Yogurt lovers: I've got a treat for you!
Award-winning food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule (author of one of my favorite books, Ripe) released another incredible cookbook last year celebrating everything you can make with yogurt! The book, titled Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World's Creamiest, Healthiest Food is utterly fabulous.
I've been wanting to share this book with you for over a year, but my overwhelming book commitments got in the way of regular blog posts. So, I'm delighted to be getting back on track with blogging so I can share this treasure with you.
I'm a huge yogurt lover. Not just for the fabulous flavor, but for the health benefits. Consuming probiotic-rich foods is a proactive strategy for health. Our inner ecosystems should be home to billions of beneficial microorganisms (the most common being lactobacillus and bifidus). This friendly bacteria is critical for warding off foreign threats to health. Stress, pollutants, pesticides, preservatives, and drugs wipe out the good bacteria, allowing the bad bacteria, yeast, fungi, and parasites to throw our internal balance out of whack. Eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt (along with prebiotic foods that feed probiotics) helps build and sustain healthy digestive flora to boost immunity.
This fresh, comprehensive celebration of all-things-yogurt is brought to life in spectacular fashion by Cheryl with 115 righteous recipes, that take yogurt beyond the breakfast table and the lunchbox, and into a more exotic arena.
After thorough research, Rule explores yogurt from every angle with stories, interviews, and beautiful photos. She examines global yogurt culture, the current yogurt landscape, profiles well known producers large and small, and explains how to choose commercial yogurts and read labels to maximize your nutrition and enjoyment.
She takes yogurt back to its wholesome form, and provides foolproof, step-by-step instructions for how to make your own yogurt, Greek yogurt, and labneh, and tips for how to incorporate these varieties into her recipes. You can also utilize plain commercial yogurts in all of the recipes.
This is not a vegan cookbook. There are recipes containing meat, chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs, and all of the recipes call for more traditional forms of yogurt. But, there are a ton of vegetarian recipes, and I've had great success veganizing many of them by substituting coconut, soy, or almond milk yogurts and adding fresh lemon juice and salt. Due to the vastly different personalities of vegan yogurts, the quantities of yogurt and lemon juice required will be different. Adjust to your own preference.
In chapters like Flavor, Wake, Slurp, Dine, Lick, and Bake, Cheryl goes beyond the expected fruit (which is always a hit), and pairs yogurt with salt, herbs, and spices for sensational dishes that will seduce your taste buds.
Some of my favorites include: Chamomile-Poached Quince with yogurt; Fennel, Pear, and Carrot Slaw; Smoky Eggplant Tahini Dip; Beet Raita with Cumin and Mustard Seeds; Yogurt Soup with Cucumber, Herbs, and Rose Petals; Artichoke-Almond Soup with Chives; Warm Lentil Salad with French Vinaigrette; Creamy Pasta Marinara; Chickpea-Quinoa Bowl with Harissa Yogurt; Roasted Vegetables with Spiced Yogurt, Pistachio, and Lemon; Tangy Potato Mash with Scallions; Blackberry-Lavender Frozen Yogurt; Salted Maple-Butter Pecan Frozen Yogurt; and this tasty Pomegranate Doogh.
Cheryl says in her headnote:
Prominent in Persian cuisine, doogh is a yogurt soda that’s bubbly, creamy, and a touch salty. This pomegranate juice–based twist borrows conceptually from what makes doogh, and its Turkish cousin ayran, so popular: that yogurt drinks don’t have to be sticky-sweet to quench your thirst. This one is fizzy and invigorating but not at all syrupy. (If it’s too tart, sweeten to taste.)
I've veganized this recipe using coconut yogurt and lemon juice. Depending on the variety of your yogurt (coconut, soy, or almond) add lemon juice to taste. The quantity of yogurt required may change, too. Just know, that this drink is not meant to be too sweet.
As it is, this is a delightful probiotic-rich beverage that is really refreshing in this summer heat.
Get your copy of Yogurt Culture.