Yoghurt - the original superfood and cream substitute

Between the ages of 8 – 12 creamy pastas were my favourite. Alla Panna, Alfredo, Carbonara - all of them were commonly found on my dinner plate.

However every time I ate a creamy pasta it would give me a horrible stomach ache because it was just too heavy for my little kid stomach (actually I had a huge stomach – after all I did eat a lot of creamy pasta dishes). Then one day in high school Home Ec class, we made a simple creamy pasta and the recipe gave a healthier alternative to cream – yoghurt.

An overweight teenager eager to lose weight, I had to try it. It was this moment that my infatuation with yoghurt started. Now I’m slowly converting my friends to adding a dollop of yoghurt to their pasta dishes.

So why is yoghurt a healthier alternative to cream, sour cream, ice-cream or a sneaky custard?
  • Yoghurt has a lot of good bacteria, often referred to as probiotics, which can help your digestive tract, adjusts the microflora (natural balance of organisms) in your intestines and can support your immune system
  • Yoghurt converts lactose in milk products into lactic acid, which helps you digest lactose and helps maximise calcium absorption
  • “yoghurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin B12, and a valuable source of folate, niacin, magnesium and zinc”
  • "one pot of yoghurt would provide a 5-year-old with 41% of their daily calcium requirements and an adult or teenage girl with about a quarter of their daily calcium needs” – high milk intake can strengthen bones.
  • "Preliminary research from in vitro animal and human studies suggests that consumption of milk and dairy products may help to encourage weight, and fat, loss as part of a calorie-controlled diet.”

So next time you go to add sour cream to chili con carne, cream to a pasta or ice-cream to pancakes, try substituting it with yoghurt. Two little recipes:

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt with around 1 ½ tablespoons of coriander and a squeeze of lemon to taste for a perfect Mexican accompaniment.
  • Mix 4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt with ½ clove of very finely diced garlic and 1 teaspoon of Kasundi can add a creamy texture to a couscous salad.

 

Tip – according to Web MD, those yoghurts which contain probiotics say “live and active cultures” on the label.

Would love to hear any of your “substituting cream with yoghurt stories”, so please share them.

My farewell fun yoghurt fact – ancient Indian records calls yoghurt and honey the “food of the gods”.4

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