recipes and tips for better living

Monday, January 11, 2010

You Say Tzatziki, I say Tzatzaki: Another pot-A-to, pot-AHH-to scenario

Whatever you want to call it- it's good. You've probably had it before with a gyro, a tabouli plate, or a falafel. This refreshing minted yogurt mixture is great with hummus and pita, along side your spicy tagine (see past blog "Stew On This: Yam, Carrot, and Prune Tagine. A Simple Moroccan Cuisine"), or even just alone. It's simple to make, and tastes even better if you make your own yogurt (see past blog: " First Lesson In Fermentin"). Go for full fat yogurt - i tried to make this with lowfat/fat free - it just doesn't work. The flavor is SEVERELY compromised.
Why else should you make tzatziki? It's chalk full of probiotics: the beneficial healthy gut bacteria that can help your digestion. Some of you may already take it in supplemental form. You can also get it in your diet from cultured/fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, and real sauerkraut. Some known effects of probiotics are:

  • Treat diarrhea, especially important to take if you're being treated with antibiotics
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections (UTI's)
  • Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
  • Shorten the duration of intestinal infections
  • Prevent and treat inflammation following colon surgery (pouchitis)
  • Prevent and treat eczema in children
So without further ado, here is your recipe for Tzatziki Goodness:

16 oz plain (full fat) yogurt
1 small cucumber - seeds removed, chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the cucumber in half and completely remove the seeds (these create to much wetness in the tzatziki). Chop the remaining cucumber up and add to a bowl of plain yogurt. Chop up a few leaves from about 2 or 3 mint sprigs, so you have about 2-3 tbsp of mint. Add to the yogurt. Crank in some black pepper and a little sea salt - stir it up. Refrigerate. Try to make it a few hours before you serve it, as the flavors intensify as it sits.

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