While good on its own, yogurt makes a useful ingredient in the kitchen. With the exception of a decreased sugar content and a higher acidity, yogurt may serve as a replacement for milk in many instances. Replacing milk with yogurt, allows those with lactose intolerance to enjoy foods they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Yogurt in Sauces around the World
The proteins in yogurt act differently than those found in milk. Pasteurizing milk, prior to making yogurt, results in proteins that do not curd and that hold water better. Both make for a smoother texture to yogurt; which makes great sauces.
A large percentage of India’s population is vegetarian, and yogurt holds an important place in Indian cuisine. In addition to lentils and beans, yogurt provides an important source of protein for the populace. India sees the use of yogurt in sauces often. Each region in India has its own way of cooking kadhi, yogurt-based curry.
Punjabi kadhi is made with ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala and famously contains pakodas, fried chickpea flour dumplings.
Greek cuisine takes advantage of yogurt by combining it with cucumber and garlic to produce tzatziki. which is frequently used over gyros or as a dip for pita bread.
Turkey has an equivalent sauce called cacik.
Yogurt in Desserts
In the southern states of India, it’s not uncommon to see a mix of sweetened yogurt and rice at the end of the meal. The dish is used to cool the tongue after consuming spicy foods, and cool the body from the hot and humid climates.
In Greece, yogurt is eaten with nuts and honey for a sweet snack.
Replacing milk or cream with a yogurt alternative is oftentimes a beneficial solution for sugar-sensitive individuals. The overall flavor and creamy texture is preserved with the exchange from milk to yogurt. Frozen yogurt is a popular treat to replace ice cream.
Additionally, yogurt is often sold in single servings as a highly nutritious snack, or meal on-the-go. It contains a great number of vitamins that snacking can sometimes leave out of the diet. It also offers a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. For these reasons, yogurt makes a fine substitute for meals, as well as a bridge between them. The addition of fruits to yogurt is delicious and common, and makes for a refreshing flavor, though the need for refrigeration with fruit is greater than with plain yogurt.
Freeze-dried yogurt snacks go a step further: yogurt preserved in this manner may safely be stored without refrigeration for long periods of time. In addition, the beneficial bacterial strains they contain will persist after the freeze drying process. The probiotic effects these bacteria contain are safely retained without much effort. It is very helpful to freeze-dry yogurt, and the cultures they contain, if you are not going to consume them for a long period of time.
As you can see, yogurt can be used in a wide variety of recipes from sauces, to desserts, to wholesome snacks. It is a healthy and delicious choice that provides the nutrients and bacteria to benefit the body.