What's not to love about this dairy (and non-dairy!) favorite?
In our stores, you can choose from the largest variety of yogurt in a wide selection of flavors, from Greek yogurt to Icelandic skyr. And here’s an added bonus: All of our 365 Everyday Value® yogurts, organic or not, are made from the milk of cows never given artificial growth hormones (rBGH/rBST).
This is true for many of the other brands we offer, too. None contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives either. We’ve got a slew of alternatives made from coconut, almond, rice or soybeans that can be used in much the same way as the dairy versions.
There’s wisdom in ancient traditions.
Our ancestors have been preserving food by natural fermentation and culture for millennia. By some accounts, there’s evidence that cultured milk dates back as far as 2000 BCE. Roman author, philosopher and naturalist Piney the Elder once made mention of certain tribes of people who knew the way “to thicken the milk into a substance with an agreeable acidity.”
With the creation of modern refrigeration, many of our traditional ways of fermenting and preserving food has largely been forgotten, but thankfully, the practice of eating yogurt, a popular fermented dairy food, still remains. Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that support healthy digestion and promote beneficial intestinal flora.
It’s been said that Francis I, King of France in the early 14th century, suffered from a severe bout with diarrhea which no French doctor could cure until his ally Suleiman the Magnificent (what a name!) of the Ottoman Empire sent a doctor who cured King Francis with yogurt.
Here are some simple and simply delicious ways to enjoy yogurt:
- Marinate meats such as chicken, lamb or beef in a mixture of plain yogurt and spices. Our recipe for Lamb Skewers with Tahini Yogurt Sauce gets high marks.
- Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise in dips and dressings. This Creamy Chicken Salad with Yogurt and Apples is wonderful as is this Yogurt-Cucumber Dressing.
- Blend yogurt with fruit for smoothies or freeze for popsicles. Here’s an idea for Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles and here’s another for Cherry Frozen Yogurt.
- In India, the smoothie equivalent is called Lassi. It’s a popular beverage made with a variety of ingredients. This Rosewater and Cardamom Yogurt Lassi reflects traditional flavors of Indian desserts.
- Add vegetables and seasonings to plain yogurt — try cucumber, garlic, onion and dill — for sauces to accompany spicy dishes. Here’s an idea for Tzatziki Yogurt and Cucumber Dip and here’s another for Spicy Lamb Burgers with Cucumber Raita.
- Use yogurt in baking to make cakes and quick breads with a tender, rich crumb. Yogurt makes a great replacement for sour cream in many baked goods. Enjoy this Simple Yogurt Cake with Fresh Berries and this Orange and Clove Greek Yogurt Tea Cake.
- Use yogurt as a topping or garnish for soups, stews and casseroles. Here’s our version of Lentil Curry with Cashews and Yogurt.
- Incorporate plain yogurt into chilled soups for a cool, tangy twist.
- Not just for breakfast with fresh fruit, try yogurt on poached fruits or in panna cotta with a fruit sauce. If you love Parfait, our Vanilla Berry Yogurt version will put a smile on your face for sure.
- Mix yogurt with ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla for a delicious topping for pancakes, waffles and quick breads. Enjoy our recipe for Waffles with Berries and Greek Yogurt.
Here’s my personal favorite: Mix yogurt with roasted walnuts, vanilla and honey or maple syrup; enjoy for breakfast, snack or dessert.
Do you have a personal favorite? Let me know.