FLA V O R S
Yogurt SEVEN MENU APPLICATIONS for
Start now to smooth out the menu and make calories count.
By Jody Shee
The be TTer-for-you menu
movement started years ago as a way to
pacify consumers who said they wanted
healthier items, but then didn’t actually order
them. Now the movement has broadened
to address various issues and messages,
including fighting obesity, eating sustainably,
lowering sodium, eliminating undesirable
ingredients/nutrients and adding others.
The movement is here to stay. It’s time to
reevaluate the menu and find ingredient
substitutions that make sense. Yogurt
is a good place to start for its versatility,
nutritive qualities and the fact that it’s
a menu staple for such cuisines as
Mediterranean and Indian.
Menu labeling requirements by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration will also
give a reason to take a new look at
yogurt. “Soon, all restaurants will have to
post nutrition labels next to every item
on the menu. If you’re using butter and
mayonnaise in everything, you won’t have
pretty labels,” says Adam Moore, corporate
chef for Charlie Baggs, Inc., Chicago. The
company provides culinary support for
national food companies, and often uses
yogurt as a trendy, healthful ingredient.
“Right now on ingredient labels at the
store, consumers like to see clean labels.
When they look on the back of the pack,
they don’t want to see crazy additions
to food as a preservative or binding
agent. They want to see few ingredients.
They want it to look homemade and not
like some science experiment,” Moore
says, adding that the same will be true
for restaurant menus. Yogurt is full of
possibilities, as it can be used to add
For a refreshing alternative, forego sour
cream in dips and use yogurt, as in this
Wasabi Ginger Yogurt Dip.