Long before Greek yogurt became the new kid on the block, people have enjoyed drained yogurt (which is essentially what Greek yogurt is), in the guise of laban, lebna, yogurt cheese and YoChee, the name we coined for this remarkable food.
What makes YoChee truly miraculous is that it enables you to address today’s most pressing dietary concerns by reducing fat and calories and boosting protein and calcium. This is because even with zero fat, YoChee is smooth and creamy like fatty foods.
Although Greek yogurt is widely available, making your own is simple –just spoon yogurt into a yogurt cheese maker or similar homemade apparatus, such as a cheesecloth-lined colander, a fine mesh strainer or a drip coffee filter set over a bowl to catch the drippings. Place in the refrigerator and in 24 hours you have YoChee.
To illustrate what YoChee can accomplish, here are some comparisons between a few of our favorite YoChee recipes and typical restaurant, commercial or traditional counterparts.
Simple Ways To Start Using YoChee
Before long, you will get into the habit of using YoChee wherever you can. If you like what you taste, you can find much more in our book, Eat Well the YoChee Way (Ceres Press) and online at HealthyHighways.com.
Succulent Stuffed Mushrooms
1.5 teaspoons mixed dried herbs of choice: oregano, parsley, basil, sage, thyme or your favorite seasoning mix
8 medium-large mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine the YoChee with the herbs and mix well.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and reserve for another use. Clean the caps. Fill each cap with the seasoned YoChee.
Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before serving.
Per mushroom: 15 calories, 2gm protein, <1gm fat, 2gm carbohydrate, 30mg calcium
Superior Spinach Dip
10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1.5 cups YoChee
Quarter-cup chopped fresh dill
Quarter-cup chopped fresh parsley
Quarter- teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Half teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced scallion
Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop finely. In a bowl, combine the YoChee, dill, parsley, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well. Stir in the spinach and scallion until evenly blended. Serve at once or chill until serving time.
Makes 2 cups
Notes: The dip may thicken with chilling. If so, beat it with a fork to loosen and add a spoonful of plain yogurt if needed.
Per quarter-cup: 42 calories, <1gm fat, 5gm protein, 5gm carbohydrate, 130mg calcium
Nikki and David Goldbeck, whose best-selling The Supermarket Handbook helped revolutionize America’s diet and made “The Goldbecks” a household word in the ’70s, are still stirring up the pot with publications that include The ABC’s of Fruits & Vegetables and Beyond (Ceres Press), [with Steve Charney], the reissue of American Wholefoods Cuisine (Ceres Press) and the Second Edition of Healthy Highways (Ceres Press). Go to www.HealthyHighways.com for more information.