September 2, 2011

Greek Yogurt

Chrissy-Photo-with-bkgrdBy Chrissy Mitzel, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Health Registered Dietician
(309) 793-0684

Have you tried Greek yogurt yet? If you are not a big fan of conventional yogurt or just want to add something new to your daily menu, you may want to consider Greek yogurt. It’s fast becoming mainstream with Americans with its unique texture and health benefits. So what are these unique benefits compared to traditional yogurt?

Greek yogurt’s most notable difference is its rich, creamy texture. Eating this thick, creamy yogurt is comparable to eating a delectable dessert. Greek yogurt gets its extra creaminess from the straining process that removes the whey (liquid) from the yogurt. Because of the thick, creamy texture, it is a suitable substitute for dips and sauces. It is also a great alternative to oil or butter in baking and cooking.

The health benefits are numerous. For starters, Greek yogurt typically has double the protein of regular yogurt,
helping you feel full longer. Greek yogurt is a healthy choice for diabetics, as it is lower in sugar and carbs than regular yogurt. It’s also lower in sodium and contains more live and active cultures than many conventional brands, which is important for digestive health.

So how do you go Greek? Here are five ways to enjoy this new favorite:

1. Use fat-free plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for recipes, vegetable dips or on baked potatoes.
2. Mix into smoothies for a high-protein snack or breakfast.
3. Combine fat-free plain Greek yogurt, dried fruit and nuts and drizzle with honey or agave nectar.
4. Layer with fresh fruit for a healthy parfait.
5. Savor each bite right from the container.

Greek Party Dip
All you need:
1 (1 ounce) package Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Dip Mix
16 ounces fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 red bell pepper, cut into long slices (for serving)
1 (16 ounce) bag baby carrots (for serving)
1 head broccoli, chopped into individual florets (for serving)
All you do:
Mix dry dip mix with yogurt. Refrigerate dip for at least
2 hours prior to serving. Serve dip with assorted vegetables
Nutrition facts per serving (2 tbsp dip with veggies): 40 calories, 0g fat, 7g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g protein, 160mg sodium.

Source: Hy-Vee Dietitians

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.