Organic Greek Yogurt, Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake, and a Giveaway!

042That’s right, my first giveaway on this blog! I am as excited as you are, let me tell you! Recently, a representative at Stonyfield Farm contacted me to ask if they could send some coupons my way, and to ask if I would be interested in trying Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, and letting you all know what I thought of it. Let’s see…Free yogurt? As I already incorporate Greek yogurt into my breakfast routine on a regular basis, of course my answer was a resounding YES!

But of course, I am always thinking of you, my readers…so I asked if I could share the love, and if Stonyfield Farm would be interested in sharing some free yogurt with you as well. And guess what the answer to that was? (Yes, of course.) More details at the end of this post on that, but be sure to read and enter comments for your chance to win!

To be honest, I love yogurt. But let’s be clear…I don’t love the artificially colored and flavored junk. I don’t care if it has less sugar, less calories, etc. It also has less taste. And you know, life’s too short to eat crappy yogurt. I get up way too early in the mornings to want to face a less-than-tasty breakfast.

Enter Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is strained, making it thicker than regular yogurt. Not only does that make it more versatile in recipes, (such as the cake recipe I’ll also be sharing with you) but it also gives it an incredibly creamy texture. This means that even the fat-free yogurt has the texture of a silky, sinful dessert. And Oikos Organic Greek yogurt is organic, (hence the name…) so it is made without artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, not to mention it is free of pesticides, antibiotics, chemical fertilizers, and artificial growth hormones. What could be better than that?

I picked up a few containers of the fat-free Oikos Greek yogurt, and immediately served myself up a portion of it. My current favorite way to eat it? Just a little drizzle of honey, and topped with some fresh raspberries and blackberries. Yum. Creamy, silky, and with just enough tang to perfectly compliment the sweet honey and the sweet-tart berries.

Of course, Greek yogurt is good for more than just eating. You can use it in place of sour cream or mayonnaise in a lot of recipes. I haven’t used yogurt in a lot of my cooking previously, so I thought I’d look around a bit for a few ideas. Deb at Smitten Kitchen  posted a lemon blueberry cake that sounded so perfectly delicious, I immediately knew I had to bake that ASAP. The recipe originally comes from Ina Garten. I happened to have an overabundance of blueberries (I went a little overboard at the farmer’s market), so decided to go ahead and make the recipe pretty much as written, substituting the fat-free Greek yogurt for plain whole-milk yogurt.

033

This cake? OMG. First of all, I am partial to any baked goods that involve fruit, and particularly lemon, but this? This was amazing. So moist, and just enough tang and tartness from the lemon and blueberries, but with just enough sweetness to balance everything out. Don’t be fooled by its humble appearance. It’s not just any ol’ loaf cake. This cake is the type of cake that if you happen to bring it over to someone as a “Oh, I just happened to bake this for you” cake, you’ll be begged for the recipe. (or begged to make the cake again and again!) It’s the “Okay, I’ll have just one more piece” cake. It’s that one kind of cake that you’ll crave that isn’t chocolate. Yes, my friends, it’s that kind of cake.

Of course, you could change up this recipe to incorporate just about any kind of fruit. Don’t like blueberries? Omit them, maybe add some poppyseeds, and make a lemon poppyseed cake. Or add raspberries, or pitted cherries. Omit the lemon and make it a plain cake. Change it up by using almond extract instead of vanilla. It’s difficult to mess this one up. Let your imagination run wild!

1 1/2 c + 1 T  flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 c fat-free Greek yogurt
1 c plus 1 T sugar
3 large eggs
2 t grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed (the smaller the berries, the better)
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

And of course, as promised, the giveaway! Stonyfield Farm has so generously offered to give the winner a coupon for 1 free 16 oz. Oikos yogurt, 2 free 5.3 oz. Oikos yogurts, and $4 worth of other Stonyfield coupons. But as if free food isn’t already cool enough, I’ll sweeten the deal a bit more! I will also send the winner a very, very gently used copy of Marian Burros’ Cooking for Comfort: More than 100 Wonderful Recipes That Are as Satisfying to Cook as They Are to Eat. Marian Burros is a veteran food writer/columnist for the New York Times, and definitely has a soft spot for comfort foods. (so many of us do!) There are some delicious recipes in this book that you’re sure to enjoy.  

