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Try these quick, easy ideas to enjoy tangy yogurt

June 20, 2000

Whether spooned from the carton, savored frozen on a stick or used as an ingredient, yogurt's great taste and good nutrition fit the way we cook and eat today.

An 8-ounce serving of yogurt contributes about 30 percent of the recommended dietary intake of calcium. It also contributes the same amount of protein and riboflavin as an equal serving of milk, is easy to digest and low in fat. One tablespoon of yogurt contains about 9 calories.

Few foods are as versatile as yogurt, going from breakfast to dinner without missing a beat. You can use yogurt and sour cream interchangeably. Yogurt imparts tangy flavor while sour cream imparts a richer, fuller flavor. For best results, gently fold yogurt into other ingredients. Heavy beating breaks down yogurt's texture. Bring yogurt to room temperature before heating. Follow the rules that apply to all dairy products: Low temperature and short periods of cooking. Never boil.

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Discover just how versatile yogurt can be by trying these quick and easy serving suggestions:

Rise and shine ...

* Serve fresh fruit with a vanilla yogurt "dip." Add a bran muffin or toasted bagel for a complete breakfast.

* Spoon vanilla yogurt over ready-to-eat or hot, cooked cereal and top with raisins and cinnamon.

* Make a yogurt breakfast parfait by layering plain or fruit-flavored yogurt with ready-to-eat cereal and dried or fresh fruit.

* Top frozen toaster waffles or pancakes with yogurt and fruit.

* Blend plain yogurt with maple syrup and spoon over french toast.

* Make a breakfast shake by combining fruit-flavored yogurt, milk and a banana in a blender or food processor. Serve over ice.

Brown-bag it ...

* Substitute plain yogurt for mayonnaise in chicken or tuna salad and stuff it into a tomato.

* Season plain yogurt with herbs and serve as a dip with assorted raw veggies and whole-grain crackers.

* Combine plain yogurt and tomato juice; season to taste with dill and fresh pepper and chill. Transport in a thermos and serve topped with croutons.

* Pack a small container of mixed dried fruit bits, nuts and sunflower seeds. At lunchtime, stir into vanilla yogurt.

* For dessert, tuck in a carton of frozen fruit-flavored yogurt. By lunchtime, it will be thawed and ready to eat.

After five ...

* Top baked potatoes or broiled tomatoes with plain yogurt and snipped chives.

* Garnish burgers with a tomato slice and plain yogurt.

* Spoon plain yogurt (at room temperature) seasoned with dill and a squirt of lemon juice over baked fish fillets. Return to oven for two to three minutes, until topping is hot.

* Combine plain yogurt with your favorite salad dressing mix. Spoon over assorted salad greens.

Sweet temptations ...

* Spear bananas with wooden ice cream sticks and freeze. Roll in vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt, then coconut or chopped nuts to coat completely; freeze until firm.

* Layer pound cake cubes, peach slices and raspberry yogurt in dessert dishes; garnish with toasted almonds.

* Spoon lightly sweetened fruit over split biscuits; top with vanilla yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt might be considered a staple food in many families' refrigerators. Because of its excellent nutrition profile, yogurt can provide health benefits to individuals at different stages of life.

Yogurt provides excellent quality proteins and much-needed calcium to the diet.

 

Vegetable Kabobs with Mustard Peanut Sauce

Sauce:

  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice, sugar, red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


Vegetable kabobs:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh mushrooms
  • broccoli flowerets, blanched and chilled
  • zucchini rounds or chunks
  • other vegetables


For sauce, combine all ingredients. Chill, covered, 1 to 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Make kabobs using as many vegetables as desired. Serve with sauce.

Maryland Cooperative Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, disability, age, religion or national origin.

Lynn F. Little is a family and consumer sciences extension educator for Maryland Cooperative Extension, Washington County.

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