Straining yogurt is an easy way to create Greek-style yogurt, yogurt cheese or just to thicken homemade yogurt.
Strained yogurt is thick and rich. With the whey removed it is less acidic or tart and it can be used in dishes that regular yogurt would be too tart for. It can be used as a substitute for mayo, cream cheese or sour cream. It ‘s also great to use in cooking since it doesn’t curdle when heated.
There are lots of ways to strain yogurt. You can use paper towel, cheesecloth, fabric, yogurt cheese maker or a mesh strainer. However, I’ve found the best thing to use is a coffee filter laid inside of a mesh strainer.
I have a medium sized metal mesh strainer and I simply line it with coffee filters. If you can find the large basket coffee filters, these work the best and you only need to use one.
If you are using the small ones, you’ll need to arrange them to cover the strainer.
When you use coffee filters, the strained yogurt pulls away making it really easy to move to your waiting container. There is very little mess, and the whey that is drained off is crystal clear.
I feel better about using the whey for lacto-fermentation knowing that all of the yogurt is strained out (and there are a lot of uses for this whey!).
Once your all done straining, the whey can be stored in the fridge in a mason jar and will keep for 2-3 months.
Another good thing about using a mesh strainer/coffee filter combination is that you’ll find that it will fit quite nicely on the bottom shelf of most refrigerators (straining your yogurt while it’s in the fridge will help it keep the tartness out longer)….now on to yogurt cheese.