Yogurt

Greeks do it better!

One of the staples of Greek diet goes global

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, which causes the transformation of the milk’s sugar, lactose, into lactic acid. This process gives yogurt its refreshingly tart flavor and unique pudding-like texture.

Worldwide, cow’s milk is most commonly used to make yogurt, but milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, and yaks is also used in various parts of the world. Whole milk, partially skimmed milk, skim milk or whole milk enriched with cream may be used, to lower or raise the fat content as desired. But although the consistency, flavor and aroma of yogurt may vary from one region to another, the basic ingredients and manufacturing are essentially consistent.

Yogurt is a very good source of iodine, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2. It is also a good source of protein, vitamin B12, potassium, molybdenum, zinc and pantothenic acid. A human study has confirmed that a daily serving of probiotic-rich yogurt bolsters your body’s ability to protect you from infection, while for women, eating yogurt may help prevent vaginal yeast infections. Recent research results suggest that enjoying a daily cup of yogurt—either conventional or probiotic—may boost immune function, while according to other extended researches, yogurt Lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesterol.

In addition, research has shown that milk and yogurt may actually extend your life -as found in countries where yogurt and other fermented dairy products (like kefir) are a dietary staple.

While it is unclear when and where yogurt was developed, fermented dairy products were probably consumed for thousands and thousands of years, ever since the beginning of the domestication of cows.

In Greece, the most popular kind of yogurt is derived from sheep’s milk. There are also available various other kinds from goat or cow milk as well as traditional yogurts. This particular type of yogurts is classified as traditional due to the “skin”, a layer of cream-which covers the yogurt and their kind is unique in Europe.

Nowadays, in the West, the term “Greek yogurt” has become synonymous with strained yogurt. It is yogurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yogurt and cheese, while preserving yogurt’s distinctive sour taste. Due to the straining process to remove excess whey, even non-fat varieties are rich and creamy.

Greek yogurt is a wonderful and nutritious snack that is available year-round. To enjoy it like Greeks do, top it with a spoonful of honey and nuts or a traditional spoon sweet and you’ll have a delicious but healthy dessert, or whip it with cucumbers, garlic, olive oil and parsley to make your own tzatziki dip.

MLGFB Tip:

How to make your own tzatziki dip:

Ingredients: 1 cucumber, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon medium wine vinegar, 300g full-fat strained Greek yoghurt, 100ml extra virgin olive oil, ½ tablespoon finelly chopped dill leaves

Preparation:

  • Remove the skin of the cucumber and grate it. (not finely)
  • Finely grate the garlic.
  • Salt the cucumber and leave it in a colander for half-an-hour and then drain well.
  • Put it in a bowl with the garlic and the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix them all well with the help of a fork.
  • Put the dip in a bowl, add salt and decorate it with few dill leaves.

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