Tips for Cooking With Yogurt

Image from The Dannon Company on ways yogurt can be used in cooking, including which other ingredients it can serve as a substitution for.

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Guest Post by The Dannon Company for #PHABack2School

Before you begin swapping ingredients, read these essential tips for successful cooking with yogurt.

It’s not always an even exchange.

When you substitute yogurt for fats and liquids in your cooking, it’s not always an even, cup-for-cup exchange. As a general rule, add the minimum you think you’ll need and add more slowly as required to avoid thinning. Here are a few substitution ratios to keep in mind:

  • Try cutting the oil in your recipe back by substituting ½ of the amount of oil with ¾ the amount of yogurt. For example, if your recipe lists 1 Cup of Oil, try replacing ½ cup of Oil with ¾ cup of yogurt.
  • Try substituting the butter in your recipe with yogurt. Try replacing ½ of the butter with ½ as much yogurt. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, try using ½ cup butter and ¼ cup yogurt instead).
  • When baking, you can try replacing one egg with ¼ cup yogurt.

Make it plain

If you cook with yogurt, it’s important to make sure you use plain yogurt. Accidentally throwing vanilla yogurt into your chicken salad will lead up to a memorable dish you may prefer to forget. Depending on the recipe, you may choose to cook with Greek, plain, low-fat or nonfat yogurt. Greek is a little tangier in taste than plain yogurt, so it really lends itself to recipes like meat marinades, salad dressings, dips and potato dishes. Plain yogurt tends to work really well as a substitute in baking. The main thing to keep in mind is that different types of yogurt have different tastes that will affect your end result! Image of plain yogurt in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Use yogurt wisely

Before you substitute yogurt for everything, here are a few pointers to get the most out of it in your cooking.

  • Over-stirring yogurt may cause it to break down and thin out. Never vigorously stir, whisk or beat yogurt. Instead, fold it into your recipes to maintain its rich and creamy consistency.
  • If you heat yogurt too quickly, it will separate into curds and whey. Avoid this by making sure yogurt is at room temperature before adding it to a hot dish.
  • Speaking of heating, don’t forget that when yogurt is heated above 120 degrees F, it loses its beneficial bacteria.
  • The acidity in yogurt can react negatively to aluminum so avoid using aluminum foil or aluminum baking dishes when cooking or baking with it.