Random grocery substitutions, vanilla cashew yogurt edition
April 9, 2020 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I ordered cashew "yogurt" to use in sauces because I'm lactose intolerant and worried about running out of magic dairy pills. They brought me a big vat of vanilla flavored rather than plain, so I can't be using this in any savory sauces.

I am not going to eat yogurt with a spoon because weird sensory texture issues shudder. Usually I would dump it with some tomato paste into whatever I'm sauteing, and it doesn't taste too peanutbuttery. But the vanilla is way too strong for that.

Can I bake something with this? All the recipies I have found using yogurt (either cow or nut-based) call for plain. Should I try for something that includes both yogurt and vanilla, and then leave out the vanilla?
posted by buildmyworld to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It will work just fine in baking recipes that call for plain yogurt (like a yogurt cake for instance). You could reduce the sugar by a tablespoon or so (per cup of yogurt) but I wouldn't worry about changing anything about the vanilla. It'll also work fine as a substitute for buttermilk in something like pancakes, just thin it out a bit so it isn't too thick.

I wouldn't even try to use it in a savory application, it's not going to taste right at all.
posted by bcwinters at 2:42 PM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

I have weird sensory texture issues with yogurt and I find those go away if I dump just an ungodly amount of granola into it. YMMV tho.

There's also this recipe for vanilla yogurt bread!
posted by brook horse at 2:56 PM on April 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Some recipes call for milk or yogurt so the natural lactic acids will activate baking powder/soda. I don't know if cashew yogurt has enough acid for this. You can add a small amount of vinegar. I don't eat dairy and use vinegar, cider, or OJ as the acid in muffins. The cashew flavor is likely to be pleasant. You might also be able to put a coffee filter in a strainer, and strain out some liquid, using the think yogurt as a cream cheese substitute.
posted by theora55 at 3:02 PM on April 9, 2020

Not exactly what you asked but I use this for popsicles for my lactose intolerant child. If you don’t have a mould you can use an ice cube tray with larger toothpicks.
posted by warriorqueen at 3:10 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Vanilla vs. plain won't make much difference in most sweet baked dishes, especially if there's another strong flavor to mask it or vanilla is already called for.

For example this chocolate yogurt bundt cake, which I've baked a variant of from one of the author's cookbooks, calls for either plain or vanilla. If your yogurt is unusually potent, maybe reduce the vanilla extract called for in the recipe, like you suggested.

We also add vegan yogurt (plain, vanilla, whatever) to smoothies in our household (usually with frozen strawberries) - you can go through quite a bit pretty quickly, though you'll probably have to add some additional liquid (juice, water, soy milk) to thin out the mix and get it properly blended.

I can't vouch for the site, but: berry yogurt smoothie
posted by verschollen at 4:00 PM on April 9, 2020

posted by cda at 7:20 PM on April 9, 2020

You might be able to get away with using as a creme or but sauce substitute in sweet-and-savory dishes. For example, Enchiladas Suizas or a regionally and seasonally adjusted version of Chiles en Nogada.
posted by eotvos at 8:31 PM on April 9, 2020

Ice cream?
posted by Toddles at 10:48 PM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

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