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When yogurt separates - mix it in or drain it?

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When a tub of yogurt separates, do you mix it back in or drain it? I've been draining it because I like how the remainder becomes thicker every day, but I've begun to wonder, am I losing significant nutrients by doing so? What do you do when your yogurt separates?

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  1. I mix it up again, but if you want thicker yogurt, why not drain it? I don't think there is a rule here. Please yourself.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo

      My question is, am I losing nutrients? All else being equal, I will continue to drain it because I like it better that way. But if I'm pouring half the protein down the drain, I'll mix it back in. I always do please myself. That's why I need to lose 10 pounds right now! :)

      1. re: lisavf

        Honestly I don't think this is an important issue. There are far, far worse issues than losing, or not losing a few nutrients from the whey(?) in yogurt.

        Eat it how you like it and don't worry about it.

        1. re: sueatmo

          I'm not worried about it; I just wanted some information. How would I know that I'm not losing half the nutrients down the drain if I don't investigate? Not life-shattering, sure, but I wanted to know the answer.

        2. re: lisavf

          If weight loss is an objective, you should be eating yogurt with no added sugar, rather than less yogurt.

      2. For what it's worth the Fage container says don't stir.

        I try to make it as level as possible so that it doesn't seperate and I don't have that dilemma.

        5 Replies
        1. re: viperlush

          My Fage container doesn't say "don't stir" anywhere on it - I just checked it. On the smaller tub, I portion it out 1/4 of a container at a time so I get four fairly equal servings. It's easier to do that if I scoop out 1/4 of the container top to bottom. Plus I like the thicker texture that develops over a few days if I drain it. But am I losing significant amounts of nutrients?

          1. re: lisavf

            I couls have sworn that the large containers say in small print dont stir.

            According to the fage customer service rep you aren't suppose to stir. They recommend drain off the liquid (whey) since that keeps the yogurt thick. It is also part of the process that they use to make the yogurt thick. So no significant nutrients are lost. Hope that helps.

            1. re: viperlush

              Awesome! Thanks!

              1. re: viperlush

                you're right. I have , in the past, seen "don't stir" on a container of Fage, although the one I'm eating right now doesn't. I remember it because I was amazed. I think the texture of Fage is massively improved by a good stir. I wouldn't consider eating it with giving it a stir. It goes from a texture that's a bit too gelatin-ish for me, to one of lovely creaminess. I suppose it's just a cultural thing, Greeks much prefer different textures.

                1. re: danna

                  Yeah I just saw it on a small fruit on the side container. If I get the honey one I like to stir it, but the fruit ones I like to scoop and dip.

          2. goodhealthgourmet can help me out here, but I think if you drain yogurt you lose half the calcium but it's lower in carbs because you omitted some milk sugar. I think whey has protein and a few amino acids, too, plus the drained calcium. Some people spend a lot of money on whey protein supplements, so I wouldn't pour your whey down the drain. Mix it in with juice, marinades, or salad dressings.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nemo

              I've been mixing it back in. Going to try draining and see if I like it.

              1. re: nemo

                This is what I'm trying to find out. I need the calcium (don't we all) and I like how the protein gets me through the morning. I don't want to lose those benefits! How significant is the loss?

              2. Yogurt whey is a combination of sugars, proteins and minerals, particularly calcium. The more whey you drain from the yogurt, the more sugar and calcium you drain, however you do end up with a more protein-dense final product. Personally I prefer the richer texture of strained yogurt, so I drain off the whey when making yogurt and reserve it for other uses (e.g. lacto-fermentation, baking, plant fertilizer). If I need a thinner yogurt for something, I will stir whey back into whatever quantity I need.

                5 Replies
                1. re: JungMann

                  Thanks for the info. I prefer it thicker as well. Any idea how much calcium is lost?

                  1. re: lisavf

                    Drain and reserve the whey for something else, like cooking oatmeal or making bread.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Any idea how long it will last? I don't bake bread, but oatmeal - yes. Maybe I can add it to my milk when I have cereal. I am at an age (and have a family history) where calcium is very important, so I should add it anywhere I can.

                    2. re: lisavf

                      According to the USDA, 8oz of whey contains 59 calories, 2 grams protein, 250 mg calcium and 350 mg potassium. Strained yogurt contains about a third of the calcium content of regular yogurt, but twice the protein content per serving.

                      Whey lasts for a long time in the fridge. I keep mine for a month or more. It can also be frozen long term.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        Thanks for the specific information. I truly appreciate it. I will reserve the whey and try to find a use for it, since calcium intake is important to me.

                  2. Drain it! Greek yoghurt is just regular yoghurt with the whey strained out.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kajikit

                      Interesting--that explains why it's higher in protein and lower in calcium than regular yogurt. I really like making/using yogurt cheese, which is similar to Greek yogurt, only w/ even more whey drained.

                    2. I use Russian style plain yogurt, and always drain it.

                      1. I'd think the amount of protein lost in the nearly clear water atop yogurt would be negligible. My grandfather made yogurt and yogurt cheese and farmer's cheese letting each one drip through a cloth and then throwing away the water. For what it's worth he came from the Eastern Europe/Caucasus yogurt region.

                        When it gets dense enough, use it as a spread on toast or fruit, especially bananas with nutmeg. Yum.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: rccola

                          It's not the protein loss; it's the calcium.

                          1. re: nemo

                            Yes, but one shouldn't give up dense delicious yogurt for the calcium. Take some with the yogurt meal.

                            1. re: rccola

                              That's the point. Eat the thick yogurt and use the whey in something else, just don't discard it.

                              1. re: nemo

                                I like whey added to oatmeal or other hot cereals.

                        2. I usually drain the whey that's accumulated each day - and I give it to the dog. He's happy with it, and any calcium or other nutrients in it certainly can' hurt him, either.

                          The boy does love his "yogurt juice."

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Krislady

                            i don't know if small dogs have a more sensitive stomach. i gave some and she lapped it right up but hacked it out shortly after.lab also guzzled some but she was ok.

                          2. when I make yogurt I let it drain in the fridge and then drink the 12 oz or so of clear greenish yellow whey as a treat. when it's cold and there's enough to gulp down, instead of the cloudy little pools that spoil the texture of your yogurt, it's super refreshing and supposedly has a lot of riboflavin (tho I am boyfacting the nutritional part -- it just tastes bracingly good, with that kind of slippery texture that coconut water has, only sour instead of sweet).

                            1. You can really do either, mix or drain. If you drain it, don't throw the liquid (whey) away. Just mix into a warm soup, not hot. This is the real probiotic. It contains lactobacillus and other microbes that are beneficial to your gut. It is great for putting in soups or using as a starter for other cheeses, or for making softdrink like beverages. Google fermented foods.