It’s all Greek to us! Health benefits of Greek yogurt

greek yogurtThere’s no doubt Greek yogurt is having a moment. It’s made the transition from breakfast staple to super snack to delicious in desserts.  In fact, according to Packaged Facts, ”in the U.S. market, retail dollar sales of Greek yogurt increased more than 50% in 2012 to reach $1.6 billion…at the same time, non-Greek yogurt saw its sales decrease”.

So why all the rage?

It’s a protein power food.  With 15-20 grams of protein in a 6-ounce serving, it holds as much protein as 2 ounces of chicken, leaving you feeling full for a long time.  Have a hard time making it from lunch to dinner?  Try Greek yogurt and fresh fruit as a late afternoon snack to hold you over to your next meal.

It’s low in fat, carbohydrates and sodium.  In addition to being low fat, Greek yogurt contains half the carbs and sodium as regular yogurt.

It can be used a million different ways.  While we love Greek yogurt as-is for a snack, it’s also great for cooking thanks to its thick texture.  It’s also an excellent option for dips, salad dressings, sauces and healthy marinades.  Sick of your veggie routine?  Mix it up by dipping them in to Greek yogurt mixed with dry ranch dressing.  We love it in our morning smoothies and on our baked potatoes and tacos, too!

It can replace a lot of unhealthy ingredients in your kitchen.  When your recipes call for full-fat cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and even heavy cream, go Greek instead.  When a cake calls for eggs and oil…you guessed it…think Greek!  In fact, we love baking a cake by mixing 1 box of moist-style cake mix with 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt and baking according to the package.  No additional ingredients necessary!

Enjoying Greek yogurt in a variety of ways is easy and endless.  There are, however a few things to keep in mind.

  • Not all Greek yogurts are low-fat.  With anything you buy, read the nutrition label.  Your best bet is the zero-fat options, which many brands offer.
  • Make sure the yogurt is room temperature when mixing with hot liquids.  This will help avoid separation.
  • Avoid aluminum pans when cooking with Greek yogurt.  Because it is acidic, it’s best to use nonreactive dishes when cooking or marinating.

 

Photo credit: atl10trader

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