest of straining materials, but everyday kitchen towels will do just nicely *
Step 2: Hook up your Straining Apparatus
Hook the mesh strainer on top of bowl so it is suspended and excess liquid easily separates from yogurt solids.
Step 3: Commence Straining
Line strainer with cheesecloth or paper towels and gently pour in yogurt.
Step 4: Walk Away
Seal tightly with plastic wrap, store in fridge overnight to strain. Typically 6-36 hours is ideal for creating that rich, creamy texture that has become a fan favorite in foodie trends. When removing from cheesecloth/paper towel lining, be sure to slowly, carefully peel lining off the yogurt and serve immediately or store in airtight container.
Enjoy in a parfait with granola/honey/dried fruit/nuts, as a sour cream substitute, or a Middle Eastern style lebneh dip as pictured above with zaatar, toasted chickpeas, and drizzle of olive oil. As you begin to make Greek yogurt with frequency, you’ll find no shortage or ways to savor.