by Pat Crocker
The proteins in yogurt make it tricky for cooking. Like sour cream, it will separate when boiled, so we use emulsifiers - such as flour, cornstarch and arrowroot— to help prevent it from separating in dishes that are cooked in the oven. In sauces cooked on top of the stove, I add yogurt at the end of the cooking, and gently cook over low heat to heat it through.
Substitute yogurt for sour cream in recipes for a lower-calorie result. In baked goods, yogurt may be substituted for milk or for part of the milk. producing a richer, moist product. It is common practice to add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda to the flour in a recipe for every 1 cup (250 mL) yogurt used to replace 1 cup (250 mL) milk in baked goods.
When the recipes in this book call for "yogurt," I mean either homemade or store-bought fresh, unflavored yogurt with live, active bacterial cultures. Unless otherwise indicated, you may use any of the yogurt recipes in Basic Yogurt-Making Recipes (page 19 of the book) or store-bought in these recipes.
To produce a thick and creamy yogurt, the watery whey from the milk may be drained away. The longer the yogurt drains, the thicker the yogurt will be.
To Drain Yogurt: Set a strainer or colander (preferably stainless-steel) over a bowl large enough to hold 2 cups (500 mL) liquid. Line the strainer with a double layer of clean cheesecloth. Pour 2 cups (500 mL) fresh unflavored yogurt into the lined strainer and cover the strainer with plastic wrap or fold up the edges of the cheesecloth to enclose the yogurt. Set the bowl and strainer in the refrigerator, and let the watery whey drain away from the yogurt solids. Much of the liquid will drain away in the first 10 minutes.
To indicate how long to let the yogurt drain, I use the following terms in the recipes in this book:
Drained Yogurt: Follow the directions above, and allow yogurt to drain for 10 minutes.
The yogurt will be thick and creamy, with a soft texture. Drained homemade fresh yogurt will resemble the Bulgarian or Balkan-style yogurt made using special strains of bacteria. 2 cups (500 mL) yogurt yield about 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) drained yogurt.
Honey Yogurt: This sweet and creamy yogurt can be used as a dressing for fruit salads or drizzled over desserts. To make honey yogurt, stir 3 tbsp (45 mL) liquid honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave nectar into 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) drained yogurt.
Yogurt Cheese: If you allow yogurt to drain for 8 hours or overnight, the result is a very thick, soft product that resembles cream cheese. Yogurt cheese is used in dips and spreads, and can replace the same quantity of cream cheese in some recipes. 4 cups (1 L) yogurt yield about 1-1/3 cups (325 mL) yogurt cheese.
Yogurt Cream: For a pourable, fresh-tasting cream that closely resembles crème fraîche, stir 1 tsp (5 mL) yogurt into 2 cups (500 mL) heavy or whipping (35%) cream and let stand for 15 minutes.
Note: If you want 2 cups (500 mL) drained yogurt to use in a recipe or to make honey yogurt, use a 750 g container of plain yogurt and set it over a cheesecloth-lined strainer. You will get roughly 2 cups (500 mL) drained yogurt.
Yogurt is healthy and nutritious, and consuming 1 cup (250 mL) a day is a delicious way to achieve almost 60% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iodine and almost 50% of your RDA of calcium, along with significant amounts (25% of your RDA or higher) of phosphorus, vitamin B2, protein and vitamin B12. Canada's Food Guide and the USDA Food Pyramid include yogurt as part of essential, everyday foods. For more on the health benefits of yogurt, see pages 12 and 69 of the book.
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This page created March 2011
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