Greek yogurt is actually ‘normal’ yogurt, but through straining, most of the liquid whey is removed. Removing the whey creates a thick and creamy yogurt that actually contains more protein and less sugar than a carton of regular yogurt. The protein found in Greek yogurt will help you feel fuller longer and keep you energized throughout the day. Not to mention, dairy is often a key component in helping to build and maintain strong bones.
Live cultures can also be found in Greek yogurt, and these probiotics can be helpful in keeping your digestive system running smoothly. You’ll also find less lactose in your Greek yogurt versus the traditional kind, which means that if you have lactose intolerance, you may still be able to enjoy this healthy treat without suffering the side effects that are associated with many other dairy-containing products.
To top it all off, this luscious treat is also very versatile. From the breakfast table to the dinner menu, you can use Greek yogurt for just about anything.
Breakfast parfait. Try layering yogurt with seasonal fruit. My favorite is Greek yogurt layered between fresh raspberries and blueberries with a little lemon juice and honey mixed in. Light and refreshing, yet filling too!
Snack attack. Mix the plain variety with a pinch of kosher salt, fresh dill, and a squirt of lemon juice. Viola, a dip perfect for dunking cucumbers or peppers into!
Dinner time. Substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream. Add a dollop to your taco salad, on top of chili, or maybe mix with cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar for a delicious accompaniment to sweet potato fries.
More Dessert please. Who said smoothies are only for breakfast?! If you’re craving something sweet try whipping up this Pink Berry Blast Recipe from our Healthy Eating Champion, Karen, over at Run with Nutrition. Packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, this icy cool treat will be sure to leave you smiling and satisfied!
The possibilities are endless when you throw Greek yogurt into the mix. Get creative, have fun, and create some new and delicious recipes for you and your family to enjoy over and over again. Just be sure to always check the labels – Greek yogurt varieties can vary greatly when it comes to calories, fat, and sugar. Plus, formulations are always changing. Try to keep an eye out for Greek yogurt varieties that are lower in all three and you’ll be able to give your body all the benefits Greek yogurt provides, without bogging it down with too much of the stuff you don’t need.
And if you don’t really like the taste of Greek yogurt, that “boring old yogurt” can still be a healthy addition to your day. Just like the Greek variety, remember to choose ones that are plain, non-fat, or low-fat and you’ll be good to go!
What are some of your favorite uses for this dairy delight?
Run with Nutrition is a blog written and maintained by Karen Welby. Karen is a certified Holistic Health Coach, a running coach, and personal trainer, as well as one of Around the Plate’s Healthy Eating Champions. As a Healthy Eating Champion, Karen shares her tips and recipes for living a well balanced lifestyle that include both food and fitness. Find other Healthy Eating Champions, Nutrition Experts, and Recipe Guru’s on our communityblog network.