Yay for Yogurt…and a recipe!

One of these days I will stop being so busy and write a post just for this blog..but for now here is my market post for this week; why yogurt is so darn good for you, and a recipe using yogurt in Eggplant Feta Rolls.  So good, especially for those who don’t LOVE eggplant (like me!).

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The link does not seem to be working so here it is:

You hear it everywhere..yogurt is so good for you.  But what exactly is it about yogurt that makes it so good?

Yogurt begins as milk, which is heated and then blended with active probiotic cultures, which are the “good bacteria” that live in our gut and help to keep us healthy.  The bacteria are then allowed to ferment the yogurt by breaking down the lactose into lactic acid, producing a thick, tangy product that is loaded with these good bacteria.  Here are a few more facts about this amazing food:

  • Many people who are lactose intolerant can eat yogurt because the culturing process breaks down much of the lactose into simpler sugars, which are easier to digest.
  • Yogurt keeps the colon healthy by increasing the number of lactobacteria such as acidophilus in the colon.  These bacteria help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Studies show that people who eat yogurt have healthier immune systems.
  • Yogurt is a great source of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and minerals.  This combination helps you to feel full for longer and can help reduce cravings.
  • The live active cultures in yogurt help to replenish the good bacteria in the intestines during and after a course of antibiotics, which kill both the good and bad bacteria.
  • Yogurt is a great source of calcium, and the live active cultures help to increase the absorption of calcium.
  • Yogurt is a great source of protein, and the culturing process makes these proteins easier to digest.

That said, not all yogurt is created equal. Live active cultures should always be listed as an ingredient in any real yogurt.  Also, don’t be fooled by “light” type yogurts that appear to be very low in sugar and calories; most of the time they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners and often contain artificial flavors too.  And if you are looking to avoid artificial sweeteners but still don’t want a lot of sugar in your yogurt, buying plain yogurt and adding your own fresh fruit and sweeteners can save you a lot of extra sugar and calories.

Better yet, just buy your yogurt from Kalypso at the market.  Their yogurt is traditionally made Greek yogurt, which means it is even higher in protein than regular yogurt because it is strained.  Kalypso’s straining process also eliminates 97% of the whey protein from the yogurt, making it very easy to digest.  Oh, and did I mention that it is ridiculously delicious and decadent?  And fat free?  It’s true.  They’ll be back at market this week, so don’t miss out!

Eggplant Feta Rolls

Adapted from Mark Bittman, New York Times, December 3, 2008

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 large eggplant*

1 Tbsp olive oil*

4 ounces feta cheese

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano*

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt as needed*

 

Directions

1. Leaving skin on, trim and slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces; depending on size of eggplant you should get about six slices. Lightly brush slices with olive oil. Using a grill pan, sear slices for about one minute per side until soft but not falling apart. (Or broil slices, or lay them on a baking sheet and roast them.)

2. Use a fork or small food processor to combine feta cheese with lemon juice, oregano, black pepper and just enough yogurt to produce a thick, smooth consistency.

3. On a large cutting board or work surface, lay eggplant slices out and put about a tablespoon of feta mixture at one end of each slice; roll slices up, and cut in half to serve.

*Available NOW at the market

Nutrition Facts (per serving for 6): Calories 99; Total Fat 7g; Saturated Fat 3g; Cholesterol 17mg; Sodium 217mg; Total Carbohydrate 7g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 4g; Protein 4g

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