Healthy yogurt is not just for break­fast

Cut fat, add pro­tein, boost nu­tri­tion and en­hance taste by adding in­gre­di­ent to just about ev­ery­thing

The Daily Observer - - FOOD - LAURA BREHAUT

Hu­bert Cormier has al­ways been a yogurt lover, even though the vanilla-flavoured snack pack he loved as a child has since been re­placed by pro­tein-rich Greek­style. From fresh sal­ads to vi­brant smoothie bowls to the mashed pota­toes atop his braised beef shep­herd’s pie, the reg­is­tered di­eti­tian and au­thor is an ex­pert at in­cor­po­rat­ing yogurt into pretty much any­thing. In his first English book, Yogurt

Every Day, Cormier high­lights the ver­sa­tile dairy prod­uct in 75 recipes.

Orig­i­nally pub­lished in French — Ma table fes­tive: Yo­gourt — the book was born out of his doc­toral re­search at Laval Univer­sity. Cormier and his team in­ves­ti­gated the im­pact of yogurt con­sump­tion on the de­vel­op­ment of Type 2 di­a­betes, heart dis­ease and stroke (i.e. car­diometabolic risk fac­tors).

“We found that yogurt con­sumers have a bet­ter diet qual­ity over­all. So, they will tend to eat more fresh prod­ucts, fish, grains, fruit, veg­eta­bles and nuts,” he says. While the Euro­pean Jour­nal

of Nu­tri­tion pub­lished the study, Cormier’s yogurt fas­ci­na­tion was far from over. Ex­cited by the find­ings, he cre­ated a user-friendly way to share them — a cook­book that en­ables peo­ple to in­clude yogurt in their di­ets on a daily ba­sis.

“In most recipes, we can cut fat and add pro­tein by adding yogurt. That’s the prin­ci­ple,” Cormier says.

“This book was … to give (peo­ple) recipes to put yogurt ev­ery­where, from break­fast to din­ner to dessert to snacks. Not only as a dessert in their lunch box in in­di­vid­ual con­tain­ers ... to put it di­rectly in their sand­wiches and in their muffins.”

For those new to mak­ing yogurt at home, Cormier of­fers sev­eral how-to op­tions in the book: both with and with­out a yogurt maker, and us­ing a slow cooker.

He also in­cludes in­struc­tions for plant-based ver­sions such as soy and co­conut.

“It’s re­ally easy to make yogurt at home, but you have to re­spect the right tem­per­a­ture and the time,” Cormier says. “It’s so sim­ple to make be­cause it’s just milk and bac­te­ria: two in­gre­di­ents.”

He writes that the main is­sue he sees with his clients is an un­even dis­tri­bu­tion of pro­tein con­sump­tion through­out the day. Of­ten, he says, peo­ple eat the bulk of their pro­tein at din­ner — ne­glect­ing it in break­fasts and snacks. One so­lu­tion, he says, is to add yogurt.

“Sta­tis­tics Canada shows that the av­er­age yogurt con­sump­tion in Canada is not more than 100 grams of yogurt per week. That’s the equiv­a­lent of a small, in­di­vid­ual-con­tainer serv­ing size. And that’s not re­ally (very much) ver­sus all the health ben­e­fits it has to of­fer,” Cormier says.

He in­cludes a use­ful sub­sti­tu­tions table in the book, mak­ing it easy to swap out or mod­ify in­gre­di­ents in recipes al­ready in your reper­toire.

“It’s re­ally a good sub­sti­tute for any fat. That’s why we can put it in ba­nana bread in­stead of oil or in other recipes (like) muffins. It re­ally works per­fectly,” Cormier says.

“Es­pe­cially when the recipe re­quires some cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, we can al­ways sub­sti­tute by cut­ting half the cream and re­plac­ing it with yogurt.”

Cormier favours Greek yogurt be­cause of its high pro­tein con­tent, and says full-fat or higher-fat yogurt is a good choice be­cause it’s more fill­ing than low-fat.

“It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that even if you choose full-fat yogurt, yogurt in gen­eral still re­mains a lower-fat op­tion than ice cream, than cheese, but­ter or cream,” he says. “So, it’s a low-fat op­tion, even if it’s a full-fat yogurt.”

Recipes ex­cerpted from Yogurt Every Day by Hu­bert Cormier. Pub­lished by Ap­petite by Ran­dom House.

In Yogurt Every Day, au­thor Hu­bert Cormier in­cludes the ver­sa­tile and nu­tri­tious dairy prod­uct in 75 recipes.

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