As cooking staples go, plain yogurt is a versatile ingredient to keep on hand. It can be used as a nutritious substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise or buttermilk in most recipes. You can also use it to cut down on butter when baking: Replace half the butter with half as much yogurt—for example, for 1 cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and a quarter cup of yogurt. For oil, exchange half the oil for three-fourths the amount of yogurt.
Other great ways to incorporate yogurt into your cooking:
- Use as a base for sauces, meat marinades and dressings.
- Stir into soups for a creamier texture.
- Swap it for milk or ice cream in smoothies and homemade popsicles.
- Be sure, however, to observe the following cautions:
- If combining it with hot foods, bring it to room temperature first for best results.
- Avoid using aluminum dishes or foil with yogurt, because yogurt’s acidity can cause a chemical reaction.
Spread thicker yogurts—or yogurt-based cheese—over a bagel or toast, and top with fresh fruits like blueberries or strawberries.