16 More Reasons to Heart Greek Yogurt

by in Robin's Healthy Take, July 11, 2013

Greek yogurt
Yes, Greek yogurt makes an awesome breakfast, a fabulous snack and a protein-packed dessert. But don’t relegate it to just those uses: This yogurt is capable of so much more!

First, the nutritional stats: When compared to most regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has 2 times the amount of protein. In fact, 1 cup has as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken. It’s also rich in calcium (important for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart and nervous system). Lastly, Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which improve digestive health by maintaining levels of “good” bacteria in the gut (make sure the label says “active cultures”).

Because 1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt has just 120 calories and 0 grams of fat, it offers an excellent way to slim down recipes while adding tang. Even whole-milk Greek yogurt has just 190 calories and 9 grams of fat per cup (compare that to 1 cup of regular sour cream with 492 calories and 48 grams of fat).

Here are 16 healthy ways to make the most of it.

• Use instead of sour cream in macaroni and cheese and other baked pasta dishes.
• Mash with boiled potatoes for creamy mashed potatoes.
• Use to replace all of the milk and half of the fat (butter or oil) in quick breads, muffins, biscuits, cakes and coffee cakes.
• Jazz up plain Greek yogurt by pureeing with canned pumpkin; sprinkle cinnamon on top.
• Use in cheesecake recipes instead of sour cream.
• Blend with ricotta cheese and fresh herbs to create a healthy dip or sandwich spread.
• Place a dollop on thick stews and chili; fold in a little chili powder or ground cumin for added flavor.
• Use as a base for creamy salad dressings (add fresh herbs, lemon juice or vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper).
• Use between layers of angel food cake and fresh berries for the ultimate trifle.
• Puree with fresh avocado, lime, garlic, and cilantro for creamy and healthy guacamole.
• Use as a base for fruit smoothies instead of milk or juice.
• Use to marinate chicken, fish and pork; simply use Greek yogurt instead of oil.
• Add a little vanilla extract and use as a topping for angel food cake, quick breads, coffee cake and oatmeal.
• Create Greek yogurt sherbet by adding a little lemon juice, lemon zest and honey; freeze until firm. If desired, puree in a food processor before serving.
• Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and use as a glaze for breakfast muffins (banana, blueberry, bran), quick breads, pancakes and waffles.
• Use to replace half of the mayo in pasta salad, coleslaw, chicken salad and spinach dip.
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

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Comments (11)

  1. PattiNYC says:

    Use instead of buttermilk in waffles and pancakes

  2. floobish says:

    I use it in baking all the time, muffins & loaves turn out great and are so much healthier!

  3. yummydecor says:

    You can also find great healthy recipes and meals at Food and Decor!

    Just visit: http://www.foodanddecor.me

  4. Greek Yogurt is my daily source of healthy protein!!! I love it and I sometimes add whey protein into it.

    • Peggy Morgan says:

      I throw a 6oz. container of yogurt in the freezer, while cleaning up after dinner. In an hour or more it becomes my frozen treat. Some of the fruit mixture tends to flow to the top. It's deliciously satisfying and "ice cream-like" (If it freezes too much, just let it sit, for a few and it becomes spoonable.) It takes a little longer to eat so it really satisfies your cravings for desert. Love it.

  5. Hi , Nice article !! With a lot of food blogs mushrooming on the Net, more and more people are exchanging recipes across geographies. The result ‘“ chaos and confusion over names of ingredients! One such pair that commonly fall victim to this is yogurt and curd. There is lot of confusion about nutritional content of yogurt and curd. Here are some quick comparison between yogurt and curd. To know more about Yogurt vs Curd .

  6. Lang says:

    Greek yogurt huh? I remember the first time I tried it, it was extremely sour!! I did not like it, although it was no fat yogurt so I wonder if that made a huge difference. You always see the commercials making it look so elegant and delicious looking.

  7. Erin says:

    Added to peanut butter as a dip for apples and bananas is my fav!

  8. [...] Using a low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth can help reduce sodium (or use homemade chicken stock, which is naturally low in sodium). To add even more creaminess, use a touch of whole or reduced-fat milk, low-fat sour cream or low-fat Greek yogurt [...]

  9. [...] Using a low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth can help reduce sodium (or use homemade chicken stock, which is naturally low in sodium). To add even more creaminess, use a touch of whole or reduced-fat milk, low-fat sour cream or low-fat Greek yogurt [...]

  10. Jens Holvoet says:

    I have heard great things abou Greek Yogurt, but never tried it. Maybe I'll try this breakfast version this week and see how it tastes.

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