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Greek Yogurt: Every Day in 5 Ways

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Wellness Services Corporate Dietitian

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Jun 11th, 2018

June is National Dairy Month so it’s the perfect time to talk about the hottest food in the dairy aisle—Greek yogurt! What’s not to love about Greek yogurt with about 12-15 grams of protein and 15% of the daily value of calcium and vitamin D per 5.3 ounce serving. Plus, as a fermented dairy product, yogurt contains live active cultures and probiotics which provide specific health benefits such as supporting healthy digestive and immune functions when enjoyed daily.

Most people know that Greek yogurt is a great go-to for protein and nutrients at breakfast or snack time, but yogurt is the new kitchen staple. Read on to find 5 other awesome ways to enjoy Greek yogurt every single day!

Use Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream

With a similar tangy taste and creamy texture, plain Greek yogurt can be swapped directly for sour cream. Making this switch shaves off about 60 calories, 9 grams of total fat and 5 grams of saturated fat for a 1/4-cup serving. When following a recipe for dip or dressing that calls for adding dry soup mix, start by blending half as much of the mix to the yogurt and then add more to taste. The flavors and saltiness in the dry mix are more pronounced when blended in nonfat Greek yogurt compared to sour cream. For a spicy yogurt-based dip, try this easy recipe for Game Day Cajun Ranch Dip.

cajun dip

Use Yogurt Instead of Mayonnaise

At around 360 calories with 40 grams of total fat and 6 grams of saturated fat per 1/4-cup measure, choosing mayonnaise as your dressing for chicken, tuna, pasta and potato salads comes at a high nutritional price. Plain Greek yogurt can transform into a flavorful mayo-substitute when blended with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and herbs and spices. That’s exactly what we did in this recipe for Napa Valley Chicken Salad.

Chicken Salad

Use Yogurt in Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls

Athletes and active people should always be looking for ways to pump up the protein in their smoothies or smoothie bowls to offer refueling and recovery benefits. One easy and low-cost way to do this is to add Greek yogurt! Just adding one-half cup of plain Greek nonfat yogurt to your smoothie adds about 12 to 15 grams of high-quality protein, along with key nutrients, like calcium, vitamin D and potassium, that help promote muscle and bone strength. For a nutrient-packed smoothie with a serving of dark leafy greens (that you won’t even notice because the smoothie tastes so good), whip up this recipe for Tropical Green Smoothie.

 

Use Yogurt as a Base for Creamy Desserts

Want a refreshing dessert that is lower in calories but higher in protein? Start with flavored Greek yogurt with 16 grams of sugars or less per serving. Whip up a serving of frozen yogurt by blending yogurt with frozen fruit in a mini food processor or make frozen yogurt pops by pouring this mixture into molds. For a decadent-looking and petite portioned light yogurt dessert, try this recipe for Yogurt Whip Parfaits and try key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, lemon raspberry, banana cream pie or all of the above!

Yogurt Parfaits

Use Yogurt While Baking

When you cut out half of the butter, shortening or oil in a baking recipe, you need to replace that amount with something that adds moisture. Yogurt serves as a great substitute for some of the fat in baking recipes for everything from banana bread and brownies to muffins and cakes! That’s exactly what we did in this recipe for super moist and yummy Baked Lemon Coconut Donuts.

Donuts

For more recipe inspiration check out our Pinterest page and comment how you substitute yogurt in the comments below!

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