If you do not like eating yogurt out of the tub by the spoonfuls, there are still many ways to integrate this healthy food product into your diet.
One of them is to make a drink out of it. This is not a new idea - the Indians have done this, in the form of their popular lassi drink.
While there are many commercial yogurt drinks on the supermarket shelves, they are often high in sugar and make use of artificial flavours.
Plus, it is not that difficult to blend your own lassi drink, as nutrition and fitness expert Mayura Mohta demonstrates in this recipe.
The humble calamansi lime - often featured in local cuisine and hawker fare - is used to add tartness to the drink, along with plenty of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Mint is also thrown into the mix for a refreshing zing. It happens to be a great appetiser - its aroma can activate the salivary glands and stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes, said Ms Mohta, who started Healthfriend in 2010, a social enterprise that promotes wise eating habits and food choices.
What's more, the "good bacteria" found in yogurt supports digestion and the immune function.
These bacteria also break down lactose, making yogurt suitable for the lactose-intolerant, she added.
But do not just grab any tub of yogurt. Check if it contains "live active cultures", advised Ms Mohta.
"Although all types of yogurt initially contain live and active cultures, some are heated after they are made, which destroys the cultures."
One way to be sure is to look for the Live & Active Culture Seal (LAC) on the package.
Overall, plain unsweetened yogurt is healthier than flavoured ones.
Even better, choose a low-fat one, said Ms Mohta.
You can then add chopped fruit, nuts or other toppings, and a dash of honey or maple syrup if required.
"This way, you can control the amount of sugar you are consuming," she explained.
This recipe is adapted from The Wholefood Kitchen by Mayura Mohta.
It is available at all leading bookstores at $25.68 (includes GST) and at www.stpressbooks.com.sg.
1. For an extra punch of flavour, garnish the drink with mint leaves and a dash of honey.
2. Dried dates may also be used, though they need to be pre-soaked for about an hour or more.
- Energy: 135kcal
- Sodium: 64mg
- Fat: 1.5 g
- Protein: 5.3g
- Dietary fibre: 3.3g
Calamansi mint lassi (Serves 3)
- 3 calamansi limes, halved and deseeded
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- 4 pitted fresh dates, soaked until slightly softened, for about 15 to 20 minutes
- 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Some ice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- Transfer all the ingredients, except the lime zest and ice, to a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Strain the mixture to remove any solid bits and pieces. Add the ice and garnish with lime zest.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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