Mayonnaise and sour cream aren’t terrible, if you make your own homemade. Unfortunately a lot of the brands you will get at the grocery store have a lot of stabilizers and processed ingredients in it so it can stay on the shelf. So, if you are looking for ways to “clean up” your recipes, give yogurt a try!
Many doctors recommend we eat more yogurt – it has a lot of health benefits. One of the reasons I eat it is because of the probiotics – healthy bacteria that can help heal your gut. Great for those with intestinal issues – if you have these issues you should see if a doctor or naturopath recommends yogurt. My daughter’s doctor recommended more yogurt for her because she was having some distress – we ruled out gluten and dairy issues and yogurt really helped!
Yogurt is a great substitution for mayonnaise and sour cream. It gives you the creamy consistency you want, plus it adds a great tangy flavor, all natural.
Yogurt is also great as a substitution for milk in your baked goods. I use it in my pancake and muffin recipes – the acidity helps make for a tender crumb as well as reacting with baking soda to help your batter rise. It gives a nice tangy bite to everything and “lifts” the flavor
Try yogurt as a marinade also! It helps tenderize your meat and allows the flavors you choose – garlic, herbs, fruit – to penetrate the meats even better.
There are great Greek style yogurts on the market now that are delicious, thick and creamy. You can replicate this on your own by straining your yogurt over a sieve lined with cheese cloth or paper towels up to a couple of days. The longer you let it sit it actually becomes yogurt cheese! Delicious as an alternative to cream cheese. Try it with garlic and herbs for a delicious spread.
Choose organic yogurt if possible, plain and look at the ingredients – it should be a VERY short list with only ingredients you can recognize. If you have issues with cow milk, you may find luck with goat milk yogurt. I choose the full fat variety because I find the lower you go in fat, the more stabilizers are added, but if I can find a low fat variety that does not have additives, I get that. Fat from dairy is a good source of fat in moderation and helps you feel satiated.
I DO NOT recommend the fruit flavored yogurts that many diet plans recommend. These are full of artificial ingredients, artificial sweeteners or sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup.
Yogurt has a low glycemic impact – sweeten with Stevia to keep it this way, or a tiny drizzle of honey and add some almonds or other chopped nuts.
Here is a link to more information about the health benefits of yogurt.
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/2 apple, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
2 Tb chopped nuts
1/4 cup yogurt
Kosher/sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Try adding other spices – curry is one of my favorites!
You can eat this on it’s own or as a sandwich filling, or wrapped up in a softened corn tortilla. I like to eat it with celery sticks to scoop it up, on a bed of lettuce, or with brown rice crackers.
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