Yogurt is more popular than ever, thanks to its health benefits, versatility and tart dairy flavor.
- In the yogurt-making process, the mixture of cultures and pasteurized milk is incubated at 110°F until it reaches the desired flavor and thickness.
- As with sour cream, the lactic acid that the culture produces coagulates the milk protein, thickening the milk and creating yogurt’s characteristic tart flavor.
- Like other dairy products, yogurt is a good source of high-quality protein, calcium, potassium and riboflavin, and consumers value it as a healthful food and snack option.
- Scientists have found that yogurt containing specific health-benefiting active cultures called probiotics may contribute to a healthy digestive system.
- The bacterial strains used in the yogurt making process are live. Some yogurts have a seal on their labels noting that the product contains a significant level of live, active cultures.
YogurtStorage and Handling
- Store yogurt in a refrigerator set at 38°–40°F in the container in which it was sold.
- The “sell by” date stamped on yogurt containers tells you how long the operator can keep the product for sale on the shelf.
- If separation occurs, gently stir the liquid back into the yogurt.
- Discard yogurt that has become moldy.
- Freezing yogurt is not recommended.
- Yogurt makes a flavorful, calcium-rich addition to dips, dressings, smoothies, shakes and soups.
- Substitute yogurt for higher-fat sour cream in dishes that need a lower fat content.
- Drain yogurt through a cheesecloth to make thick, creamy yogurt “cheese.”
- Take advantage of yogurt’s association with increasingly popular regional cuisines, including Mediterranean, Eastern European, Middle Eastern and South Asian.
- To prevent curdling yogurt in hot dishes, add it as late in the preparation as possible, heating gradually and stirring gently.