Yogurt Puts Culture in Your Life

July 22, 2015


The author, Gayelord Hauser, named yogurt as “one of the five wonder foods” in his book, Look Younger, Live Longer.

In July and August one wants to ease up on the preparation of eats for friends and family. One solution? Use a tasty, low-calorie dairy product that works for appetizers to desserts – and everything in-between.

The cooking hints and recipes here are from my book, The Complete Book of Yogurt that was three years in the making. My research included visiting a spotless yogurt plant in Ridgefield, New Jersey, interviewing a farmer in upstate Chittenango, New York and touring a Trappist monastery in Quebec. This project was quite an adventure.

Below you’ll find a few general hints for cooking with yogurt.

Heating yogurt. Always heat for a short period of time and use a low temperature. When you add yogurt to other ingredients that are already heated, you’ll find it can be done three ways: (1) at the beginning of the cooking period, (2) at the end, just before removing from the flame and (3) off the heat completely (purists say this results in less damage to the bacteria).

Mixing yogurt with other ingredients. This requires a light touch. The rule to remember is fold in gently, do not stir.

Sauces that use yogurt. You can keep them at the right thickness by adding arrowroot. And salads? These may “weep” or separate after a certain length of time so add the yogurt just before you eat.

More ideas for you:

  • Mix one tablespoon of yogurt for every two eggs. Beat well and cook as usual for omelets or scrambled eggs. Yogurt makes them extra light and moist.
  • Yogurt will not only enrich meats, but the lactic acid it contains helps to soften or tenderize the connective tissue. Yogurt can be added to veal, pot roast, liver, chicken or lamb.
  • You can use yogurt instead of buttermilk or sour cream in making biscuits, breads, pancakes, waffles and cakes. It makes delicious chocolate cakes.

Raw Vegetable Dip

2 cups plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Blend yogurt, onion powder, garlic powder, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, parsley, Worcestershire sauce and sugar until smooth. Chill thoroughly.

Serve as a dip with bite-size pieces of raw carrots, cabbage, green beans, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, radishes, mushrooms and whole cherry tomatoes. Arrange attractively on a platter.

Onion-Yogurt Dip

2 cups plain yogurt

1 envelope dry onion-mushroom soup mix

Combine yogurt and soup mix in a bowl. Stir to mix and chill covered,

1-to-2 hours before serving. Serve with chips, crackers or raw veggies.

Indian Curry Dip

2 cups plain yogurt

4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons curry powder

Serve with raw vegetables or crackers.

MAY WE SUGGEST… Eating light in summer calls for dressing light, too. Check out Adea’s featherweight layering tops and camis for chic and effortless dressing.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick


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