I had heard before that plain yogurt could be a substitute for sour cream, so I gave it a try. I am here to tell you that plain nonfat yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream. Unlike sour cream, nonfat yogurt doesn't contain additional ingredients to enhance the flavor. Nonfat yogurt is simply made with nonfat milk instead of full fat milk. Plain nonfat yogurt is a little less that one forth of the calories of sour cream. Comparing the two that I have in the refrigerator right now (both Aldi brand), the sour cream is 120 calories for 1/4 cup and the yogurt is 27.5 calories for 1/4 cup. That is a huge difference. Not only is yogurt lower in fat, but also has many health benefits.
Now, this wouldn't be all that helpful if it didn't taste right. I will not claim sour cream and yogurt taste the same straight from the container. A dollop of yogurt on a potato or a taco would not be the same as sour cream. What I have done for tacos with great success is to mix equal parts of yogurt and salsa and added that to the top of my taco. It is delicious and tastes just like a sour cream and salsa mixture. This would also work for the dipping sauce for Mexican egg rolls. In addition, I have had great success replacing yogurt for the sour cream called for in special chicken, pork gravy over rice, and mock lasagna. I love all of these comfort food recipes and a simple switch up of one ingredient makes a huge difference in the health of the dish. Now if I could only find a substitute for cheese.
|Mexican Egg Rolls with Dipping Sauce|
Refrigerate covered for a couple of hours and you will be amazed how much moisture is removed from the yogurt and how thick it has become.
The bottom of my strainer was sitting in the liquid, so I emptied the bowl and let it strain a little longer to get the last little bit of liquid removed.
When it was done, I put it back into the yogurt container. This was about half of a yogurt container when I started, so it didn't shrink as much as the picture might suggest. Notice how thick the yogurt is on my spoon.
This process will make your yogurt similar in consistency to Greek yogurt, but has a different flavor. Ready made Greek yogurt can be rather pricey, but that is not the only reason I don't use if for a sour cream substitute. I have used several different brands of plain nonfat yogurt and they all work great as a substitute for sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise if used in a mixture. I'm sure there are differences in brands, but when I tried Greek yogurt as a substitute if overpowered the salsa mixture and I didn't like it at all. I like to eat greek yogurt with fruit, but I didn't think the taste worked as a sour cream substitute.
An additional note about yogurt:
Yogurt is a healthy food, but try to avoid the sweetened varieties. There is so much sugar added to those little cups of yogurt that it greatly diminishes the health benefits. In addition, avoid yogurt covered items such as raisins. They are fine for an occasional treat, but don't convince yourself that they are a health food. There is so much added sugar to these items, you are essentially eating the equivalent to a candy bar. If you want to enjoy yogurt as a treat read the container carefully, or add your own fruit and sweetener to plain yogurt.
Have you ever tried to use yogurt in place of sour cream in a recipe? Has it been successful?