To make yogurt, pure cultures of bacteria are added to pasteurized milk. Fermentation is allowed to proceed until the desired acidity is reached, then it is stopped by cooling the yogurt to refrigerator temperature.
A mixed culture of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus consumes the milk sugar, or lactose, for energy and excretes lactic acid, which curdles the milk. Dried milk solids, gelatin, or other ingredients may be added for body.
The finished product reflects the fat, mineral, and vitamin content of the raw material, whether it be whole or skim milk. Following fermentation, yogurt has only one- third to two- thirds the amount of lactose found in milk, and therefore is more easily digested by people with intolerance to milk.
Frozen yogurt is a lower- fat alternative to ice cream, often cutting the amount of fat per serving by half or more.
But frozen yogurt can sometimes be higher in sugar content. Some varieties may have 17 g or more of sugar per half- cup serving. Greek yogurt can have double the protein of regular yogurt. Its thick creaminess makes it a good swap for sour cream. Greek yogurt is made by straining out the liquid whey, which creates a thicker texture than regular yogurt.
Also, more milk is used in the production of Greek yogurt than standard yogurt. Another recently popular yogurt product is kefir, which is a cultured milk product made by adding grains to partially skimmed cows milk and allowing it to ferment for 24 hours.
During this time, the bacteria and yeast ferment the milk, lower the pH, and change its texture and composition. The final product contains live bacteria and yeast that have health benefits, such as aiding digestion.
WHAT IT HEALS / HEALTH BENEFITS:
Aids digestion: Yogurt is a healthful food and a useful source of minerals and vitamins. What' s more, yogurts that contain live or " active" bacteria cultures may help suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms in the body.
Boosts bone health: As an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, yogurt can help strengthen bones.
Helps lower blood pressure: The calcium in low- fat yogurt can help keep blood pressure levels under control.
Provides a low- calorie, high- nutrient snack option: An excellent quick snack and a versatile dessert, yogurt can be served chilled or frozen, plain or flavored.
Low- fat frozen yogurt contains only 110 calories in a ½- cup (118 mL) serving and gives almost the same pleasure as ice cream, with fewer calories and without the harmful saturated fats.
• Marinate chicken in plain yogurt before grilling.
• Use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in dip recipes.
• Combine plain yogurt and shredded cheddar as a base for broccoli casserole.
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