Some plain, or natural, yoghurt is a great ingredient to keep in your fridge – but are you making the most of it?
Rather than simply mixing it with fruit for a quick dessert, you can use yoghurt to transform a range of recipes. The delicious dairy product is also packed with protein, and is rich in B vitamins – essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system – and calcium, which helps build strong bones.
Try our tasty yoghurt recipes below - including a dairy-free option - and discover three great new ways to enjoy it.
Prune and Mango Smoothie
Good for: beating the bloat
- 1 orange
- 1 mango, stoned, peeled and chopped
- 50g prunes * roughly chopped
- 100g low-fat natural yoghurt
- 200ml semi-skimmed milk
Grate the rind of the orange, then cut off the peel and cut into segments – do this over a bowl to catch the juice.
Place the orange zest and segments in a blender with the remaining ingredients, including the juice, and blitz until smooth.
Pour into 2 glasses and drink immediately for a de-bloating breakfast – prunes are well known for their stimulating effect on digestion, which can help beat a bloated stomach.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
Good for: a dairy-free treat
- 240g self-raising flour *
- 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda *
- 35g cocoa powder *
- 75g ground almonds *
- 240g granulated sugar *
- 150g hard 100 per cent vegetable margarine
- 260ml soya milk *
- 150ml natural soya yoghurt
- 1–2 tsp vanilla extract *
For the filling:
- 50g soya margarine
- 3 tbsp water
- 200g icing sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Icing sugar
- 200g plain chocolate * (70 per cent cocoa solids), melted
Preheat oven to 190˚C/ 170˚C fan/gas mark 5. Grease and line the base of two 20cm sandwich tins.
Sift the flour, bicarb and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in the almonds and sugar.
Melt the margarine, then whiz in a blender with the milk and yoghurt.
Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients and divide between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until firm to the touch. Cool in the tins.
For the filling: melt the margarine and water together, then cool slightly. Sift the icing sugar with the cocoa into a bowl. Add the vanilla extract to the margarine, then stir into the sugar mix.
Turn the cakes out and sandwich them together with the filling. Dust with the icing sugar and decorate with melted chocolate. If you’re looking for more ways to use dairy milk alternatives, we’ve got plenty of ideas.
Easy Meat-free Chicken Pilaf
Good for: one-pot family dinners
- 300g basmati rice * washed well
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds *
- 2 smallish onions, sliced
- 10g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 200g plain yoghurt
- ½ tsp chilli powder * or to taste (optional)
- ½ tsp turmeric *
- 1 rounded tsp garam masala *
- Salt and a good grinding of black pepper
- 400g meat-free chicken, cut into large pieces
- 500ml vegetable stock *
- ½ lemon
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- Handful of coriander leaves, to serve (optional)
Wash the rice, then leave it to soak while you cook.
Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan and add the cumin seeds. Once these have darkened, add the onions and fry over a medium heat until turning golden at the edges. Add the ginger and garlic, reduce the heat and cook for one minute, adding a splash of water if the garlic sticks.
Add the yoghurt, chilli, turmeric, garam masala, some salt and black pepper. Cook over a high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Continue to cook, still stirring, for another three mins, then add the meat-free chicken and cook until most of the yoghurt has been absorbed and the masala releases oil back into the pan.
Drain the rice and stir it in with the stock. Taste the water and adjust the seasoning. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to as low as it goes. Cook undisturbed for 8 mins, then check a grain of rice: it should be cooked. If not, cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for 5 mins, with the lid on, or until you are ready to eat. Fork in a good squeeze of lemon juice and the spring onions and coriander (if using), fluffing up the rice as you do so, then serve.
We’ve got more mouth-watering meals in our recipe section. What are you cooking tonight?
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.Shop our Food & Drink range.