YoChee FAQ’s

What is YoChee (Yogurt Cheese)?
What are the benefits of YoChee?
What if I don’t cook?
How do I make YoChee?
What kind of yogurt do I use?
How long can I keep YoChee?
Who needs YoChee?
Why use YoChee and not just plain yogurt?
What is the nutritional value of YoChee?
Does YoChee contain the same number of carbohydrates as the yogurt prior to straining?
Is YoChee suitable for diabetics?
What about fiber?
If I am allergic to dairy, can I eat YoChee?
How can YoChee be okay for the lactose intolerant?
What can you do with the whey?
What if I have questions or problems with my YoChee?

What is YoChee (Yogurt Cheese)?
YoChee is the new name for the age-old food called yogurt cheese. This food, which has been around for centuries, can simply be described as drained yogurt. But this mundane description does not do justice to the resulting product, for once drained, yogurt is transformed into a quite different food. And because it really needs to be distinguished from yogurt (and is not a cheese), the Goldbecks have coined the term “YoChee.”

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What are the benefits of YoChee?
YoChee can help you overcome many of today’s most pressing dietary concerns – especially those linked to calcium, fat and calories. Its smooth, creamy texture makes it hard to believe that YoChee has zero fat and is low in calories, In fact, it has all the renowned health benefits of yogurt. But YoChee is even better than yogurt since it is spreadable, less tart and a more versatile cooking ingredient. This makes YoChee the ideal food for improving your diet without forgoing your favorite dishes.

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What if I don’t cook?
You don’t have to cook to get the benefits of YoChee. It can simply be spread on a bagel or muffin, or used to moisten sandwich fillings. The smooth, creamy texture makes YoChee the perfect substitute for cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, butter and margarine. With just 10 calories and ZERO (or low) fat, you save 40-100 calories and 5-10 grams of fat per tablespoon by using YoChee instead.

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How do I make YoChee?
YoChee is made in minutes by spooning yogurt into a draining device, putting it in the refrigerator and allowing the liquid to drain off. If you can use a spoon, you can make YoChee. Gravity does all the work. After 8 to 12 hours it reaches a semi-firm form that qualifies as YoChee. You can use it before then if you like: In 2 to 4 hours you have what we refer to as YoChee cream, a substance not much thicker than yogurt but with a silkier texture that performs much better than plain yogurt in recipes. In 4 to 6 hours it is akin to sour cream. By 24 hours you can assume that all the separable moisture is gone.

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What kind of yogurt do I use?
YoChee can be made with cow, goat, sheep or even soymilk yogurt. The yogurt can be nonfat, low-fat or whole-milk. Naturally, the less fat there is in the yogurt, the less fat and calories in the resulting YoChee. YoChee can also be made using flavored yogurt, although this will obviously limit its use. Do not use a yogurt that contains thickeners such as modified starch, gelatin or gums. Their purpose is to bind the solids and liquids. As a result, these yogurts will not drain as well as those without thickeners. To receive the full health potential, choose a yogurt that has live cultures. Individual companies may add one or more types of bacterial cultures, including L. acidophilus, B. bifidus, L. casei, S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus and L. reuteri. Somewhere on the label it should state that there are “live and active cultures.” Brands that make this statement must meet criteria set by the National Yogurt Association. It is also important to check on the label that the yogurt hasn’t been pasteurized or heat-treated after processing. A few companies treat yogurt this way to extend its shelf life. This exposure to high heat kills the beneficial bacteria along with the other microbes. Therefore, YoChee made with one of these brands won’t offer the health-enhancing properties associated with these friendly flora. Please check the Discussion Group under “Good Yogurts” for an ongoing list of yogurt brands that YoChee lovers have used successfully.

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How long can I keep YoChee?
Once YoChee is done draining, pour off the liquid and transfer the YoChee to a covered storage container so you start a new batch. It is best to use your fresh, refrigerated YoChee within a week. If you have more YoChee than you can use within a week, it can be frozen in a covered freezer-proof container. The texture becomes a bit grainy, but once defrosted it can be stirred smooth again.

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Who needs YoChee?
YoChee is ideal for novice and creative cooks, everyone interested in eating healthfully, vegetarians, people who want more calcium and protein in their diets, the calorie-conscious, as well as the lactose-intolerant. Meat-eaters can benefit from YoChee as a way to reduce saturated fat intake. Egg counters can use YoChee as a natural egg extender. It is handy for hurried cooks since there are numerous quick and easy ways to prepare foods with YoChee. Those who resist eating vegetables may change their opinion when they see how YoChee sauces make vegetables more appealing. And dessert-lovers can enjoy remarkably rich treats like cheesecake and chocolate mousse with less calories and fat.

