Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yogurt, the miracle substitution

I remember accidentally buying plain yogurt instead of vanilla flavored when we lived in Sellersburg. I took one bite and got a feeling similar to what happens when you get Sprite from the tap only to discover someone forgot to put the syrup in it--mouthful of carbonated water. It totally turned my stomach.

Fast forward to today, where I can barely go one day without my plain yogurt! I don't know if my taste buds have changed or if it really does taste different here, but it is one of my favorite things in the entire world. Here is just a short list of the daily miracles yogurt provides me with...

1) Easier digestion. I often take a tablespoon full of yogurt after big meals and it seriously helps. 3 cheers for probiotics!

2) Sour Cream substitution. I will never eat sour cream again. We put plain yogurt on every Mexican dish I make and a spoonful in just about every soup. It is extremely versatile and has just enough creamy sharpness that you don't even realize it isn't sour cream.

3) Mayonnaise substitution. Another item that will never again grace our refrigerator. I was so sad to discover that sandwich making is not quite the art here that it is in the States--and I'm a girl who loves herself some big, beautifully loaded sandwiches with all the fixings. Now, I just make some bread, sprinkle a little Ranch seasoning into the yogurt and spread on the bread and load up with whatever I want! Or, chop up some fresh herbs (dill is the current front runner), mix with yogurt and slather. It's fab.

4) Dip. I love dips. Ranch seasoning + yogurt + whatever variety of veggies I want = great snack. or, Yogurt + cinnamon + drop of honey + vanilla (if you're feeling wild) = the bomb fruit dip.

5) Smoothies. Substitute 1/2 yogurt, 1/2 milk for the ice cream (+ some honey) and it is yummy.

6) Weight loss. Just observe the substitutions above and do the calorie math.

So, that's my love affair with yogurt. I really really hope that whenever we come back to the US I discover that the yogurt really does taste the same and it is my taste buds that have changed, because I just don't know what I'd do without it.