Health & Fitness
Yea for Yogurt!
When I was a kid my older brother made his own yogurt. He would heat milk until just below the boiling point and add a cup of store bought yogurt as a “starter” and refrigerate it. Each time he made it he would save a cup of yogurt to make the next batch. Eventually the culture got too weak and he needed a new “starter”- a fresh cup of store bought yogurt.
I called him this morning to check my memory and to ask why he made his own yogurt. He said he was curious and interested in the fermentation process. I learned that fermentation is a metabolic process in which an organism converts a carbohydrate, such as sugar, into an alcohol or an acid. Yogurt is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria produces lactic acid, which works on the mild protein to give us yogurt.
It seemed so mysterious when I was a kid. I wouldn’t dream of tasting it. As an adult, yogurt is a staple in my refrigerator. We always have a large container of non-fat yogurt and a 2% container too. We might use it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.
My husband, Bill, likes 2% yogurt with a big bowl of fresh fruit for breakfast. I prefer non-fat yogurt with cinnamon, flax seeds and fruit.
It’s great in pancakes. I use yogurt and cut down on the amount of baking powder. It gives the pancakes a tangy flavor.
Yogurt is great on baked potatoes or chili. A favorite soup is chilled zucchini soup that I make and add a cup of yogurt.
We also make a dessert with yogurt, honey, fruit and nuts.
A favorite is “tzatziki” a Greek dish made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and a little olive oil. I let the yogurt drain overnight in cheese-cloth and it’s nice and thick in the morning. I add a chopped cucumber and minced garlic. It’s great as an appetizer with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks or pita bread.
Yogurt is not only delicious it’s also very healthy. Many people who can’t tolerate milk because of allergies can digest and enjoy yogurt. Eating yogurt keeps our colons healthy.
Doctors often recommend eating yogurt when taking antibiotics. Yogurt has the bacterial cultures that replenish the bacteria that the antibiotics may kill while also killing the harmful bacteria. Yogurt has a good balance of calcium, protein, minerals and vitamins.
Most kids love the texture and they are getting a good balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals.
In our book funny food we have many creative images made with yogurt that would entice any reluctant child or adult to give yogurt a go.