Tag Archives: yoghurt

Banana Bread

I bought some bananas last week that I didn’t get around to eating, and so decided to keep them till they were really ripe (ie black) and make banana bread.

I’ve made banana breads before using various recipes and the last one I made had so much butter in it that when I toasted a slice, to my horror, you could hear it sizzling. Needless to say that loaf went into the bin, and so this time I went in search of a healthier version that was still moist without so much butter, and also tasty.  I found one on joy of baking and it uses oil instead of butter and yoghurt to keep the bread moist.  I also cut down the sugar because the super ripe bananas give added natural sweetness.

You can add walnuts for added good fats as well as a nice nutty flavour that works well with bananas, and a slice with a cup of tea would be a great healthy way to start the day.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas – the blacker the better)
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/2 cup low fat yoghurt
  4. 1/4 olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (you can substitute 1/2 cup wholemeal flour or add wheat germ for added fibre and nutrients)
  9. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp baking powder
  11. pinch salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Line a 20cm x 10cm loaf pan with baking paper
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the baking soda and yoghurt.  Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the batter
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla
  5. In another large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt
  6. Combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture and then add to the flour mixture.
  7. Stir until all ingredients are just combined.  This is important so you don’t release the gluten in the flour which will make your bread heavy.  You want to keep it light so that it will rise.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 mins until the top is golden brown and a toothpick (or uncooked spaghetti stick) comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Strawberry Coulis

With my homemade yoghurt needing something sweet to enjoy it with, I decided to make strawberry coulis.  Couldn’t be easier and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart that works brilliantly with plain yoghurt.

Ingredients:

  1. large punnet of strawberries
  2. 2 tbls sugar
  3. juice of half a lemon

My homemade yoghurt with strawberry coulis

Method:

  1. Hull the strawberries and halve and quarter them so that the pieces are roughly the same size
  2. Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occassionally
  4. Cool and enjoy over yoghurt or would be nice over a meringue or steel cut oats
  5. Store covered in the fridge for up to a week

Home-made yoghurt

I have an ongoing obsession with yoghurt. I love the tangy, twangyiness of it, but I miss the creamy versions that I used to be able to get from the food courts back in Sydney.  There, you get thick dollops of creamy yoghurt, topped with a variety of fruit/pulp of your choice – passionfruit, blueberries, fruit salad – you name it.  You can get semi-decent store-bought yoghurt here, but the ones that aren’t full of sugar or that use organic ingredients can be a bit pricey.

A recent visit to Blu Kouzina inspired me to make my own yoghurt (to make tzatziki).  Their tzatziki was thick and creamy and just the right side of sour.  Worked so well with their home-made pita bread.

I did go out an buy a yoghurt maker just because it makes keeping a steady warm temperature easier, but if you go online there are ways of doing this in your oven etc.

For me, all I had to do was to bring a litre of milk up to 85C.  This process kills off the bad bacteria that makes milk go bad. If you don’t want to burn your milk, you can do this over a double boiler – otherwise, keep stirring the milk in the pan.

Once that’s done, take the pan off the heat, and place into a water bath to bring the temperature to 25C.  I have a thermometer so this makes it easy.  Be patient, it can take some time.

Take a small amount of the cooled milk and either add 5g of yoghurt starter culture (bought from a health food store) or you can take a small portion of ready made yoghurt, mix well, and add back to the rest of the milk.

Pour the milk into the jars, cover, and place undisturbed in the yoghurt maker.  I used starter culture and followed the instructions on the packet and left it overnight for 12 hours.  It was like magic – milk goes in, and when I woke up, the jars had yoghurt !

I saved a few jars to have as breakfast – I am going to stew some strawberries with sugar to top the yoghurt with.

The rest I strained in a clean teatowel over a bowl for 3 hours and I have the thickest, creamiest yoghurt with which to make my tzatziki with.

I even used half a cup of my freshly made yoghurt to make healthy banana bread.

Call me odd but this has just made my Sunday !


Two brilliant ways to use a tub of plain yoghurt

Make raita and use it to marinade the chicken for Nigella Lawson’s Ritzy chicken nuggets.

For the raita, heat a tablespoon of oil until hot. Add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and half a teaspoon of cumin seeds and fry till they pop. Take off the heat, add in a teaspoon of cumin powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, mix about a cup of yoghurt with a grated medium sized cucumber, skinned and deseeded, and a handful of finely chopped mint leaves.

Add the cooled oil mixture to the yoghurt, mix, and pop in the fridge for the flavours to combine before serving with a variety of any Indian curry – we had it with briyani.

For Nigella’s Ritzy chicken nuggets, cut a chicken breast into strips, and simply coat and marinade in the yoghurt, overnight if possible. The culture in the yoghurt breaks down the protein walls in the chicken and makes it oh-so-tender.

When you’re ready to cook, grab a bag of Ritz crackers (or any type of cracker you have available), bash into crumb-like texture, and use to coat the chicken strips. You can add herbs or parmesan to the mix for additional flavour. If you’re using plain crackers, you may need to season the coating.

Once done, lay strips out on a baking sheet-lined tray, pop into a hot oven (200C) for 25 minutes, turning the strips over once, until golden and crispy.

Serve with a fresh salad, we did parmesan and rocket.