Yogurt for the Family

Source: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Yogurt is as familiar as milk in the dairy cases of supermarkets everywhere. It is available fresh or frozen and in regular, low-fat, and nonfat varieties—and talk about the choice in flavors! As with many processed foods, there are varying qualities of yogurt and even some “smoothie” brands that you might assume are yogurt, but contain just milk, no yogurt.

When purchasing yogurt, make sure the ingredients contain the two important live active cultures L. bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus.

To remove some of the fat in your recipes and add the health benefits of yogurt to your food, you can use plain yogurt as an alternative to mayonnaise and sour cream in dips, sauces, dressings and more. The tangy flavor of yogurt is often too much for a full substitution, so half and half often works best. Here are few ideas:

  • Substitute plain yogurt for 1/3 to 1/2 the mayonnaise normally used in tuna, chicken and potato salads.
  • Use equal parts sour cream and plain yogurt in your dip recipes to serve with vegetables, or try mixing plain yogurt with chili sauce for a simple shrimp dipping sauce.
  • Add a dash of garlic powder and some fresh chopped chives to plain yogurt and serve as a topping for baked potatoes. It’s a great substitute for sour cream.
  • Add yogurt to your favorite meat marinade. Yogurt is a natural tenderizer and meats cooked in yogurt tend to be juicier.
  • Instead of using milk in your pancake and waffles recipes, try half milk and half plain yogurt.
  • Switch from to full-fat ice cream to frozen yogurt for desserts. Fruit-flavored yogurt in tubes can be frozen and they make a yummy after-school or after- dinner treat.

Try this homemade creamy dill yogurt dressing on cucumbers or serve it with fish (especially awesome with salmon). It can also be used instead of mayonnaise to make unforgettable deviled eggs.

Creamy Dill Dressing

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. chopped chives or scallions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to serve.

Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are
sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby. Visit
them at
www.freshbaby.com and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas
newsletter. Fresh Baby Baby Food Kits and other products are available
at many fine specialty stores and national chains including Target,
Wild Oats, and Whole Foods Markets.