Unassuming nonfat plain yogurt is actually one of the most hardest-working and adaptable kitchen staples around. With each 6-ounce serving boasting nearly 10 grams of protein and containing an impressive 30 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium, it’s time to reexamine nonfat plain yogurt for its true potential as a healthy and versatile ingredient.
Yogurt: The best multipurpose marinade
Nonfat plain yogurt makes the ultimate marinade base, the lactic acid works to tenderize the meat while adding a delicious tangy flavour. Get inspired by brightly-flavoured spices such as curry powder, ground cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Add Dijon or grainy mustard, hot sauce, tomato paste or harissa for colour and tons of flavour without adding extra fat. Citrus zest and juice can be added to yogurt marinades for an extra kick of flavour as can lemongrass, capers, fresh ginger, and finely minced garlic.
Nonfat plain yogurt can be used to marinate chicken breasts, fish, and turkey breasts. Limit the amount of time fish is allowed to marinate in yogurt as it’s especially delicate, its texture can deteriorate quickly when left to sit in a yogurt-based marinade for longer than 30 minutes.
Eggs and yogurt: The ultimate protein source
Creamy nonfat plain yogurt contains plenty of protein, lending itself particularly well to all kinds of egg dishes. Next time eggs are on the menu, try whisking a generous dollop of yogurt into the mix; not only will this add an extra punch of protein, the eggs will be ultra-creamy and smooth while the moisture from the yogurt will create the fluffiest eggs you’ve ever tasted.
Omelettes, frittatas, scrambled eggs, and quiches all lend themselves well to a generous spoonful of nonfat plain yogurt – either stirred into the eggs or used as a topping for huevos rancheros, chilaquiles with fried eggs, French-inspired quiches full of fresh green herbs and scallions, or a Greek frittata full of Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Yogurt’s protein-enriching abilities go beyond egg dishes, swirling in a spoonful to oatmeal, chili, and chicken stews adds a velvety texture and greatly increases the satiety-factor.
Check out yogurt’s saucy side
Nonfat plain yogurt is often associated with sweet flavour combinations, regularly appearing in fruit smoothies and on top of granola. However, savoury yogurt dips and toppings are simple to make and require only a handful of ingredients. Popular flavour combinations include:
- Lime juice and zest, hot sauce, and cumin
- Lemon zest, capers, garlic, and oregano
- Fresh herbs, fruity olive oil, and Maldon salt
- Curry powder, chutney, and chopped cilantro
- Finely diced cucumber, Dijon mustard, shallots, and finely cut fresh parsley
Savoury yogurt sauces can be used to top almost any dish, including grilled chicken, turkey or fish, vegetarian or meat-based curry, creamy soups and bisques, grain salads, roasted vegetables and pasta dishes. Use yogurt sauce as a dip for crudités or pita chips; top with pomegranate seeds, thinly sliced fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill and basil, and a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil. If possible, allow the yogurt to sit out for at least 20 minutes before serving, a room temperature yogurt sauce will have tons of flavur without cooling down the other food.