Monday, February 27, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! - The Wonderful Uses of Greek Yogurt


Greek Yogurt has become very popular lately. For a while, I was hesitant to eat it.  I was afraid it was part of a new diet fad that everyone was trying. I wondered to myself, "what's wrong with just regular yogurt?" I was convinced people just thought it was fancy because it came from Greece.




Greek yogurt is a great butter substitute for healthy pancakes!

After the recent obsession with the Acai berry, I have been hesitant to buy a food simply because "everyone's doing it." I needed to know the facts. It turns out, Greek yogurt is pretty awesome. 

For starters - I am lactose intolerant, so dairy products must be handled with care when it comes to my digestion. When I Google searched Greek Yogurt, I found that Greek Yogurt has less lactose (less carbs, less sugar) than regular yogurt. It also has half the amount of sodium. So far so good. It also contains double the protein as regular yogurt - I like protein.

The key, however, is to buy Greek Yogurt as plain, non-fat. The portion sized ones are great for travel, but the added fruit is loaded with unnecessary sugar and other ingredients that are not so great for your body. Get the plain kind, and add in your own fresh (or frozen) fruits, peanut butter, dark chocolate, protein powder- whatever! This way you get a healthy treat, without unnecessary sugar and calories. 


But perhaps the best benefit of Greek Yogurt is the fact that it can make many foods taste great. While it can be used as a dip for veggies and fruits, yum!, I decided to try and see if it worked as a substitute for butter on my Protein Pancakes in the morning. One word: Addicted. Mix in your own berries to any brand of Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt, add a dash of cinnamon and you're in taste bud heaven. 

 I had to try more.

 

Mashed Sweet Potato with Greek Yogurt


Tuna Fish - Hate the taste of fish, but don't want the added fat and empty calories from mayonnaise? While mustard is a good bet, Greek yogurt also works fantastically well when mixed with a can of tuna. You only need about 1/4 cup to get the best results. 

Salad dressings - Mix 1/2 cup of non-fat, plain Greek yogurt, and stir in 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of dill weed. Awesome salad dressing that is fat free, and just as creamy and tasty as the real stuff!

Sweet potatoes - mashed or baked like fries - were next on my list. Would Greek Yogurt stand up as butter on a mashed potato? I sprinkled a dash (or more...) of cinnamon, and hesitantly tried it. Yup. Tasted great- even better than butter. 


Sweet Potato Fries dipped in Greek Yogurt




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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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