Yogurt – the thick, creamy result of the bacterial fermentation of milk – is a powerful food that can be eaten not only in breakfast, but in a multitude of other meals, including dinner. Consumed by traditional cultures for over 5,000 years, yogurt is a probiotic-rich food that is chockfull of protein and calcium.
Probiotics are those beneficial bacteria you may be hearing about on commercials or at the drug store – you can buy them in capsules, tablets, or liquid form. But in real food form, probiotics can be found in most fermented foods, such as yogurt. Probiotics are great for the body because they help to restore the health of our intestines, improve digestion, and increase the amount of nutrients we take out of the foods we eat. Those probiotics are pretty strong workers, and when we eat foods with them, we become stronger workers ourselves.
Not only does yogurt contain probiotics, it’s a wholesome source of protein – the average serving of a whole yogurt contains 9 to 10 grams of protein. For vegetarians, or those simply choosing to consume less meat, yogurt makes a healthy addition to your overall protein intake – especially when combined with beans and whole grains. And for those that have difficulty digesting milk, yogurt is often an easier dairy product to consume, as the probiotics help to break down the proteins inside. With the average serving of yogurt containing about 30% of the recommended daily calcium intake, a little goes a long way in keeping your nutrient stats up to par.
There is another reason still why yogurt makes for an excellent dinner choice – it’s cheap! Compared to the average meat price, which can run anywhere from five dollars a pound (if we’re talking chicken) to fifteen dollars a pound (if we’re talking quality grass-fed steak), yogurt is a fraction of the price. Even the highest quality yogurt, made from organic milk and antibiotic-free cows, is going to run only three to four dollars a pound (which is a full-sized tub).
Substitute a meat-based dinner with a yogurt-based dinner, and increase your stomach health, while reducing your carbon footprint and saving a bit of money all the same.
How to make dinner out of yogurt, you wonder? It’s simple. Think of yogurt as a thick base that can make stews, curries, soups, pastas, and dips – everything else in the dinner becomes a carrier for that yogurt base, such as vegetables or grains. Dinner never tasted so saucy.