Tips for increasing the protein content in your Greek yogurt while keeping the sugar and calorie count low.

If you are like us you love the HIGH protein content found in most varieties of Greek yogurt. But, you want to keep the calorie and sugar counts as low as possible.

A quick scan the grocery store isles reveals that there are may varieties of yogurt branded as traditional Greek yogurt. It is important to know that Greek yogurt is made using a traditional process that strains the water from the finished product. By removing the excess water in the yogurt the protein content is dramatically increased. 

Ultra ambitious types can make Greek yogurt at home by purchasing a gallon of skim milk, a candy thermometer, and live yogurt bacteria cultures from Whole Foods. Or, you can simply stir in a tablespoon of any type of yogurt you have at home containing live cultures. To make your own Greek yogurt you bring the milk to a boil and let the water reduce for roughly 20 minutes. Once it has cooled down to around 108-115 degrees you stir in a tablespoon of yogurt containing live cultures or a package of live bacterial cultures from Whole Foods. Note, some cooks report that if you are using live yogurt cultures from your own batches of homemade yogurt it is important to use a fresh bacterial culture every third batch of yogurt.

Some authors suggest you add powdered skim milk to thicken it up and boost the protein count but I found the results extremely disappointing after adding powdered skim milk.  After some of the water has boiled off, you let it cool down to around 108-115 degrees.

Traditional Greet yogurt is not thickened with gelatin, xanthan gum, pectin, corn starch or any other type of thickener. It is thickened simply by straining out the excess water. If you look on the ingredients list of a high quality real Greek yogurt there should only be only 2 ingredients – milk and bacterial cultures.

Here is a quick summary of the calorie, sugar, and protein content for some of the most popular supermarket brands of greek yogurt. 

Liberté 2% MF Coconut Flavour

3/4 170 calories 19 g. sugar 14 g. protein

Danone Oikos 2% MF Cafe Latte Flavor 

3/4 170 calories 18 g. sugar 14 g. protein

Liberté 0% MF plain

3/4 100 calories 5 g. sugar & 18 g. protein