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Why use YoChee and not just plain yogurt?
The first thing you can do with YoChee that you can’t do with yogurt is spread it. Many people never use it for any purpose other than as a spread instead of butter, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Since YoChee is less tart than the yogurt it came from, it is also an excellent base for rich dips and many flavorful spreads. Its milder flavor and creamier texture make YoChee a perfect baked potato topping

Furthermore, with YoChee you can create numerous simple dishes that you thought you could only make with high-fat foods. For example, it excels when it comes to creamy salad dressings and is an ideal replacement for some or all of the mayonnaise in your favorite egg, macaroni, tuna or chicken salads, where it improves the flavor, texture and nutritional value. With YoChee you can also make delicious dessert toppings that have no fat and no artificial ingredients.

YoChee can similarly enhance beans, pasta and grains, either during cooking or at the table. Because YoChee is more heat-tolerant than yogurt-which tends to curdle in hot foods-you can prepare numerous creamy dishes without depending on high-fat ingredients. You will be amazed by the taste transformation that takes place by just adding a few spoonfuls of YoChee to stews, chili, soups, rice or pasta dishes. Likewise, you can use it to produce creamy soups and sauces. YoChee also makes vegetables more attractive by replacing butter and high-fat sauces as a flavoring.

When used in frozen desserts and puddings, YoChee imparts a rich, smooth texture. In baking, it produces cakes with a tender crumb-much like sour cream does, but without the all the fat and calories. For sample recipes click here.

Finally, YoChee concentrates yogurt’s nutrients so that you get more value from an equal volume.

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What is the nutritional value of YoChee?
The nutritional composition of ½ cup YoChee made with nonfat yogurt is as follows:
85 calories, no fat, 10.5 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrate, 235 mg calcium.
All the recipes in EAT WELL The YoChee Way are accompanied by nutrition information for these nutrients. In EAT WELL The YoChee Way there is a chart comparing YoChee to various foods, including yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, whipped toppings, mayonnaise and butter.

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Does YoChee contain the same number of carbohydrates as the yogurt prior to straining?
When yogurt is drained to make YoChee about 1/3 of the carbohydrate drains into the liquid portion. Thus, if one cup of the original yogurt contains 16 grams carbohydrate, the one-half cup YoChee that it makes contains 10 grams carbohydrate.

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Is YoChee suitable for diabetics?
YoChee can be used in diabetic diets to add protein and calcium. The Joslin Diabetes Center considers 1 tablespoon of YoChee as a “free” food. However, when eaten in larger amounts, ½ cup YoChee made from nonfat yogurt = 1 (skim) milk exchange. Moreover, the addition of YoChee to grain dishes, vegetables and fruit makes them tastier without adding unwanted fat. It also helps slow down the blood-sugar raising effect of carbohydrate-rich foods, thus making them more suited to diabetic menus, especially for people who are not type-I insulin-dependent diabetics.

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What about fiber?
Like all dairy, YoChee itself has no fiber. But as a nutritionist, Nikki Goldbeck is well aware of the importance of dietary fiber and for this reason designs recipes with this need in mind. In EAT WELL The YoChee Way the emphasis is on combining YoChee with fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables and fruit.

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If I am allergic to dairy, can I eat YoChee?
While the YoChee recipes in EAT WELL The YoChee Way were tested with cow’s milk yogurt, YoChee can be made with other animal milk yogurts, as well as soymilk yogurt. If you want to use soy YoChee in the recipes, be sure to purchase a plain, unflavored variety. Flavored soy yogurts can also be drained to make similarly flavored sweet spreads and toppings.

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How can YoChee be okay for the lactose intolerant?
People who are lactose intolerant have trouble breaking down the milk sugar known as lactose, resulting in gastrointestinal problems. There are several reasons why many people who are lactose intolerant are able to eat yogurt and YoChee. For one, in the process of turning milk into yogurt, the bacterial cultures convert a portion of the lactose into lactic acid, thereby reducing the problem. Furthermore, in the draining of yogurt to make YoChee, some of the remaining lactose goes into the whey, making the YoChee lower in lactose than the yogurt it is made from. Many people who are lactose intolerant can handle small amounts at a time. Moreover, several studies have concluded that the malabsorption problem is improved by chronic consumption of yogurt containing live bacterial cultures.

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What can you do with the whey?
Many people have been asking us what they can do with the liquid whey that drains off when making YoChee. We have seen recipes for using the whey as a starter for pickles (using all kinds of vegetables). Unfortunately, unless you are going into the pickling business you will still have lots of whey to deal with. Some people claim they use it as a soup base, however in our attempts we have found it too tart. It might also make a good substitute for water in breadmaking or other baking applications. Pet owners might try pouring some over their pet’s food. We hope to do some experimenting in the future. In the meantime, we hope everyone with good ideas will post in the discussion area. If we get enough responses we will gather them together in a future online newsletter and also put them up on the site.

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What if I have questions or problems with my YoChee?
That’s no problem. Eat Well The YoChee Way provides instructions, tips, 275 recipes and more to help you get the most out of YoChee. We also invite you to post questions (as well as new YoChee recipes and techniques, for that matter) on the discussion group at YoChee.com. 

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