Heart shapes made with plain yogurt. (Japan News-Yomiuri)
By Midori Yamamura / The Washington Post
Yogurt art, using plain yogurt as a canvas to create pictures with fruits and sauces, is gaining popularity. Its colorful, photogenic appearance often makes it a topic on social media and elsewhere. Drawing cute pictures and eating healthy yogurt will surely bring you a dose of relaxation.
"You don't need to use a stove and you can give it a try with ordinary ingredients. Everybody can enjoy it," said Machiko Tateno, a cooking expert who teaches yogurt art in her class.
Beginners can start by making roses with sliced strawberries. Tateno used kiwi for the leaves and pumpkin seeds for the stems.
A train with a cute face can be completed just by arranging items like wafers, marshmallows and ring-shaped cereal. The face is a canned yellow peach. Tateno painted the gravel under the tracks by adding chocolate sauce to yogurt to make it light brown.
The trick to making yogurt art is using a dish one to three centimeters deep. This way, "the fruits and sauces don't easily sink," Tateno said. Another tip is to stir the yogurt well with a spoon to smooth it before spreading it on a plate. Ingredients that are easily mixed with yogurt - sauce, jam and others - should be used at the end.
"Just writing a message like 'thank you' with sauce is fine. It will enliven your communications," Tateno said. Yogurt art is enjoyable to make, see and eat. Both your body and heart will be fully satisfied.
Vegetable salad for adults
Vegetables can be also used in yogurt art. Making a wreath with cucumber, boiled broccoli, snap peas and black olives without seeds can add a mature touch.
Cucumber is rolled like roses after being sliced into ribbons with a peeler. The yogurt is sprinkled with salt and coarsely ground black pepper, and olive oil is poured over it.
"You can enjoy it like a salad," Tateno said. This bright dish is great to serve to guests.
Ingredients (serves 1):
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp and 1 tsp. blueberry sauce
1 tsp each of strawberry sauce and chocolate sauce
1. Stir yogurt with a spoon to smooth.
2. Put aside 3 tbsp. yogurt. Add 1 tbsp blueberry sauce to the rest of the yogurt, and put mixture on a plate.
3. Use a spoon to divide the remaining 3 tbsp of plain yogurt among three spots on the plate. Adjust each into the shape of a heart.
4. Put 1 tsp strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce and blueberry sauce into separate small bags. Cut an about 1-millimeter hole in the corner of each bag.
5. Squeeze sauces out through the holes to draw horizontal lines on the three hearts.
6. Draw lines vertical to the sauce lines with a bamboo skewer to make patterns. Arrange gummy candies around the edge of the plate as desired.
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