Mad About Greek Yogurt

Thick, creamy, and slightly tart. Greek yogurt. Different from less-expensive American-type yogurt in that it’s strained to remove excess liquid, which leaves it with up to twice as much protein. But be sure to read the label, as some can have quite a bit of fat and sugar, now that more manufacturers are getting on the Greek yogurt bandwagon. As a result, it’s easier than ever to find fruit-flavored Greek yogurt in the dairy aisle. But similar to other fruit yogurts, these are  loaded with sugar. Your best bet: stick with Nonfat plain Greek yogurt and flavor it up yourself.

Nutrition Benefits

  • good source of calcium
  • live and active cultures and probiotics
  • good source of protein
  • low/non fat
  • no added sugar

How to Use it

Greek yogurt is so versatile. Sure, you can use it as your base for a healthy and delicious yogurt parfait. But it can also be used in so many cooking applications. I put it in my pancake and waffle batter (instead of buttermilk), use it instead of sour cream in my tortilla soup (see recipe archives) and on other Mexican-inspired dishes. Try it in creamed spinach or in a healthier-version of mac & cheese (when I cheat, I buy the Annie’s whole wheat shells with white cheddar and use the yogurt instead of milk with the cheese powder). I also like to mix some cinnamon, agave nectar, and a splash of pure vanilla extract into it and use it in place of whipped topping on a sweet fruit crisp dessert (the tartness provides a great contrast to the sweet fruit).

Brands to Try

RECIPES

Greek Guacamole

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 tbs. chopped garlic
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well-blended. Taste and add more lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper, as needed.
  2. Serve with baked tortilla chips and veggie slices (jicama, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots).

Yogurt Parfait (easy and delicious)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek  yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed summer berries (or sliced peaches, plums, and nectarines)
  • 1/4 cup granola cereal (I like Kashi Go Lean Crunch or Nature’s Path Organic Hemp plus Cereal)
  1. In a a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, cinnamon, agave, and vanilla until well-blended.
  2. Using a drinking glass or other pretty glass ice cream sundae-type dish, alternately layer 1/2 the yogurt, 1/2 the berries, and 1/2 the cereal; repeat.

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