It can be difficult for our bodies to metabolize complex sugars. Polysaccharides bind with acids in the small intestine lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. The results have been associated with reduced incidences of disease. A regular serving of yogurt provides billions of bacteria in the body, acting as healthy bacteria, which come in contact with the billions, if not trillions of bacteria, that are already present in the digestive system. The amount and type of bacteria in the digestive organs will depend on an individual's daily diet. Studies have shown that the yogurt's bacterial strains and the normal bacteria in the digestive organs send messages to one another. This results in a change in the way the body processes complex carbohydrates and absorbs nutrients.
Normally we depend on our intestinal microbes to break foods down in the body, but these yogurt strains appear to improve the ability to break down these components. This is important because we must learn how to properly digest the foods we eat. Studies have found that the active cultures in yogurt stimulate digestive and body immunity; aid in the absorption of nutrients with the assistance of enzymes; and increase digestibility of food products, and dairy products with lactose malabsorption.
Eating yogurts rich in probiotics can lead to an improved immune response by increasing the body's white blood cell count. The increase of white blood cells in the body improves the immune response. The healthy bacteria line your intestinal tract to keep it clear of disease-causing germs and improve your immune response by increasing the white blood cell counts. Most of the immune system is located in your digestive system. If your internal system is overrun with bad bacteria, there's a chance your immune system will not be functioning properly. Eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt can help keep your digestive and immune systems functioning at their best.
Yogurt Fusion, Inc. serves a frozen yogurt that is rich in probiotics, delivers protein, calcium, and vitamins. Each serving contains 1 billion Lacidophilus NCFM cultures and 100 million Streptococcus Thermophilus, L Bulgaricus, L Lactis, Bifidobaterium and L Acidophilus cultures per gram. Freezing yogurt does not harm the bacteria, it remains fully intact and these live active cultures support good digestive health; they inhibit and counteract harmful bacteria; and they stimulate digestive and body immunity resulting in an improved immune response. Our tart profile frozen yogurts contain 300-400 million cultures per gram of beneficial live and active yogurt cultures and our varieties meet the culture level requirements for cup yogurt. Our frozen yogurt is available in a nonfat variety, a nonfat Tart, a nonfat no sugar added, lowfat and reduced fat varieties and are all Kosher certified. We also offer Sorbets which are non-dairy, nonfat, and vegetarian.
Frozen yogurt, which is a soft serve frozen milk product, is available in many varieties, as are the regular refrigerated cup varieties. They are made by fermenting milk with live bacteria cultures; have nutritional benefits; are good sources of calcium and protein; their bacteria cultures aid in digestion and improved immune response; and the unsweetened low- and nonfat varieties are low in calories.
Yogurt is a delicious food consumed as a frozen yogurt and in the refrigerated cup form. In frozen yogurt form, yogurt can be used in many cold or frozen dessert recipes. It can also be whisked into dressings and dips for a creaminess that is cool and refreshing. Regular yogurt works as a substitute ingredient for fat in baked goods including cakes and muffins. It can be used instead of butter, oil, cream or mayonnaise. Yogurt makes baked goods moist and decadent and because of the acid content of yogurt, it makes a fabulous marinade to tenderize meats as noted in an earlier blog, "Cooking on the Grill Part 2: Grilled Rosemary Chicken Breasts (marinated in yogurt) with Pineapple." For the recipe see the May 31 blog.
The recipes featured today are Yogurt Cucumber Dip, Frozen Yogurt Berry Parfait, and a Yogurt Cream Cake. Add these to your collection of foods featuring yogurt and enjoy their healthy benefits.
Yogurt Cucumber Dip:
- 2 cups regular, plain cup yogurt
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme sea salt and white pepper to taste
Combine the yogurt, cucumber and onion in a bowl. In another bowl whisk the oil, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, dill and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the yogurt, cucumber and onion. Gently fold it in when blending with other ingredients to maintain the texture of the yogurt. Chill for 2 hours before serving. Use in a variety of ways, as a vegetable dip, salad dressing, sandwich spread, in savory crepes, quiche, frittatas, gyros, quesadilas, or breads. Use yogurt in equal measures as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in dip and salad dressing recipes to reduce the calories.
Frozen Yogurt Berry Parfait:
- 4 cups lowfat frozen yogurt, favorite flavor
- 2 cups favorite berry (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, boysenberries, blueberries)
- 1/4 cup honey granola or favorite granola
- 1/4 cup flaxseed
- 2 cups nonfat whipped cream
- 1/2 cup Berry syrup, favorite variety, if desired
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds
Build individual desserts by layering 1/4 cup berries, 1/2 cup frozen yogurt, and a sprinkling of granola and flaxseed (granola and flaxseed add fiber and plant omega 3s). Top with a tablespoonful of whipped topping. Drizzle with syrup if desired. Garnish with toasted almonds. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Yogurt Cream Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 X 9 glass pan.
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Gently combine the yogurt, sour cream, cream and eggs. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Add the cream and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir, about 2 minutes, adding more flour or cream by the spoonful, if needed, for a creamy batter consistency. Spread into the glass pan. Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.
We hope you will enjoy these recipes! Send in your feedback, and for more information join us next time on the Yogurt Fusion Blog as we examine more of Yogurt's benefits and as we wrap up this discussion, we'll take a closer look at probiotics and ways bacterial strains communicate with the microbes in the body to provide nutritional benefits at the cellular level. We'll also take a look at the different yogurt products on the market today. Thanks for visiting the Yogurt Fusion Blog!