Plain yogurt is a versatile ingredient for cooks to add flavor and moisture to foods that need to “lighten up.” The low-fat or nonfat varieties are fairly low in calories and also contain lots of calcium, Vitamin D, potassium, and probiotics that not only boost the immune system but also keep the digestive system running smoothly and efficiently. Studies also show that consuming several servings of low-fat dairy products on a daily basis creates more efficient fat burning throughout the day. Before you go on with any of these yogurt dishes learning about your allergies and intolerance is a vital step. An intolerance is the body’s inability to digest an item properly whereas, allergies are reaction of your body to a certain kind of food. Keeping in mind this will help you in making a wise choice about your food items.
Here are some creative ways to use yogurt, whatever your reasons for including it in your diet.
Use plain, nonfat yogurt as a marinade for chicken or fish. Mix it with some milk or buttermilk to thin it out, add salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you desire. You could also mix in some Dijon mustard, horseradish, or hot sauce to add some spice. Before cooking your meat shake the excess liquid off for best results.
Substitute plain yogurt for milk or buttermilk in your baked goods. It will create a moist tangy crumb, and also help to eliminate some of the butter in the recipe. For every tablespoon of butter, you leave out to add another tablespoon of yogurt.
Fold together nonfat vanilla yogurt with lightly whipped topping and stir in a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Slice bananas into a ready-made graham cracker crust. Pour yogurt mixture over top and sprinkle with granola or chopped, toasted nuts. Refrigerate for at least an hour for a sweet, tasty pie that nobody will believe is healthy.
Use low-fat or nonfat yogurt as a replacement for sour cream in dips and dressings. For a really quick, thick and tasty herb dip make yogurt cheese. Place 3-4 sheets of paper towels on your counter. Spoon nonfat yogurt onto the sheets and spread into a thin layer of about ½ inch. Layer 3-4 more sheets on top and let sit for about 5 minutes. Peel off the paper towels and using a rubber spatula scrape up the thickened yogurt and put it into a medium bowl. Then add your favorite fresh or dried herbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a splash of lemon juice. It’s healthy and delicious.
In a blender or food processor whip together equal parts low-fat yogurt and peanut butter with a drizzle of honey for a sweet fruit/graham cracker dip. You could also do the same with yogurt and fruit jam, such as strawberry, apricot or raspberry.
Yogurt makes a cool sauce for spicy meats. Mix non or low-fat yogurt with chopped mint, chopped seeded and peeled cucumber, the juice of a lime or lemon, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika for color. Serve it alongside spicy grilled meats for a crisp contrast.
lassis is a fruity yogurt drink that is popular in India. Mango lassis are cool, soothing and deliciously easy to make. Simply blend a seeded and sliced mango with low-fat yogurt and a drizzle of honey. You can substitute other fruit for the mango, such as nectarines, peaches, or plums. It’s a perfect snack on a hot summer day.
Perhaps the simplest way to eat yogurt is to slice some fresh fruit into a bowl of creamy low-fat yogurt and enjoy it simply. You can also swirl in some low sugar jam or marmalade for an easy, nutritious snack. However you enjoy your yogurt, include it in your daily diet for its great taste as well as its nutritious and fat-burning benefits.