Grab a spoon and dig into the creamy, tangy history of yogurt. Legend tells us yogurt was discovered by a shepherd who forgot some milk in a skin container for too long. When he finally remembered it, the milk had already transformed into what we now call yogurt. Today, Americans consume more than 300,000 tons of yogurt each year.
Yogurt was a well-known food in the Greek and Roman empire and has played a major role in Mediterranean cuisine since 800 BC. If we move east to Mongolia, we can see that yogurt and related fermented dairy products were important foods for Genghis Khan’s army in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In fact, Genghis Khan believed the extraordinary bravery of his warriors was due to their regular consumption of yogurt…we’re serious!
It’s no wonder Genghis Khan was a big fan of this dairy delight, it has amazing health benefits! Here are just a few:
- Yogurt provides almost every nutrient that your body needs. It is especially high in calcium, B vitamins, and trace minerals.
- Yogurt (especially the Greek variety) is very high in protein.
- Yogurt contains probiotics, which may boost digestive health by reducing the symptoms of common gastrointestinal disorders.
- Yogurt is rich in vitamins and minerals that play a key role in bone health. Consuming it regularly may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Not only is yogurt a delicious and healthy snack option, but it also contains high levels of lactic acid that promote healthy skin. Dating back to ancient India, yogurt has long been used as a natural moisturizer to revitalize dull, dry skin.
Pop Quiz: what is:
• High in protein
• Lower in sugar
• Dessert worthy, yet breakfast appropriate
Answer: Yogurt Parfaits! It sounds fancy, but, it’s just layers of yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit that has been topped with a scoop of granola. Check out this guide to the perfect parfait from Simply Sissom below:
• 1 32-oz container of whole milk plain yogurt
• 3 tbsp. honey
• 1 lb of fresh or frozen berries
• 1-1/2 – 2 cups of granola
- Add honey to the container of yogurt. Stir well.
- In a mason jar, layer yogurt and berries. Top with granola.
- Yogurt parfaits will keep in the refrigerator for several days, after too long the granola will get soggy.
Additional topping suggestions:
• raw nuts, sliced almonds, or walnuts
• toasted coconut
• dried cranberries
• diced dates