Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Tackling Leftovers: Yoghurt

According to figures by Love Food Hate Waste, us Brits throw away £210m worth of yoghurt and yoghurt based drinks each year. An insane amount of money, when you think how useful yoghurt is in cooking. It lends a creaminess to curries, is a low-fat alternative to cream in many desserts and contains all those handy 'good' bacteria for keeping our tums in tip-top condition. 

Part of the problem with yoghurt is that once opened, you need to use the rest of the tub up within 3 days. Bear this in mind when you open the tub for the first time and begin to think about the other ways you can use it up. Mark on the lid, with a felt-tip pen, the date you opened it so you don't doubt yourself and throw it away two days later even though it's still fine to eat. 

So, to try and get some (or preferably all) of that money back in our pockets and out of the landfill, here are some ideas for using up leftover yoghurt. Please add your own in the comments box below, I'd love to hear your ideas too. 


creamy lemon coriander turkey curry

Curries: skip the cream and the full-fat coconut milk and make a lemony curry with natural yoghurt. You only need a few tablespoons, but it'll help you use up the rest of the tub. Natural yoghurt is much lower in fat than many other ingredients used to add creaminess to curries, and gives it a clean (not oily) flavour. Check out my Balti-Marinated Trout and also these picnic or party snacks, Coronation Chicken Voluvents (you can use the Coronation Chicken mixture to make sandwiches too). I also love this Malaysian Ayam Percik, where yoghurt is used to tone down the heat of the spicy marinade. The photo above is a lemon and coriander turkey curry I made for a piece on Yahoo! - it's low fat and really quick to make. 


vanilla buns with honey and greek yoghurt and strawberries


Desserts: Top scones or muffins with natural yoghurt and fruit, or stir in a little vanilla paste and layer it up with chopped fruits. Natural yoghurt with just a spoonful of honey stirred in is wonderful, and rumour has it that Lady Gaga enjoys hers with peanut butter. I went to a friend's house for lunch, and she stirred some Amaretto into a tub of yoghurt and we ate it with chopped fruit. It was lovely. One of my favourite snacks at the moment is a few spoonfuls of honey with some frozen blueberries (or raspberries) dropped in, with a swirl of runny honey. As the berries defrost, they streak the yoghurt with their juice - you just need to wait a few minutes for them to defrost before eating.

Cakes: Use natural yoghurt to add a creamy texture to muffins and cakes, or make a whole cake with it, such as this Gateau Yaourt


breakfast digestion booster smoothie

Smoothies: Just a tablespoon or two will add a soft, creamy texture to smoothies and do your tummy some good, too. Try this Digestion Booster breakfast smoothie, with blueberries, banana, yoghurt and orange juice. A perfect way to start the day. 

Yoghurt 'ice cream': You can make some delicious low-fat frozen yoghurts - try this one with blueberries and maple syrup or my salted caramel and ricotta ice cream, which uses a mixture of ricotta and natural yoghurt. Also, if you do make smoothies, make an extra batch and pour it into ice lolly moulds for a refreshing (and super-cheap) treat when it's hot outside. 

Breakfast: It's a great way to start the day by itself, but you can use it to top cereals too, along with a little honey or agave syrup if you want to. Or spoon a blanket of yoghurt over a granola or muesli or mix it with dried fruits. 

See? You'll never need to throw yoghurt away again. 

What are your ideas for using up yoghurt?