Yogurt is a food that has gained popularity in many countries, and its consumption has gone viral.
And it is that its varieties offer options for everyone.
Its flavor and versatility make it a superfood. It can get us out of trouble and feed and keep us satisfied.
Read on and learn about the types of yogurt, its benefits, where to use it, and how to store it.
What is Yogurt?
Cultured milk is the primary component of yogurt. Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are added to heated milk to create the culture. Warm milk provides the ideal habitat for the bacteria to flourish and thicken the milk to produce yogurt.
The Turkish term “yogurmak,” which means “to thicken,” is where the name “yogurt” originates. Herders in Central Asia unintentionally created it thousands of years ago for the first time.
They kept their milk in sheep’s stomachs. The bacteria in the stomach lining made the yogurt thicker by thickening the milk.
A cup of yogurt has 110 calories, is high in protein (9 grams per serving), and is low in fat content. It is perfect for a balanced and healthy diet.
How do you make yogurt?
Plain yogurt can be prepared in a pretty straightforward manner by heating milk and adding a starter culture. This culture is often a teaspoon of yogurt that has already been made.
Milk should be combined with the yogurt culture. The mixture must be kept at a warm temperature to allow microorganisms to flourish and produce creamy yogurt.
For at least eight hours, the mixture with the new yogurt should be left to rest.
Yogurt may be prepared with whole milk or skimmed milk. Both of the two options are delicious. Yogurt made with skimmed milk is a good option for people who suffer from gastritis or are sensitive to the stomach.
Different types of yogurt
It is made with milk and bacterial culture to give a thick and creamy consistency. This type of yogurt has probiotics.
Probiotics are living, active cultures present in most yogurt and help maintain good digestion and gut health.
Greek yogurt is a “strained yogurt”. It has a thicker consistency than regular yogurt. This is because it is strained after the yogurt base is made to eliminate the liquid and whey. Greek yogurt often replaces the sauce because of its potently acidic flavor.
Greek-style yogurt is one of today’s favorite types of yogurt.
This yogurt is not only delicious but offers many benefits. That’s why Shantel VanSanten says:
“For me, having Greek yogurt and some granola is the perfect start-up breakfast because it has many benefits. It’s filling, healthy, and gives me the energy to start my day.”
Therefore, Australian yogurt is not strained and is similar to conventional yogurt. Its cooking process is more prolonged than traditional yogurt, which is why its texture is thicker than this last one. However, it is less dense than Greek yogurt.
French-style yogurt is grown inside the small containers it’s served in rather than made in a large tub and portioned. It has a smooth, creamy texture and is less sweet than other yogurts. However, it is not strained like conventional yogurt.
Skyr or Icelandic yogurt
Greek yogurt is noticeably thinner than Icelandic yogurt, or Skyr, which has a bit of acidity. Whether Skyr belongs to the category of yogurt varieties is up for debate.
One could argue it is cheese because the procedure allows curds to form. Skyr is marketed to Americans as Icelandic yogurt because, whatever it is, technically, it’s eaten like yogurt.
One of the thickest yogurt consistencies occurs after four strains of skyr.
Yogurt with live, active cultures is an option for lactose intolerant, but lactose-free yogurt is also available. Lactose-free yogurt has been given a special enzymatic treatment to help it digest the lactose in milk. The body does not feel the effects of lactose intolerance in this yogurt.
Yogurt made with skimmed milk is the best option for lactose-intolerant people. It is also the best option for people who suffer from gastritis or are sensitive to the stomach.
Kefir is a fermented beverage comparable to drinking yogurt, except that it goes through a longer fermentation phase. The kefir grains mixed with the milk give the kefir its distinctive flavor. The flavor is quite tart and you will notice a bubbly quality to it.
Now that you know the types of yogurt, know the benefits of its consumption.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Regular yogurt consumption, whether homemade yogurt or pasteurized, will provide you with multiple benefits:
Yogurt helps maintain regular bowel motions and improves the flora of our bodies. Our digestive system becomes healthier because it eliminates the dangerous bacteria in the gut.
Moreover, lactose intolerance, constipation, and infections brought on by Helicobacter pylori have all been reported to be helped by yogurt.
Immune Booster Natural
Our immune system is strengthened and our body is shielded from numerous infections when we consume yogurt regularly. Yogurt successfully combats gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory conditions like the common cold and flu, and even cancer.
Yogurt contains zinc, selenium, and magnesium, all of which boost immunity.
Controls blood sugar levels
Those with type 2 diabetes should consume homemade, unsweetened yogurt regularly to help control blood sugar levels.
Benefits for Bones
Yogurt is a fantastic food for enhancing bone health because it is a high source of calcium. Yogurt helps to maintain bone density and strength, which lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis when consumed regularly.
Yogurt eating regularly lowers bodily inflammation. The majority of autoimmune disorders, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis are caused by inflammation.
Cuts down on appetite and weight
Yogurt’s high protein content gives us a feeling of fullness that curbs our appetite and lowers our calorie intake. This encourages weight loss in turn.
Yogurt’s probiotics aid in lowering tension and anxiety, which helps depressed individuals feel better.
Yogurt in Cooking and Baking
Yogurt is a superfood. It can not only be eaten raw but can also be used in cooking recipes and can even be baked.
