Have you ever come across a recipe that calls for a few spoons of Greek yogurt? Maybe some recipes just say yogurt, regular or plain yogurt. Although they may look exactly the same to the naked eye and are made the same way, it is actually quite different from one another.
Yogurt is made when active bacterial cultures are combined with pasteurized dairy. The mixture is kept in a warm area so it can incubate and ferment, letting the bactiery grow and multiply. Once this process begins, it starts to get thick and sour, forming into what we are familiar with as 'yogurt.' The minute yogurt is put in the refrigerator, the fermentation process will stop immediately.
When it comes to plain and Greek yogurt, the difference lies in the taste and the texture.
Plain or Regular Yogurt
The process for both types of yogurt starts out the same. However, as soon as the fermentation process stops, plain yogurt comes to life. In plain yogurt, after opening the tub it can look a bit light, creamy, and runny with liquid whey (the liquid that is left after milk is curdled and strained). Due to the acidity of the whey, regular yogurt possess a tang that hits you the minute it touches the tongue, and is considered a trademark of this type of yogurt.
Plain yogurt is mainly used when making salad dressings or certain desserts due to its zestiness.
Greek-style yogurt begins it's journey by becoming regular yogurt at first. The whey in regular yogurt is strained multiple times and removed, which leads to a thicker, creamier yogurt that has less tang. The creaminess is derived from the fat percentage of the dairy that is used to make the yogurt. As this yogurt is a concentrated form of the plain, the nutrient amount per serving is higher. The protein amount of Greek yogurt doubles when compared to plain yogurt, and triples in the amount of saturated fats.
Greek yogurt works best when making thick sauces, dips for chips, and other dishes that does not require to have a tang.
Nevertheless, both versions of yogurt as rich in nutrients such as calcium, protein, and potassium that are essential to our health. Moreover, Greek and plain yogurt also contains probiotic bacterial (good bacteria) that is important in order to have a healthy digestive system.