Ever wonder what makes Greek yogurt different from the other yogurts on the shelf of the grocery store? Besides its tart taste and thick texture, there are many advantages to choosing Greek yogurt! Keep reading to find out how to use Greek yogurt in the kitchen!
What is Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is regular yogurt that has been strained to remove a lot of the liquid, whey (the watery component of milk), lactose (milk sugar), and sugar. This is what gives the yogurt its thicker consistency, and smoother texture. Because of its unique process, Greek yogurt contains two times the protein of regular yogurt. And with protein being sought after nutrient today, no wonder it’s so popular.
The process of straining the yogurt to make it thicker actually did not begin in Greece! It began in Bulgaria and was originally made with sheep’s milk rather than cow’s milk like it is today. It is called Greek Yogurt because it was originally made and marketed by a Greek company.
Yogurt in general is a fantastic source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Yogurt also contains live and active cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococus thermophilus which can contribute to a healthy gut! In certain epidemiological studies, it has been found that eating yogurt on a daily basis may protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Like regular yogurt, Greek yogurt comes in a variety of different fat contents, which can also be confusing. These can range from non-fat, low-fat, to full-fat. So, which fat content should you buy? Well, that depends on your needs and taste preferences. In a previous blog post on whole milk yogurt, I wrote “I like to think of whole milk yogurt as “value-added.” With whole milk yogurt, you get all three nutrients needed for energy and satiety: carbs, protein, and fat.” Whole milk yogurts may help you feel fuller, more satisfied (they are the creamiest in texture!), and provide a source of nourishing fat.
Greek yogurt also comes in a variety of flavors, just like regular yogurt. The most common, plain Greek yogurt, has a sour, tart flavor that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. When using yogurt with higher fat content, it can tend to be slightly less sour than the non-fat version, so this is something to keep in mind.
A lot of the health benefits of Greek Yogurt come from the fact that it is more concentrated than regular yogurt due to the straining process.
- Twice the protein
- Less sodium
- Fewer carbohydrates
- Less lactose
- May contain additional probiotics
How to Use Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen
- Top a taco or burrito bowl with Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream.
- Mix with chicken or tuna for a higher protein salad option.
- Top oatmeal with Greek yogurt to add extra creaminess.
- Spread plain Greek yogurt on your sandwich for a tangy substitute for mayonnaise.
- Mix with ranch seasoning to make a protein-packed ranch dip!
- Use Greek yogurt, fruit, and your favorite granola to make a yogurt parfait!
- Mix Greek Yogurt with oats and leave in the fridge for creamy overnight oats.
- Top spicy dishes such as curry with Greek yogurt to cool off the heat.
- Use Greek yogurt as the base for your frosting.
- Freeze Greek yogurt for a satisfying treat!
- Spread on your bagel as a cream cheese substitute.
- Use in baked goods as a substitute for some of the butter or oil.
- Fold into soups or sauces as a substitute for cream (but make sure the yogurt is room temperature to avoid curdling).
- Top waffles or pancakes with it for a creamy topping.
Recipes Using Greek Yogurt:
Super Fluffy Greek Yogurt and Blueberry Pancakes via The Healthy Toast
Greek Yogurt Parfait Crunch with Sweet Grapes via Amy Gorin Nutrition
Breakfast Banana Split via Smart Nutrition
Strawberry Vanilla Protein French Toast via Nutrition Starring YOU
Eggless Double Chocolate Muffins via Smart Nutrition
Sunflower Seed Granola and Rhubarb Breakfast Parfait via Smart Nutrition
Chorizo Cauliflower Frittata via The Gourmet RD
Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins via Feel Good Eating
No Mayo Coleslaw (made with Greek Yogurt) via The Foodie Dietitian
Gluten Free Alaska Fish Sticks with Honey Yogurt Dipping Sauce via Bucket List Tummy
Instant Pot Lentil Stroganoff via Nourish Nutrition
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese via Rebecca Bitzer
Greek Yogurt Mashed Potatoes via Snacking in Sneakers
Lobster Cakes with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce via Hoorah to Health
Kale Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing via The Foodie Dietitian
20-Minute Healthy Pumpkin Pasta via The Oregon Dietitian
Citrus Salad with Honey Lime Yogurt and Spicy Walnuts via Leanne Ray
Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt via Alena Menko
Healthy Sweet Potato Bread with Blueberries via Bucket List Tummy
Tzatiki via Live Best
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Apple Dip via The Foodie Dietitian
Heart Healthy Biscuits via Nutritiously Simple
Peanut Butter Frosting Dip via Jenna Braddock
Berry Greek Yogurt Popsicles via Crystal Karges Nutrition
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie via Smart Nutrition
Roasted Peaches and Cream Popsicles via The Foodie Dietitian
Blueberry Sweet Corn Frozen Greek Yogurt Bark via It’s a Veg World After All
Matcha Green Tea Latte Popsicles via The Foodie Dietitian
Greek Yogurt Banana Slice Cake via Colleen Christensen Nutrition
Chai Tea Latte Popsicles via The Foodie Dietitian
For more recipe round-ups just like this one, check out these below: