The miracle food you should add to your diet
If you haven’t heard of YoChee, you haven’t heard of possibly the best diet food in the world.
Long before Greek yogurt became the new kid on the block, people enjoyed drained yogurt (which is essentially what Greek yogurt is), in the guise of laban, lebna, yogurt cheese and YoChee, the name nationally renowned authors and nutrition experts Nikki and David Goldbeck coined for this remarkable food.
What makes YoChee truly miraculous is that it enables you to address today’s most pressing dietary concerns by reducing fat and calories and boosting protein and calcium. This is because even with zero fat, YoChee is smooth and creamy like fatty foods.
Making your own YoChee is as easy as spooning regular yogurt into a yogurt cheese maker or similar homemade apparatus – such as a cheesecloth-lined colander, a fine mesh strainer or a drip coffee filter set over a bowl to catch the drippings. Place it in the fridge for 24 hours and you have YoChee.
To illustrate what YoChee can accomplish, here are some comparisons between a few easy-to-follow YoChee recipes and their typical restaurant, commercial or traditional counterparts.
- Herb Cream Cheese: 85% less calories, no fat vs. 5 grams fat per tablespoon, 150% more protein, 50% more calcium
- Deviled Eggs (or what the Goldbecks term Angelic Deviled Eggs): 30% less calories, 40% less fat, 44% more calcium
- Mushroom Risotto: 30% less calories, 75% less fat, 22% more protein, 20% more calcium
- Russian Coleslaw: 83% less calories, no fat vs. 10 to 20 grams fat per half-cup
- Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing: 25% less calories, 33% less fat, 4 times as much protein, 4 times as much calcium
- Roasted Red Pepper-Chickpea Dip: 22% less calories, 75% less fat
- Spinach Quiche: 33% less calories, 50% less fat, 22% more protein, 34% more calcium
- Chocolate Mousse: 46% less calories, 62% less fat
Ready to give it a try? Here are a few simple ways to incorporate YoChee into your diet:
- Serve on baked potatoes. Chopped chives make this especially nice.
- Use in dips in place of sour cream or mayonnaise.
- Spread on bread along with some all-fruit preserves for a “creamy YoChee and jelly” sandwich.
- Spread on hot toast, warm muffins, French toast or pancakes and let it melt in like butter.
- Spoon a generous dollop on chili, tacos, burritos and stews.
- Stir into pasta sauces to taste just before serving to make them creamy.
- Serve soups and stews with a heaping spoonful of YoChee on top.
- For instant hors appetizers, spread on crackers and top with cucumber slices, diced sun-dried tomatoes, thin wedges of artichoke hearts, a few capers, olive paste, or something similar.
- For dessert, sweeten YoChee lightly with pure maple syrup and a few drops of vanilla extract. Use on top of berries, baked apples or other fruit desserts as you would whip cream.
You will quickly get into the habit of using YoChee wherever you can. If you like what you taste, you can sink your teeth into much more in the Goldbecks’ book, Eat Well the YoChee Way (Ceres Press) and online at HealthyHighways.com.
The book includes many great recipes, including these two:
Succulent Stuffed Mushrooms
1.5 teaspoons mixed dried herbs of choice: oregano, parsley, basil, sage, thyme or your favorite seasoning mix
8 medium-large mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the YoChee with the herbs and mix well. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and reserve for another use. Clean the caps. Fill each cap with the seasoned YoChee. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before serving.
Per mushroom: 15 calories, 2gm protein, <1gm fat, 2gm carbohydrate, 30mg calcium
Superior Spinach Dip
10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1.5 cups YoChee
Quarter-cup chopped fresh dill
Quarter-cup chopped fresh parsley
Quarter- teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Half teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced scallion
Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop finely. In a bowl, combine the YoChee, dill, parsley, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well. Stir in the spinach and scallion until evenly blended. Serve at once or chill until serving time.
Makes 2 cups
Notes: The dip may thicken with chilling. If so, beat it with a fork to loosen and add a spoonful of plain yogurt if needed.
Per quarter-cup: 42 calories, <1gm fat, 5gm protein, 5gm carbohydrate, 130mg calcium
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.