My husband and I go through Greek yogurt slowly but surely, since we make smoothies 2 or 3 times a week. We also use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in baked potatoes, tacos, etc.
Apparently one pound of Greek yogurt requires up to 4 pounds of milk, according to Fage, a popular Greek yogurt producer. There are about 8.6 pounds in a gallon of whole milk, and I have read that the weight increases as the fat content goes down, so a gallon of skim milk weighs at least 8.6 pounds. Given those numbers, one gallon of milk would make 2.15 pounds of Greek yogurt.
I used this recipe from Happy Simple Living to make my yogurt. I used the Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt we had sitting in our fridge as my starter.
1) Bring half a gallon of skim milk to 180 degrees using a candy thermometer. I used my Le Creuset pot for this.
2) Let the milk cool in a glass bowl to 110 degrees.
3) Add 3 tablespoons of TJ’s Greek yogurt mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk.
4) Turn oven on to lowest temperature, then turn off. Insulate the pot with a towel and put it in the oven on potholders for 4 hours with the oven light on.
5) At this point it should have the consistency of custard. Put a cheesecloth in a strainer and pour the yogurt in. Let it strain overnight or for several hours until it has the consistency you want.
A 32 oz. container of nonfat Greek yogurt at Trader Joe’s costs us about $5.99, and a gallon of milk costs $2.99. I can make about 2 pounds of yogurt with that gallon of milk, so we save about $1.50 per pound of yogurt, or $3 per 32 oz. container. Plus, it is so delicious, and you can adjust for the mildness or tartness that you want. Win!