BERRY YOGURT CHEESE PIE
A favorite dessert, all year round!
1 graham cracker crust, bought or homemade, or any crust you choose
1 quart lemon yogurt (You can use vanilla yogurt too but I prefer lemon)
3 -4 cups chopped or mashed berries
¼ cup honey or maple syrup, or less depending on your taste
1 Tbsp. arrowroot or kudzu powder or kudzu root starch (Kudzu is an excellent thickener derived from the kudzu root that doesn’t separate after cooking. It can be bought at the Co-op, in some Asian food stores, and many other health food stores in the Asian food section)
Drain yogurt through a cheese cloth or a special strainer specified for making yogurt cheese, allow it to drain for 8-24 hours to make it thick and creamy like cream cheese. Set aside in a bowl; if lemon yogurt is used, 1-2 tsp. fresh organic lemon zest can be added for an even more robust lemon flavor.
Put berries in a small saucepan, add honey or sweetener, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Before adding thickener to the berries, mix the kudzu or arrowroot powder with a tablespoon of water, then add to the berry mixture and simmer until thickened. If the berries are not getting thick enough, add 1-2 Tbsp. more of either arrowroot or kudzu. Cook only a few more minutes and then cool for an hour at room temperature. Assemble the pie by spreading the lemon or vanilla yogurt cheese on the graham cracker crust, then the cooked thickened berries. Fresh berries can be added on top. Yield: 6-8 servings
Whatever brand of yogurt happens to be a favorite, read the label to make sure it contains live active cultures. If yogurt doesn’t suit your fancy, there are many other food sources of probiotics out there on the shelves, such as tempeh, kefir, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut, among others. Keep that gut healthy!