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Maximise protein and eliminate carbs in homemade yoghurt

Hi Everyone,

How do I maximise the protein and eliminate the carbs in my homemade yoghurt?

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  1. Strain it, and strain it well. There will still be some carbs, but the more whey you remove, the more carbs you remove. I know some people also add protein powder to their milk when making yogurt, but I'm not sure how that affects the final texture and flavor.

    25 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      Do you use full fat cows milk in yours?

      1. re: Kiwi2011

        Shouldn't the natural fermentation process eliminate all the carbs?,
        Should I add more yoghurt starter and leave it longer for this to work?

        1. re: Kiwi2011

          recent info now says that full-fat yogurt, like fage, is very very low-carb. much like cheese, the fermentation eats the lactose thereby reducing the carb count dramatically. the numbers on commercial labels are for the milk/cream before fermentation occurs. anyone know why the labeling works this way?

          so yes, strain out the whey for a greek-style yogurt, don't add fruit or sugar, and you'll have a very low-carb product.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Thats fascinating, thank-you.
            So its safe to assume all manufacturers nutritional info is based on the milk, full fat cows milk?
            Know of any rule-of-thumb formula for estimating carbs after fermentation?, and presumably the longer its left to ferment, the lower the carbs right?

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Is this really true? It seems weird that no-one would have the nutritional information for the yoghurt itself.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                hotoynoodle, are you sure that's true? Fage's labels show 18g of protein and 7g of carbs per 6oz for their 0% yogurt. Skim milk has 6.6g protein and 9.2g carbs per 6oz according to CalorieKing. I don't know about other brands, but clearly Fage is showing the after-fermentation totals.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  http://www.carbsmart.com/greatyogurt....

                  you can read the rest here, but this is germane:

                  "According to Jack M. Goldberg, Ph.D., and Dr. Karen O'Mara, a cup of yogurt has only 4 grams of carbohydrates. (Dr. Goldberg has actually measured this in his lab.) That is quite a difference from the 14 grams of carbohydrates listed on my yogurt container. The discrepancy can be attributed to the method by which the government requires manufacturers to measure carbohydrates. The "difference" method means manufacturers measure all the different components of a food and anything left is counted as carbohydrates."

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Hm, very interesting. I wonder if that applies only to strained yogurt, since unstrained yogurt has quite a bit of whey left in it. Good to know, though!

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      i've been eating low-carb for 2 years and discovering this little nugget a few months ago has allowed me to enjoy yogurt again, a few times per week. finding full-fat versions, though, can be the devil!

            2. re: Kiwi2011

              I have made it with full fat, 2% and skim milk. All work fine, and I believe the carb count is fairly similar no matter what the fat content.

              1. re: biondanonima

                Isn;t whey healthy for you?

                1. re: lilmomma

                  Certainly it's something we've never wasted in our house. After making paneer or straining yoghurt (incidentally I don't think this liquid is actually the same as real whey...is it?) we use the liquid in roti dough, add it to dal, etc.

                  1. re: lilmomma

                    I wasn't saying that whey is bad for you, it's just not what you want if you're on a low-carb diet. I use the whey from making yogurt in bread, etc.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      If i leave the mixture longer to ferment will it eat away the carbs

                  2. re: biondanonima

                    With yoghurt, is it a case of the longer you leave it, the thicker it will get and then by definition the lower the number of carbs and Whey to drain of it?

                    1. re: Kiwi2011

                      How much yoghurt do you guys lose in the straining process?

                      1. re: Kiwi2011

                        Any rule of thumb forumla for calculating carbs?

                        1. re: Kiwi2011

                          Will the nutritional data for the new homemade yoghurt be the same as that of the store-bought yoghurt starter?

                          Also, I thought Whey was supposed to be good and FULL of protein.
                          Why is the Whey produced in this process bad?

                          1. re: Kiwi2011

                            I'm going to ask again, is this "whey" strained off yoghurt actually the same as real whey? By real whey I mean the liquid you get when you curdle milk.

                            1. re: Muchlove

                              If I leave the yoghurt for a few days, it becomes even-more solid-like.
                              Is this a good idea to increase the protein content?

                              1. re: Muchlove

                                Muchlove, I don't know if it's the same whey as you get when you curdle milk. Wikipedia has a good article that talks about the different types of whey produced from different cheese/dairy making processes.

