What is Greek Yogurt?
Before we know if we can substitute regular yogurt or something else for Greek yogurt in a recipe, we need to look at what the different types of yogurt are, focusing mainly on regular and Greek yogurt.
For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about unflavored, unsweetened yogurt only.
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- Traditional cow’s milk yogurt. This is probably the most common type that comes in full fat, low fat, or skimmed varieties. It has a medium-thick to thin, fairly runny consistency. It can have a fairly sour taste which is why many brands add sugar or fruit to balance the flavor out.
- Greek yogurt is made with cow’s milk and is strained after fermentation. This removes some whey and results in a thicker, creamier texture than regular yogurt. It tends to be more sour tasting than traditional yogurt.
- Goat’s milk yogurt has a distinctive flavor that some find quite strong. In thickness, it comes somewhere in between traditional and Greek yogurt. It contains less lactose than cow’s milk varieties making it perfect for those suffering from lactose intolerance. You can substitute this directly in most recipes.
- Soy yogurt is close in texture to cow’s milk yogurt. However, it contains no dairy so is preferred by vegans. It is fairly easy to find in supermarkets. Soy yogurt has a slightly sweet flavor yet still has a slight tang. You may substitute it for Greek yogurt if you need a dairy-free option.
- Almond yogurt is another that’s favored by those wishing to avoid dairy. It’s usually made by adding thickeners to almond milk then adding live cultures afterwards. It is thicker than traditional yogurt so makes a good substitute for Greek yogurt.
- Cashew yogurt is also made from nut milk with thickeners and cultures added. This yogurt is known for its creaminess although it tends to be fairly tart. It is a wonderful substitute for Greek yogurt in dips and dressings that don’t require much sweetness.
- Coconut yogurt is very rich and decadent. It has a distinctive coconut flavor so might not be suitable for use in every recipe.
- Kefir is considered a type of yogurt but because it’s very thin, it’s more of a drinking yogurt and is not really suitable as a Greek yogurt substitute.
Can You Substitute Regular Yogurt For Greek Yogurt In Recipes?
Yes, you can use regular yogurt as a substitute for Greek yogurt in recipes. You could say that these yogurts are closely related as they are both made with cow’s milk. However, regular yogurt is somewhat thinner and less creamy.
Regular yogurt can be substituted in exactly a one-to-one ratio for Greek yogurt. If you need the thickness that Greek yogurt provides, you might consider straining the regular yogurt through a muslin cloth overnight to remove some of the whey.
Alternatively, you could stir in a couple of spoonfuls of powdered milk. While baking, you might be worried about whether replacing regular yogurt with Greek yogurt or vice versa will be suitable?
You can do so but you might need to slightly adjust the quantity of other liquids in the recipe to compensate for the different texture. The flavor won’t make any difference.
The ingredients in regular and Greek yogurt are the same but their nutritional strength is a bit different. Greek and regular yogurt both contain many nutrients and have multiple health benefits.
Regular yogurt contains more calcium and fewer calories than Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is rich in protein, but the sugar content is slightly less than regular yogurt. If you look at the nutritional strength of these yogurts, then both contain magnesium, vitamin B12, and iodine.
Regular yogurt has double the number of carbs as Greek yogurt. However, the proteins in regular yogurt are about half in comparison to Greek yogurt.
Both types of yogurt help in digestion, weight loss programs, and are good for cardiac health. Probiotics are present in both types of yogurts. So, while substituting there isn’t much need to worry about the nutritional issue as both types are beneficial.
Conversion of Greek Yogurt into Regular Yogurt
The main difference between Greek and regular yogurt is that regular yogurt is strained twice during its preparation. Greek yogurt is strained three times and, therefore, has a thicker consistency and slightly stronger flavor than regular yogurt.
Hence, we have answered the question – yes, you can substitute regular yogurt for Greek yogurt by doing a direct swop provided you take the thinner consistency into account.
You can use regular yogurt in place of Greek yogurt even more effectively by straining it overnight through a muslin cloth. Such a trick will help to imitate the consistency and flavor of Greek yogurt.
However, bear in mind that the conversion of regular yogurt into Greek will cost you more as four cups of regular yogurt will yield one to two cups of Greek yogurt.
If you wish to convert Greek yogurt into something similar to regular yogurt, simply mix in a little milk until the required consistency is reached.
Now you are equipped to decide whether to use regular yogurt as a substitute for Greek yogurt in your recipes based on the nutritional effects, health benefits, and type of recipe. You may also choose to substitute some of the other types of yogurt instead. Good luck!