Yogurt, you're gonna like it!

When I go on my weekly (sometimes daily) grocery shopping trips, one thing I am always picking up to stock my refrigerator is yogurt. I usually have more than one kind that I bring home as well. I am sure when you look through the variety of yogurts in the store you may not know which one to purchase or what you may want to try this week. In our family yogurt gets packed up in lunches or brought along as a snack to enjoy during an outing but also I use it frequently in baking and cooking. There are non fat, low fat, Greek, Balkan, naturally sweet and I’m sure many others that I am forgetting about that you can check out and try. I have used many different kinds of plain yogurt whether it’s non fat or low fat, they do have a place in my kitchen when needed. Most often I find that plain yogurt is one that I purchase to use in quickbreads but also as marinade bases for meats. The acidity offers up a wonderful flavour in baking and helps tenderize protein in meats. It is a great vehicle to add spices to and create a tasty crust on roasts. 
On its own, yogurt can be enjoyed by the spoonful or stirred together with crunchy cereal or granola for breakfast or a snack. But why not serve it up alongside your brunch menu or perhaps as a light dessert? The flavours now that are available really scream to enjoy yogurt as a dessert with mocha, lemon and so many others you can really enjoy a variety all week long. 
So whether you are buying your favourite yogurt or trying something new, check out these few recipes that I have put together for you to continue enjoying delicious yogurt perhaps in a way you haven’t tried before. 

Granola Yogurt Trifle

Homemade granola adds crunch between the creamy yogurt layers. Use different fruit in season for the best flavour year round. Blueberries, strawberries and apple are a great combination. This is great for brunch, snack or maybe even for dessert.

2 cups (500 mL) large flake oats
1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat germ
1/3 cup (75 mL) wheat bran
1/4 cup (60 mL) slivered almonds
1/4 cup (60 mL) shelled unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey or granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange rind
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries or raisins
1 tub (750 g) fruit flavoured yogurt
2 cups (500 mL) chopped fresh fruit or berries

In large bowl, toss together oats, wheat germ and bran, almonds and sunflower seeds. 

In small bowl, whisk together honey, oil, water, orange rind, vanilla and salt. Pour over oat mixture and toss well to coat evenly. Spread mixture onto large parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in 300 F (150 C) oven for about 30 minutes, stirring once or until golden brown. Let cool completely. Add cranberries.

In a 6-cup (1.5 L) glass bowl or dish, layer 1 cup (250 mL) of the yogurt then half of the granola. Repeat once and top with remaining yogurt and sprinkle top with fruit.

Makes 6 servings.

Tips: You can make individual servings as well in martini or small parfait glasses. 
Storage: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. As the parfait sits the granola softens.
Granola Storage: Keep in resealable plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Greek Yogurt Option: You can use Greek yogurt in place of the regular yogurt if desired.

Banana Vanilla Yogurt Loaf

This moist loaf has a soft vanilla flavour that keeps you coming back for more. Banana loaf is perfect for an afternoon snack or quick morning breakfast. Warm it in the microwave for a fresh out of the oven taste.

1 3/4 cups (325 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup (175 mL) vanilla flavoured yogurt
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted chopped walnuts, pecans or mini chocolate chips

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Stir in mashed bananas and yogurt. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir to moisten. Add walnuts and stir to combine.

Scrape into 9 x 5 inch (2 L) loaf pan and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 1 hour or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on rack.

Makes 1 loaf.

Storage Options: Wrap loaf whole or in quarters in plastic wrap and in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Wrap loaf in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tandoori Spiced Rib Roast

This recipe from Ontario Pork ontariopork.on.ca showcases the use of yogurt to produce a marinade and much more! Spices combined with fresh herbs bring out the best in roasts and using yogurt is a traditional ingredient in Indian recipes. This easy roast is delicious serve up hot with the cool raita, but can be enjoyed the next day in sandwiches with the raita used as a spread.

1/2 cup (125 mL) 0% plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger  
2 tbsp (30 mL) paprika
1 tbsp (15 mL) each ground coriander and ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne
1 boneless pork loin rib roast, about 2 lb/1 kg

Fresh Herb Raita:
3/4 cup (175 mL) 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated cucumber, squeezed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) garam masala
1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced and seeded jalapeno pepper

Fresh Herb Raita: In a bowl, stir together yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, coriander, sugar, garam masala and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a resealable bag, combine yogurt, ginger, paprika, coriander, cumin and cayenne and massage together. Add roast, close bag and massage marinade into roast. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Remove roast from marinade and place on rack in roasting pan and roast in 325 F (160 C) oven for about 2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in centre registers 155 F (68 C). Cover and let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly.

Serve with Fresh Herb Raita.

Makes 10 servings.

Tip: Raita can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day ahead.


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