I have a recipe for Greek cucumber yogurt
sauce that calls for Greek yogurt. Can I use my favorite brand of regular
About 2 days after opening my 32 oz carton
of plain yogurt, I find there is a watery layer on the top. If I pour it
off would I be discarding anything of value?
I have been reading about probiotics as "protective" against
the flu. Should I be giving them to my family of two young children and
a healthy husband?
I recently saw sheep’s milk yogurt
in my supermarket. Would you please educate me about this
In your point of view, what are the best
What do you think of probiotic supplements?
What is a probiotic?
What is a prebiotic?
What is probiotic gum?
What are probiotic straws, how is that possible?
What about kombucha?
I have a recipe for Greek
cucumber yogurt sauce that calls for Greek yogurt. Can I use my favorite
brand of regular nonfat yogurt?
Yes, you can, but you need to drain it first.
Ellie Krieger in her cookbook The Food You Crave recommends
spooning the yogurt into a strainer lined with paper towels and let sit
for 30 minutes. I tried it with 1 cup of yogurt and it worked beautifully.
Remember the liquid that drains off is full of nutrients so you may want
to add that to your favorite juice or milk and drink it down.
About 2 days after opening
my 32 oz carton of plain yogurt, I find there is a watery layer on the top.
If I pour it off would I be discarding anything of value?
The short answer is yes, you would be discarding a nutrient
I contacted Springfield Creamery in Eugene Oregon who helped
me identify the liquid as acid whey. It contains valuable nutrients, whey
protein and carbohydrate as well as minerals calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
It probably also contains some of the active cultures.
I suggest you just stir it back into the yogurt, however,
if you like the thicker yogurt that results when you pour off the liquid
then rather than discarding it mix it with a little juice and drink it
down. That way you receive all the natural nutrients of the yogurt.
The flu is expected to hit
us hard this fall and winter. Pregnant women, children, and young adults
are particularly at risk. Research supports that probiotics can optimize
your immunity, which is just what you and your family need for protection.
An interesting study was just
published in Pediatrics (Probiotics Effects on Cold and Influenza–Like
Symptom Incidence and Duration in Children. Leyer GJ, Li S, Mubasher ME,
Reifer C, Ouwehand AC. Pediatrics 2009, Volume 124: e172-e179) which reported
that probiotic consumption over the course of 6 months reduced fever, cough,
and runny nose symptoms in children. They also found a trend towards more
positive results with a combination of strains. I think an important.htmlect
of their study results is that, if we can use probiotics to reduce symptoms,
we can decrease antibiotic use in early life. This is a win-win for you
and your family. Check out Gut
Insight for a listing of products, all natural food sources, that
you can incorporate into your family’s daily diet.
I recently saw sheep’s
milk yogurt in my supermarket. Would you please educate me about this yogurt?
Sheep’s milk yogurt is available in some supermarkets — we
have it in the San Francisco Bay Area produced by Bellwether Farms in Sonoma
County. I tried it recently and it is delicious with a rich, creamy taste.
Because it has a higher solids content, it’s nutrient profile has
an advantage over cow’s milk, particularly in minerals such as calcium.
The yogurt at Bellwether is made from pasteurized sheep’s
milk and the live active cultures L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, L. acidophilus,
and Bifidus are added after pasteurization. Fruit is on the bottom. Bellwether
Farms web site is www.bellwetherfarms.com/sheeps-milk-yogurt.
If you live in the Eastern US, you can find sheep’s
milk yogurt in the Hudson Valley made by Old Chatham Sheepherding Company,
on the Web at www.blacksheepcheese.com/yogurt_facts.html.
your point of view, what are the best prebiotic foods?
Prebiotics, which are
the fuel for probiotics, keep beneficial bacteria in your gut thriving. Gut
a listing of prebiotic food sources that have been identified in the
scientific literature. Wild onions are pictured on the cover of the book
since onions, garlic, and leeks are among the most common sources of
prebiotics. I find it fascinating that these foods are used all over
the world in so many cuisines. Additional sources common to our diet
are whole wheat and bananas. Again it is interesting that bananas are
such a familiar food and one of the first foods we feed to babies is
ripe banana. Then there are the less common foods that we are beginning
to see in our open markets: dandelion greens and burdock. You can view
photos of these “exotic prebiotics” in Gut
What do you think of probiotic
Insight's focus is on natural food sources. I believe when you
use natural food sources you are more likely to develop a life-long healthy
habit than if you are only relying on supplements. For example, the studies
on populations of people with longevity found that they had established
the habit of eating fermented foods. We encourage natural foods first,
although supplements may be appropriate for short term specific use.
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when consumed
in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Gut
What is a prebiotic?
Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients
that selectively stimulate the growth and/or the activity of beneficial
bacteria in the colon and improve health. Gut
What is probiotic gum?
A trip to the dentist usually includes a verbal reminder
that bacteria is related to oral health. So no wonder, gum has become a
carrier of probiotics. And again it is BioGaia who offers a chewing gum
with Lactobacillus reuteri prodentis,
a mixture of two strains. Following your tooth brushing with chewing gum
is not what your mother allowed and yet we now have a gum, which according
to their research, has oral health benefits. You can read the research
studies and findings at www.biogaia.com.
Other companies, specifically gum manufactures, are researching
“dental gum” which will combine the pleasures of chewing a
flavorful gum with functional dental health benefits. Expect the checkout
stand at the supermarket to display these functional chewing gums which
may replace the
“double your pleasure” types.
What are probiotic straws,
how is that possible?
I like to think of them as “functional straws,” providing
a dose of probiotics as you drink the beverage. Pro-straw, as some have
called them, offer a defined dose of probiotics and extended shelf life
so they are ideal for packaged drinks. One of the manufacturers, Unistraw
in partnership with Tetra Pak, a packager, is expected to have juices and
dairy drinks with probiotic straws which you keep on the shelf rather than
refrigerate. This is ideal for mobile people who want to carry a probiotic
drink with them and don't want to use a cold pack.
Currently BioGaia, a Swedish Company provides Nestle with
a probiotic straw for its kid's Boost product "Kid Essentials" that
contains Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic strain. The probiotic, contained
in an oil suspension, is released when it comes into contact with the liquid
contents in the box. The probiotics are delivered to the child as he drinks
through the straw.
Packages of the BioGaia straws are also available if one
prefers to use them with their own drink. With 100 million CFU of Lactobacillus
reuteri protectis per serving they are promoted as a gut health
Pretty amazing, and expect to see more products on the
shelf as manufactures roll out products with the magical straws including
juices, nutritional drinks and dairy based drinks.
You now may be thinking "what's next?" Well,
there has been a mention of the probiotic bottle cap.
What about kombucha?
Kombucha is a traditional fermentation of sweetened
tea made with a microbial mixture of yeast and bacteria. The mixture
varies from product to product and may contain Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Toru.htmlora
delbrueckii, Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Bacterium xylinoides, Bacterium katogenum, Pichia
bailii, or Torula species.
While there are animal studies that show microbial activity against human
pathogens like e. coli and salmonella,
studies on humans are few and inconclusive.
Frequently Asked Questions
are answered by Jo Ann Hattner, MPH RD unless otherwise noted.