Do you know it’s been a month since I’ve posted a new recipe? That is ridiculous. You should all be leaving in droves. A food blog with no new recipes. Harumph.
Maybe that’s just because I haven’t been as inspired to cook new things as much lately with the vacation and deciding to sell our house. And of course, Decreasing Disposables in December didn’t lend itself all that well to obvious recipe connections.
Today is a bit of a cop-out, too, because I’m not even sharing one totally new recipe with mouth-watering photos (like I will next Tuesday, I promise!). This post is a collection of the many ways you can use your homemade yogurt once you get it going regularly. Take this week’s Monday Mission and find even more tips for the best yogurt.
So You’re Making Your Own Yogurt…Now What?
When I started making my own yogurt, I quickly learned that the key to making yogurt from my own starter is to make a lot of yogurt. If I make a quart of yogurt a week, my yogurt always turns out great. If I make it every three or four days, even better. But if I go too long between batches of yogurt, my starter loses its “starting power:” I get runny yogurt, or the yogurt doesn’t set at all.
But unless you loooove yogurt, a bowl of tangy, thick milk with fruit gets old fast. So I’ve come up with lots of creative ways to use up our yogurt so I always have a fresh starter…
Mix it with fruit.
- This is the ultra-basic way to eat yogurt. Stir in some cut up berries or bananas, and you’ve got a simple, healthy snack. I especially think this works well with frozen fruit because the the fruit gets slightly mushy and mixes well. (See 4 tips for eating your plain yogurt without any sweetener.)
- Here’s my basic smoothie recipe: Add 1 banana, 2 cups canned fruit such as peaches, pears, or apples (preferably in jars not cans), 1 cup berries, 1 cup juice, and 1 cup yogurt to your blender, and blend until smooth. (Katie’s green smoothies)
Plop it on your granola.
- Enough said. (Katie’s granola recipe)
Substitute, Substitute, Substitute:
Substitute for Buttermilk
- Like buttermilk, yogurt has a tangy flavor, so it’s an easy substitute if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. I actually never have buttermilk on hand, so I use yogurt all the time. My favorite way to substitute yogurt for buttermilk is in this recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing: Mix 1 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade), 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tsp. dried chives, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1/8 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Substitute for Cream
- Yogurt has a tangy flavor, so it’s not a perfect substitute for cream. But it works great in ice cream recipes to make frozen yogurt!
Substitute for Sour Cream
- My husband likes the taste of yogurt on his burritos and other Mexican entrees. I personally prefer real sour cream, but since we always have yogurt and rarely buy sour cream, it’s a pretty good substitute.
Substitute for Evaporated Milk
- I’ve gotten mixed results with this one. I’ve been using yogurt as a substitute for the evaporated milk in my bread recipe for several months now, and it gives the bread a sourdough-ish flavor. On the other hand, I tried substituting yogurt for evaporated milk in pumpkin pie, and it made it into more of a pumpkin cheesecake.
If you’ve advanced to making yogurt cheese, you can use it as a simple substitute for cream cheese. (Tip: If you incubate your yogurt for less time, it tastes less tangy and your yogurt cheese will taste more like cream cheese.) We use yogurt cheese to make vegetable dips, spread it on bagels, and even mix it with fruit preserves to make a simple sweet dessert.
When All Else Fails:
You can freeze yogurt in ice cube trays to use as a starter. I’ve read some sources that advise against this (I can’t remember now why they say not to…), but either way, sometimes when I use a frozen starter it works great, and sometimes I get runny yogurt. I think it depends on how long the starter has been in my freezer.
What other ways have you come up with for using yogurt?
Well, Erin, I’ll tell you. I realized I don’t have as many yogurt “recipes” as I thought when I promised this post last week, so I’m sure glad you jumped in!
Yogurt with Grains:
- an option in my cornbread recipe
- can use in homemade biscuits
- to soak Baked Oatmeal
- Oat Cranberry Muffins
Yogurt with Vegetables:
- Garlic Yogurt Dip: We like this one with up to 1 tsp. of dill and sometimes throw in cilantro. It’s a great dip for veggies for any party!
- Creamy Garlic Dressing: My favorite homemade dressing, and good for keeping the sick bugs away because of the fresh garlic.
Yogurt for Dessert:
And why would one even want to eat so much yogurt, you ask? Check out the health benefits of yogurt, which are quite incredible if you ask me.
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
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