Do You Know?
In the ancient Asian empire Assyria, yogurt was called lebeny, or "life," since it was thought to prolong lives.
Hundreds of years ago, yogurt was known as curds and whey. (Yes, Little Miss Muffet was eating yogurt!) Curds refers to the solid, white part; whey is the watery liquid that often rises to the top. Don't discard the whey -- it's filled with nutrients, so stir it back in, or pour it off and substitute it for water in recipes.
Eight ounces of yogurt has almost half the calcium kids need daily. No wonder so many families love yogurt -- this creamy, tangy food is a cool choice for any time of the day. It can be a yummy treat for breakfast; you can use it in dips or dressings as a healthful alternative for mayonnaise or sour cream; and yogurt is even terrific as a marinade on meat. It's not only delicious, it's very nutritious: Besides being packed with calcium, one serving of yogurt has about a third of the protein recommended for the day. It's also rich in B vitamins.
Yogurt is made by adding something to pasteurized milk that sounds scary -- bacteria. But these harmless micro-organisms (or cultures) help the milk ferment to become yogurt and actually boost your immune system. Sometimes yogurt is heated to give it a longer shelf life, but the process destroys this beneficial bacteria. So when shopping, look for the words "contains live and active cultures" on the label. If you like fruit- flavored yogurt, consider stirring fresh fruit into plain yogurt; varieties sold with fruit may have added sugar.