Yogurt is one of those must-have staples that's always on my grocery shopping list... Just between smoothies and "yogurt parfaits" (simply yogurt topped with granola and fresh fruit), we go through quite a bit each week!
But you might be surprised to know that I also often use yogurt when cooking and baking, as well -- like in the amazing lemon bread recipe pictured above.
Yogurt is a fantastic substitute for many of the high-calorie and high-fat ingredients we often use. Using my favorite whole milk yogurt as an example, one cup of yogurt contains 170 calories and 9 grams of fat. In contrast, one cup of heavy cream contains a whopping 821 calories and 88 grams of fat. Just, wow!!!
I should stress that those numbers are for whole milk yogurt, which is actually higher in fat and calories than many other yogurts, so you can whittle those numbers even lower! Walmart has a huge selection of different varieties of yogurt, and I'd encourage you to try out some of the no-fat, low-fat and whole milk varieties to figure out which one fits your needs best.
Yogurt Substitution Guide
Substituting yogurt in your favorite recipes is pretty straightforward. Use this simple guide for some of the most common substitutions:
1 cup heavy cream = 1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream = 1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup oil = 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup mayonnaise = 1 cup yogurt
1 cup butter = 1/2 cup Greek yogurt + 1/2 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk = 1/3 cup yogurt + 1/3 cup milk
Tips for Cooking With Yogurt
Substituting yogurt in recipes is not only a great way to cut fat and calories, but it also adds extra protein and calcium -- never a bad thing for growing kids! These easy tips will help you get the best results every time:
- Always stir or gently fold yogurt into recipes to maintain a thick and creamy texture.
- Adding yogurt to a hot mixture can cause it to separate. To prevent this, stir a few tablespoons of the hot mixture into the yogurt to warm it up, and then add the warmed yogurt mixture to the hot food.
- Thicken up cold yogurt-based sauces and dressings by chilling them for about an hour.
- Thicken up hot yogurt-based sauces by adding 1-2 tablespoons of flour mixed with cold water per cup of yogurt used.
- Because of its high acidity, yogurt makes a fabulous tenderizing marinade for meats.
So what are you waiting for? With so many benefits, I'm betting yogurt just might become a grocery list staples for you, too.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses yogurt? I'd love to try it out!