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey

                              2. re: Kiwi2011

                                The whey is not "bad," it just has carbs in it. If you don't mind a few carbs, use the whey. It does have some protein as well, but it's not pure protein - protein powders are actually made from whey protein isolate, which means they extract the protein from everything else in the whey.

                            2. re: Kiwi2011

                              I made yogurt the other day and used 3 quarts of skim milk. When I was done straining, I had one quart of yogurt and two quarts of whey. I like my yogurt quite thick - this batch is a bit thicker than store brands. If I had wanted it to become yogurt cheese, I would have let another pint or so of whey come out.

                            3. re: Kiwi2011

                              Your yogurt will thicken a bit the longer you leave it, and become more sour. However, this will result in having MORE whey to strain off of it. As for the carb count, I'm not sure. I don't think you can get it all the way down to zero carbs no matter what you do.

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                What do you think of Paul's kind suggestion below?

                      2. How about adding non-fat dry milk to your milk, and then letting it ferment a generous amount of time. The milk adds both protein and lactose (carbs), the bacteria eats the lactose leaving ??? I assume that if it is quite sour, it has little lactose left. Now if you insist on sweetening the yoghurt with honey, jam or what ever, all bets are off.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: paulj

                          Is it always true that more sour = more protein?

                          1. re: Kiwi2011

                            I don't know for sure, and hopefully an expert will weigh in, but I think there are a number of factors that affect the sourness. First, the longer it ferments the sourer it gets which I suppose would make it lower carb as the bacteria feed on more lactose.

                            But I think another important factor is what bacterial strains are in the yoghurt. I say this because on a couple of evenings I've been a bit impatient and added the milk to the yoghurt when it was just a tad too warm. The yoghurt the next day was sourer and since this problem was not rectified when I used a teaspoon of it to make a fresh batch, I decided that maybe I had killed off one type of bacteria by adding the milk at a higher temperature, leaving only a kind of bacteria that made a more sour yoghurt. This is just speculation on my part mind you.

                            1. re: Muchlove

                              Anyone got any tips for making thicker yoghurt?

                              I'll start: Apparently only covering the mixture with a towel and not a plate/lid during fermentation will help.

                              1. re: Kiwi2011

                                I agree it's a good tip. I cover with a mesh lid. If covered with a proper lid you get more liquid on the surface, though the yoghurt itself will still set.

                                Again, I think the bacterial strain makes a huge difference. In the UK my yoghurt was never quite thick enough though it tasted good and was creamy (I was able to get the temperature right so it wasn't that). Here in India it comes out thick everytime with no effort. Doesn't matter if I use full fat buffalo milk, less fatty cows milk, milk that I have skimmed the cream from, etc. I think the yoghurt here must have different strains in it.

                                1. re: Muchlove

                                  Another goodie.
                                  Anyone else want to share?

                            2. re: Kiwi2011

                              "Is it always true that more sour = more protein?"

                              The amount of protein doesn't increase, the amount of carbs decreases. The tartness is because fermentation "eats" the lactose, which is the sweetness.

                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                The tartness is due to lactic acid created by the fermentation of the lactose by the bacteria, so yes, there is less sweetness, but mainly there is more acidity. Removing lactose doesn't by itself make the milk taste sour.

                          2. First of all, stay away from low fat yogurt. Pretty much any commercial product of any type that is labeled low fat has had sugar added to it to make it "taste good" in the absence of the full flavor associated with fat.

                            The real key to low carb diets is fat, not protein. Eating too much protein will cause it to be converted to glucose in a process called gluco-neogenisis, and causes the kind of insulin spike associated with eating carbs.

                            So use full fat milk or better yet use half and half which is much lower in carbs than whole milk.

                            Whey is the protein component of milk, so don't throw it away, in fact, there is no need to separate the yogurt at all, unless you are otherwise eating too much protein. And yes, this is real whey.

                            The bacteria do eat most of the lactose and I have read elsewhere that In Dana Carpenter's cookbook she says that homemade yogurt is 4 grams carbs per 1 cup of yogurt. I would think it is even lower than that if you start with half and half since the half and half only has 10 grams of carbs in the first place.