Monday, April 6, 2009

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

When I think Greek, I think lentils, pita bread, hummus, falafel and cucumber yogurt sauce--a variation of tzatziki. It is important to know all yogurts are not created equal. It is the tendency of many to go for the low or non fat varieties which are inferior in quality, flavor and nutrition. Also look out for the thickeners and additives that create a fake look-a-like. Some brands only have one kind of culture in them, while others have four to six. Some even are cultured during production then processed with heat in the packaging process, which kills the health benefits. Most yogurts in the dairy case are chock full of sugar, which counter acts any beneficial bacteria, therefore no longer fits the status of "healthy." There are usually one or two acceptable specimens hidden in there. To find the real deal find a label that only includes milk and at least 4 cultures. My favorite is Trader Joe's Organic European Style whole milk plain yogurt, the one in the red container. Do check the expiration when buying yogurt, because as it ages the cultures diminish.

Ideally you make your own raw milk yogurt. Cultures for Health have a number of options for making homemade cultured products and more. I use the viili starter which is cultured at room temperature, how easy is that!? Yogurt cultures are most active in the first week after culturing, it is virtually impossible to get a yogurt from the store in that time frame.

You can leave the cucumbers out of this recipe to give a smoother sauce. Thicken it up a bit with mayonnaise or Veganaise. I only add garlic when I need the extra flavor like in chicken gyros. Use as a salad dressing, a vegetable dip, or a sauce in any pita sandwich.

16 oz. plain yogurt
2 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
1 clove minced garlic (optional)
1 medium cucumber, finely chopped

Combine well.
Yogurt Cucumber Sauce on Foodista


  1. Thanks for the tips on how to choose yogurt, Kara. Good to hear about how others like TJs' European style yogurt. I'd always wondered if it was anything like Greek yogurt.

  2. Kara what a great recipe! Hope you can come over and share this yummy yogurt sauce over at - the cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit. Would also love a link to this post from our site.(This will direct Foodista readers to your blog)Here's how you can create inbound links from our site Check it out here. This is a great way for you to build blog traffic and connect with other food lovers! See you there! Thanks!

  3. This sauce looks amazing. Yum!


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