Greek yogurt seems to be all the rage lately. And while many ladies can be grateful for more commercials featuring the Greek god John Stamos, that’s not quite the delicious treat we had in mind.
Yogurt has long been a healthy staple in many people’s meal plans. It’s sweet, it’s tasty, and it’s versatile, all while still being pretty good for you. With that said, you might be curious as to what all the buzz is about with yogurt’s Greek counterpart. After all, both tend to be low in calories and bad fats, have lots of calcium to benefit your bones, and include good bacteria cultures to give your belly some much needed love. Where Greek bumps out the everyday yogurt competition is in protein and sugar.
Protein is a basic building block for muscle, and is great at helping to keep your blood sugar and hunger in check. While regular yogurt offers protein, its 5-9 grams for 6 oz is minimal in comparison to Greek’s 15-20 grams. Regular yogurt tends to be higher in sugar-based carbohydrates, where Greek yogurt keeps the sweet stuff on the low end–and thus further helps with keeping your blood sugar from spiking and dropping. And if you have issues with lactose intolerance, Greek yogurt gets a point for stripping out many of the milk sugars (what makes up lactose) in the straining process–although if you’re very sensitive, you should still proceed with caution.
If you’ve long been a yogurt eater, going Greek might be an easy switch for you. However, the biggest hurdle people find is adjusting to the texture and taste. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular American yogurt, and it brings with it a tangy taste instead of the sweet one you may be used to. Even when flavored, Greek is still more sour than sweet. For some this is no big deal and actually quite enjoyable. Still, if you have a pickier palate, you don’t have to skip out on the good stuff Greek yogurt as to offer. Instead try these ideas for incorporating it into your meals:
Dip It: Turn plain Greek yogurt into the perfect base for any creamy dip. Add in flavor packets of your favorite seasonings, or try chopped roasted red peppers, dill, feta cheese, and some Greek spices to make it a true Mediterranean treat.
Sip It: Greek yogurt’s creamy consistency is great for smoothies. Blend yogurt-flavored Greek with ice cubes, berries, bananas, and even some spinach (you won’t taste it!) for a protein-packed start to your day. If it’s still too sour, try honey or agave to sweeten it up without shocking your system.
Dollop It: Love sour cream on your baked potatoes and tacos? Swap in Greek yogurt for a protein-rich topping that feels a tad less indulgent.
Mix It: Greek yogurt is a great addition to many of your meals and recipes. Instead of plain penne and marinara, mix in greek yogurt to create a decadent cream sauce without the guilt. You can also use it as a base for summer potato salad, allowing you to cut back on the mayo.
Greek yogurt has so many health benefits that finding a way to make it into your meals is a must. Even if you can’t stomach it from a snack cup, look for opportunities to use it in recipes and with foods that you eat every day.
How do you like your Greek yogurt? Tell us in the comments!