Yogurt: The healthy alternative

by Joanne on November 20, 2010

Shane and I did it! A 10 mile romp around Utica. We took advantage of the golf course and switchbacks since after we have some generous snow falls, we won’t be able to run through that area until Spring.

What a trooper my pup is!  He kept trotting along with only one stop for water.  We went through some wet grass, got muddy and wet but still kept going.  Great day for a long run.  I gave my bud a nice hot shower with a soapy massage after our run. He deserved it.

Total this week:  35 miles.  Hamstring status: stable. 

I’m getting a massage today so gotta get moving but I’ll leave you with this interesting tid bit on yogurt.  Great links! Make sure to check out some of those recipes.  HAPPY SATURDAY!  Swimming lesson today – oh yay.

It seems that yogurt has become such a popular food in many different ways. Smoothies, healthy snacks, as an ingredient in healthier cooking, it’s taken on a menu of its own.

I wanted to share with you portions of an article in the November/December issue of “The National Culinary Review”,

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page 28 by Jody Shee. Jody is a writer and editor with 20 years of food-writing experience. She has a blog at www.sheefood.com.   In the following post, you will find numerous links to online recipes using yogurt. Try one. Experiment. ENJOY!

With the new labeling requirements by the FDA, nutrition values won’t look good when the label has to reflect the added calories because heavy fats such as butter and mayonnaise are included. The article suggests ways to use yogurt and make the nutrition attractive to a broader spectrum of consumers.

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Yogurt will “add moisture, lower fat, tenderize meat and increase protein and calcium content.”

1. When used in baking, the crumb will be tender. It can also activate yeast in breads since the bacteria “excites” the living yeast. Not sure “excite” is the correct way to refer to the reaction, but I thought it added a bit of thrill to the information.

2. Yogurt will take on many flavors and is a wonderful ingredient to use in dips and salad dressings. Try using yogurt instead of buttermilk in your favorite ranch dressing recipe. Gregory Schweizer of Culinary Service LLC, suggests adding yogurt as the binder for salads such as chicken, tuna, and potato.

3. Chef Jon Ashton makes yogurt cheese. The longer the yogurt is allowed to drain, the firmer the cheese becomes with a final texture reminiscent of goat or cream cheese.

“Line a bowl with cheesecloth, pour in yogurt, pull up and tie the sides of the cloth and hang it over a bowl in the fridge overnight. You can even add a weight to make it drain a bit quicker. Use the resulting cheese as the base for adding additional flavor such as garlic…” or other herbs.

4. Indian recipes use yogurt in a marinade base for tandoori chicken. “The lactic acid in the yogurt … helps to break down the protein and tenderize…” meat. *The yogurt for meat tenderizing must NOT be heat treated because it is the active enzymes that break down the proteins.

5. In warm sauces yogurt might separate. If you add a little cornstarch, this will prevent the reaction. In calorie rich sauces such as béchamel, hollandaise, beurre blanc, you will reduce the fat and calories but still get a resultant tangy, creamy, rich mouth feel.

6. Not only can you puree the yogurt with fruit for wonderful refreshing smoothies, but you can puree it with vegetables for chilled soups.

Advice from the Masters:

· Use plain yogurt only. Flavored yogurt includes sugar and losses some of its probiotics making it less healthful. Adam Moore, corporate chef for Charlie Baggs, Inc.

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· If using yogurt with a vegetable of high water content, make sure to drain the yogurt and squeeze some of the moisture from the vegetable. Tim Reardon, culinary director for The Food Group

· Use yogurt quickly as it sharpens with age and a loss of flavor and consistency will result. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge but why not use it when the health benefits are at full potential. Gregory Schweizer of Schweizer Culinary Service.

This bloggers favorite way to eat yogurt is

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with the simple addition of dried fruits and nuts.  What’s your favorite way?

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7 Comments

  • At 2010.11.20 10:13, Rachel said:

    Very informative post! Thanks so much for summarizing that article.
    I already use plain Greek or regular yogurt in all kinds of ways but I certainly learned a lot from this. The cornstarch trick for warm sauces is something I never knew.
    I use yogurt in tuna or egg salad instead of mayonnaise. I also put it on my cereal instead of milk. I love the creamy texture and sharp flavor!
    My favorite English muffin recipe uses yogurt, actually, and it really gives the bread an interesting bite!

    • At 2010.11.20 19:25, Joanne said:

      Interesting. I’ll have to check out your muffin recipe and give it a try. I love making my own English muffins.

      • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles, Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: New blog post: http://tinyurl.com/28s7tg3 – Yogurt: The healthy alternative […]

        • At 2010.11.20 12:31, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

          I like to marinate chicken in yogurt and lemon juice. Yummy.

          Straight up, I like plain greek yogurt with honey, chopped strawberries, and granola.

          • At 2010.11.20 19:25, Joanne said:

            I never thought of that. I usually use milk.

            • At 2010.11.21 23:38, Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox said:

              Love the educational post. I like plain greek yogurt in my baking. Nice alternative to oils and such. I think excited yeast is a brilliant turn of phrase.

              • At 2010.11.22 04:32, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                Hey, thanks for the informative yogurt post! Once again I learned something new 🙂

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