How to enter: Please leave a comment for me, and tell me your favorite way to eat yogurt, or your favorite way to use it in cooking. I will choose a winner from the comments using a random number generator, and will email the winner to obtain their mailing address at that time. Deadline is June 27, 2009. Good luck everyone, and I can’t wait to hear some yummy ideas for Greek yogurt!

Comments

  1. says

    OK, so I just bought some organic Greek yogurt for the first time this week. Have a couple of recipes, one of them being a dip, that I wanted to try. I’ve heard so many good things about Greek yogurt. Can’t wait to try it! So, as of this writing, I can’t speak to my experience with it, but I can tell you I am looking forward to it. So, if you wanna give me some of the Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, I promised to use it and love it and get very creative with it! :)

  2. says

    I have never had greek yogurt but have heard it is wonderful and much healthier for you!
    My sister in law is the Martha Stewart in our family and she made a great Chicken Salad that you put regular vanilla yogurt in! It is so great and easy!

    The salad has red grapes, poppy seeds, yogurt, mayo and celery! Let me work on finding that reciepe to share with you! I am addicted to your blog now Alta!

    The way to my heart is food (Why do you think I married Randy?)!!

  3. says

    Well, I just like to eat yogurt. I have not used it in many recipes, but I think this cake is a must try. Just need to go and get some blueberries.

  4. laurie says

    I just made banana cheesecake today, and so, tomorrow I must make your lemon blueberry yogurt cake. I can only hope it tastes as wonderful as your photo makes it look! I’ve been buying fresh yogurt from the Indian grocery store, and I love it with frozen blackberries and a drizzle of pure maple syrup! Even my teenagers will eat plain yogurt with granola and raspberries… I can’t wait to try the Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt. Hey, thanks for the great recipe!

  5. says

    Great post and that cake looks delicious! I totally agree with you about not eating tasteless yogurt. My favorite way to eat yogurt is plain or with some spices mixed in, then served on fruit. Yesterday, I made a sauce using Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, and toasted walnuts, then served it over strawberries. Yum!

  6. Joanna says

    I love to use greek yogurt as a substitute in baking/cooking. I just recently used it in place of the mayo when I made ranch dressing. It was great…and practically FAT free!!!

  7. says

    I have also been cooking with Greek yogurt. This looks wonderful. I just picked up more Greek yogurt. I am going to try something savory. I am not sure what yet……..

  8. says

    I discovered Greek yogurt about a year ago and I am a total convert! I love eating it with fruit stirred in – and using it as a replacement for sour cream or mayo. Delish!

  9. says

    That cake is beautiful! I love to mix yogurt, flax meal, and whatever fruit is in season (particularly peaches, strawberries, and blueberries) for breakfast or a snack.

  10. says

    My favorite way to eat yogurt is to just put honey in it. Greek yogurt is much better than other yogurt in my opinion! My favorite way to cook with it is to substitute it for recipes that call for sour cream. Also in various fruit salads.
    digicat{AT}sbcglobal{DOT}net

  11. says

    My favorite recipe to make is GREEK CUCUMBER YOGURT SALAD! 2 Cucumbers, 8 oz greek yogurt, 2 tsp vinegar, some dill, clove, garlic and salt. Yum.
    HobartsMama at Aol.com

  12. Cati says

    Mmm…Greek Yogurt’s sooooo tasty.
    I actually have a tub of it sitting in the fridge right now. I think i’ll try make that cake after i’ve finished typing this.

    If you’re looking for recipes with Greek Yogurt try Swiss Muesli.

    It’s basically rolled oats soaked in fruit juice overnight then mixed with Greek Yogurt and berries. You can also add some chopped apricots, banana and sprinkle it with cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice (spices are really strong so only add a tiny bit).

    Beware though. I had it for breakfast this morning and i’m still full 7 hours later : P

  13. Roxanne says

    One of my favorite recipes is Anna Banna Cake and it calls for yogurt – so greek yogurt is the way to go!

  14. Jessie says

    You can not beat Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and honey on top, preferrably a dark honey (like wild flower or even buckwheat).

  15. Sharyn Engel says

    I did try this yogurt once, I think & loved it! I made Broccoli Fritters, which was also a recipe from Smitten Kitchen (love their stuff :), and I used yogurt to make a VERY yummy dipping/spread sauce to top the patties…SO GOOD!! Now I need to make this cake…my blueberry bushes are pretty full :)

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>