People have been eating yogurt for something like 4,500 years. For 4,420 of those years, they had to make it themselves.
Then in 1929, commercially produced yogurt was introduced to Americans by Armenian immigrants Sarkis and Rose Colombosian, who started the Colombo and Sons Creamery in Andover, Massachusetts.
Yogurt became increasingly popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, when it was touted as a health food -- rich in protein, calcium, and B- vitamins.
Yogurt may help prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, help relieve certain gastrointestinal problems, help discourage a particular female infection (I won‘t go into detail here!), and helps you feel full.
When purchasing commercially prepared yogurt, be sure the label mentions “live, active cultures,” which indicates a more natural, health-beneficial product.
Yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese. You can even add yogurt to biscuit or pancake recipes because the yogurt’s acid acts as a leavening agent, just be sure to reduce the amount of baking powder.
Ever hear of YOGURT CHEESE? Here’s how to make it:
1. Line a large strainer with cheesecloth or coffee filters. Set the strainer on top of a bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
2. Place 2 cups (more or less) of plain yogurt into the lined strainer.
3. Cover the top of the strainer with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator - bowl and all- for up to 24 hours. The whey (liquid portion of the yogurt) will drip into the bowl. What will be left in the strainer is the curd, “yogurt cheese”.
4. The yield will be at least half the original amount of yogurt you started with.
Here are a few ways to use yogurt cheese:
* As a spread (add your favorite seasonings)
* As a dip with olive oil
* Shape into small balls and coat with sesame seeds (makes a nice appetizer)
* Mix with pasta to create a cream-like sauce
* Blend with sun-dried tomatoes or red roasted peppers in food processor, then spread on crackers, pita bread
* When making tuna or chicken salad, use instead of mayo.