by Chris Ellis, Staff Nutritionist
Tangy, thick, and creamy Butterworks Farm plain yogurt has been a staple food in our family for years. I can’t say how many years we have been using it but we probably started within the first ten years of its existence. We fell in love with its taste and texture. For breakfast I like nothing better than their yogurt with assorted fruit, oatmeal, homemade granola, or other whole grain cold cereal. Of course I use their yogurt in many other things too but as a breakfast food I eat it on a daily basis. I am very appreciative of all the hard work that goes into making it so many thanks to the Lazors and all the people at Butterworks Farm that make it possible to get it to the coolers at our Co-op!
The word “yogurt” originates from the Turkish and is related to their verb yogurmak, which means to be curdled or coagulated or to thicken. Yogurt has been around for thousands of years and it is not clear when or how it came to be but probably spontaneously since when there was no refrigeration milk sat out and fermented. It came to this country in the early part of the 1900s, thanks to the Colombosian brothers who later started Colombo and Sons Creamery in Massachusetts, which is no longer in business. Yogurt became very popular in the 1950s and ‘60s with the health food movement and is still in big demand. Yogurt continues to be a hot selling item but, even with the vast variety out there, it is hard to find a high quality yogurt. Many yogurts are a far stretch from the original tangy product that first came out on the market.
Probiotics (literally means “for life”) is the big buzz word associated with yogurt and many yogurts contain them, however, one can’t always make that assumption. Some yogurts are more like puddings or very sweet desserts—a far cry from the tanginess of real yogurt. Probiotics are special to each and every one of us since inside us is a unique ecosystem filled with lots of friendly bacteria that line the gut of the gastrointestinal tract. It is of utmost importance that we all support this system and replenish bacteria in the gut, especially after times of illness or antibiotic use. A healthy gut helps plays a major role in maintaining a strong body and immune system. To guarantee you are getting probiotics in the yogurt purchased, look for the seal of live active cultures on the label of the yogurt. Many yogurts contain these living bacteria which include: L. acidophilus, L,bulgaricus, bifidus, L.casei, and S. thermophilus. Dairy yogurt has other nutritional attributes in addition to the probiotics it contains, such as ample amounts of calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B-2 and B-12.
One of my favorite recipes using yogurt happens to be made with the Butterworks Farm brand because I really love the taste of their lemon flavored yogurt. I make it frequently in the summer when local berries are abundant but it is delicious in the long winter months (if you are lucky enough to have some berries in your freezer) when your mouth longs for the taste of juicy berries. Their lemon yogurt is subtly sweet thanks to the addition of maple syrup and has a yummy real lemon taste. Berries and lemon yogurt is a great combination!