It is wonderful to have cool nutritious snacks on hand when the weather is hot. One of my favorites is Tzatziki, a cucumber yogurt sauce. I like to make a huge batch because it keeps in the fridge for days, and because it is a good balance of amino acids (protein) it can be used as part of a fast meal as well as for quick snacks. I prefer to make it with Balkan style yogurt rather than sour cream, and I like to serve it with warmed whole wheat Naan bread. An example of a meal plan using Tzatziki would be a cold or hot soup served with Naan bread and tzatziki, and one or two summer salads. Cooked or raw beet salads are the perfect companion. I like Beet and Feta Salad, and the Raw Beet Salad made with slivered beets, carrots, turnips or kohlrabi and a slightly Asian flavor dressing. (both of these are from Eat Away Illness, available at www.healingwithnutrition.ca). These salads keep in the fridge for several days as well. I often serve Tzatziki and warmed Naan bread to friends for an evening snack. Cool and refreshing, and the protein helps with a sound sleep for those many of us who have blood sugar ups and downs. Remember, the amino acid tryptophan helps with sleep – gramma always said to have a glass of warm milk if you couldn’t sleep!
Tzatziki makes a great sauce to have on hand for chicken or fish, and you may use it as a vegetable dip as well. It also makes a fast easy picnic!
My version of Tzatziki:
1/2 English cucumber
2 minced garlic cloves
unrefined sea salt to taste
1 1/2 cups Balkan yogurt
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro or fresh if you have it.
pinch of cayenne if desired
1. Grate the cucumer into a colander and let stand to drain liquid off.
2. Place garlic, salt, and cayenne, if using, in a mixing bowl, add yogurt and combine.
3. Squeeze cucumber to drain liquid and add to yogurt mixture. (drink cucumber juice!)
4. Mix well, and sprinkle with cilantro.
Serve with warmed whole wheat Naan bread, or with meats.
I hope you enjoy this easy to make sauce. Please add your comments!
Author, Speaker & Registered Nutritional Consultant