Think yogurt is just a breakfast food? A quick snack fix? It’s actually so much more versatile than that – I’ve been cooking and baking with yogurt for years so I was really interested to get my hands on a copy of Hubert Cormier’s Yogurt Every Day.
Cormier is a registered dietitian and enrolled in a doctoral program at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods in Quebec City. In 2015, he received the Annual Merit Award in Nutrition–Young Professionals, a prize given by his professional body recognising his outstanding devotion to the field of nutrition. He has previously written three successful books on nutrition in French and this is his first English-language publication.
The book is more than just a cookbook though. It includes a quick history of yogurt – did you know it’s been around since 2000BC? That yogurt has been used for medicinal purposes since 1072? That in 1542 King Francis 1 was cured of stomach problems by eating yogurt and started importing it to Europe? It’s so interesting to think it’s a food that has been around for so long – I remember in the 1970s when I first tasted yogurt – it was a “new health food” and I felt a little pressure to like it because it seemed like the right thing to do (everyone was talking about it). Back then, there was a much smaller range of products available and yogurt was much less sweet, much more tangy and much less like a dessert than its appearance suggested. At age 9 or so, I wasn’t a fan but today, especially given the wider range of products available, I eat it every day and use it in my cooking and baking several times a week too.
There’s a short section all about the health benefits of yogurt (probiotics! protein!), information about how to choose yogurt based on how you’re going to be using it (cooked/ baked or not) as well as a really handy substitution table showing you how you can use yogurt in the place of mayonnaise, sour cream, crème fraîche, cream cheese, oil, butter and even ice cream! The table includes information about what types of recipes these substitutions would be suitable for as well. I do feel it might be beneficial to include some tips on incorporating yogurt into hot dishes (like currys etc.) as, just like with many other dairy products, if you are not careful, it will split (not changing the taste but definitely changing the appearance of your finished dish). There’s a visual Table of Contents which I loved (the picture next to the name of each recipe) that helps you locate recipes easily – such a unique idea!
If you’re into making your own, Cormier includes instructions for easy yogurt-making at home – with and without a yogurt maker (and even with a slow cooker!). The recipes are divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Desserts and each recipe shows nutritional information as well as useful tips about serving suggestions, storage and use of leftovers. The recipes are, for the most part, fairly short (I find French language recipes so much shorter than English ones so I am not surprised to see this) and clearly laid out. I did find a few of the baking recipes don’t tell you the actual size of molds or baking tins to use which can affect the yield. The Brownie Bites (actually more like mini cakes), for example, yielded over 15 more than the recipe said and I used mini muffin tins but maybe my tins were smaller? The Orange and Almond Scones are, curiously, baked in silicone financier molds but there’s no information about what size to use (I personally wouldn’t think of using a baking tin or mold for a scone but I love the idea of portion control and will consider this next time I bake them!). On the whole, though, a lovely clean layout (recipes and photos on one double page spread for the most part) which makes it easy to work with (I’m a visual cook/ baker so it’s useful to have the finished image to refer to as I’m working!).
As someone who has been using (especially Greek) yogurt in cooking and baking for a while now, I was happy to see I’m on the right track (i.e. I’m using it as a substitute for other ingredients correctly!) and this book has provided me with a wealth of other ideas for using it too. The food styling and photography by Catherine Côté is absolutely gorgeous – everything looks so fresh and tasty. It’s not overly styled or fussy, making it feel very “do-able”.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to incorporate more protein into your diet, Yogurt Every Day is a wonderful starting point.
Canadian giveaway! I’m giving away a copy of Yogurt Every Day!! Details here.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of Yogurt Every Day from the publisher for review purposes. I have not been further compensated for writing this post or hosting a giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.