Here are some delicious options for preparing with yogurt:
Dressings, sauces, and marinades
Yogurt-based marinades for meat or poultry tenderize the protein much more gradually than more acidic vinegar-based marinades. They also produce cooked meat that is crispy but not tough or chewy.
Also, when poured over a spicy dish before eating, a tangy yogurt dressing or sauce nicely balances it off. In recipes like potato salad and coleslaw, yogurt can take the place of mayonnaise as a lighter and healthier alternative.
Use your favorite yogurt to make frozen yogurt to transform it from a sweet treat to a show-stopping dessert. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still create frozen yogurt. Most recipes call for freezing in one.
Simply pour the mixture into a loaf pan or other baking dish, and freeze it. Then stir it every 30 to 45 minutes for 3 to 4 hours, or until it is solid.
Let the homemade frozen yogurt thaw for two minutes before enjoying it because it tends to freeze rather firmly.
Both savory and sweet dips for crackers can be made with yogurt on a delectable basis. Any recipe for a dip can use it as a healthier alternative to sour cream.
It can also be added to classics like guacamole, hummus, spinach, and artichoke dip to make them lighter and tangier. Use plain Greek yogurt for savory dips, and flavored ordinary yogurt for sweet dips if you’d prefer.
Before eating, add a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt to a bowl of a warm, velvety soup. This is to counterbalance the rich, savory flavors with cool, acidic freshness.
Also, it gives the dish an additional healthy nutrient. Yogurt not only makes a stunning garnish, but it may also serve as the base for cold soups.
Desserts that have been baked
With its mild tanginess and airy, fluffy texture, yogurt is a wonderful addition to bread, biscuits, muffins, and cakes. In many recipes, yogurt can be used in place of various dairy products like sour cream and kefir. Or you can create a recipe that explicitly calls for yogurt.
Thin down Greek yogurt with water if a recipe calls for ordinary yogurt. You could also drain away some of the liquid if the recipe calls for Greek yogurt and you only have ordinary.
Yogurt as a Beauty and Skincare Ingredient
A component of yogurt is lactic acid; this helps our skin recover from environmental factors’ damaging effects. Yogurt can remove pollutants from your face and make your skin feel clean and fresh.
Lactic acid is an organic substance that works to tighten and shrink pores. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Furthermore, this food also contains exfoliating qualities that make your skin clearer and smoother instead of dry and dull.
Thanks to its properties, yogurt offers multiple benefits to the skin and beauty care in general:
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines of expression, delaying their appearance.
- It fights acne and reduces fat on the face.
- If you add lemon, you can gradually reduce and eliminate scars and blemishes on the face.
- Moisturize and soften your feet with a gentle yogurt-based massage.
- Eliminate that dry and rough skin; yogurt will help you have more hydrated skin.
Learn how to choose a good yogurt and some recommendations for its storage.
How to choose the best yogurt when you go shopping
There are many yogurt brands today. Follow the following recommendations for you to choose the best one. Check the labels carefully and verify the ingredients. Try to avoid those that have artificial flavors and lots of preservatives. The fewer elements, the more natural the yogurt will be.
Take into account the amount of sugar it has, and choose low-sugar options. Some yogurts have a lot of sugar “disguised” under other names. The following names are all sugar:
- Cane sugar
- Agave nectar
- Fruit juice
- High fructose corn syrup
Avoid yogurt with added sugar.
Fat is another essential element to consider. There are low-fat options and others loaded with fat. Choose the low-fat options; they are the healthiest. Those made with skim milk are a low-fat version.
Look for yogurts based on live and active cultures; these offer multiple health benefits.
How to store yogurt correctly?
Yogurt characteristics may change depending on storage temperature. Follow the following recommendations so that you can properly store your yogurt:
- The temperature in the fridge should be between 3° and 8|. The texture of the yogurt will not change until the ferments stop doing their job, which takes time.
- Similar to how artisan glass jars are sterilized, the whey in commercial yogurt serves the same purpose. Fermentation can be stopped with this preservation technique.
- Remember to check the expiration date. It is a common misconception that “yogurts never expire”, but this is not true. It is not convenient to consume them after the best-before date. This is although some preservatives are added to make them last as long as possible.
Why can yogurt be stored outside of a refrigerator?
Because they receive a heat treatment right after finishing the fermentation process. Although they can be kept without refrigeration for up to a month, they are not technically yogurt or a dessert. You will be able to enjoy the taste of yogurt but not its benefits. This is because the typical bacteria in yogurt are killed when treated in this way.
Yogurt can be frozen
Yes. As long as you keep a check on the temperature and keep it between 2 and 18 below zero. While the texture will change, the features will not.
Eat plain yogurt frequently and get its benefits
Yogurt will not only feed us thanks to its powerful nutritional value. This superfood will keep our digestive system in optimal condition and will strengthen our immune system. In addition, we can use it as a beauty treatment and show off radiant and healthy skin.
I am a professional health and nutrition writer with extensive experience in the industry. My passion for sharing valuable insights on nutrition and wellness stems from over 15 years of personal training and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. My commitment to continuously educate myself on the latest trends and research in the field allows me to deliver high-quality content that is informative and engaging. My mission is to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being through my writing.