Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Go Greek!

Sometime in the past year or so, Greek yogurt has become all the rage. It went from just a few brands on shelves to now every big dairy company selling it—Chobani, Fage, Yoplait... the list goes on and on.

Now, I will admit I was not a fan the first few times I tried Greek yogurt. My friend suggested it to me, and the first time I tried it I swore it off, saying there is no way anyone could actually enjoy eating it. My, how I've changed my mind since... now I am completely addicted! At first I could only eat flavored yogurt, but now I eat it plain, and I love it! 

So why would I reach for the Greek yogurt over the non-Greek yogurt when it costs more? Besides my new love for the taste, the best reason is that's it's much more nutritious. Your average six-ounce serving packs 15 to 20 grams of protein, in comparison to just nine grams from traditional yogurt. The great thing about protein is that it wards off hunger and gives you energy, which is important if you're like me and you sit at a desk most of the day. Greek yogurt also has half the carbohydrates and sodium than other yogurts, as long as you choose one that isn't laden with sweeteners. 

Another great thing about Greek yogurt is its versatility—it's not just for breakfast! It can be sweet or savory. I substitute it for sour cream, putting a dollop in chili or on top of tacos. It can also be substituted in recipes that call for mayonnaise. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Yogurt parfaits: Plain Greek yogurt with a drop of honey, berries, and slivered almonds
  • Mashed potatoes: Instead of using sour cream or heavy whipping cream, spoon in some yogurt for added creaminess
  • Fruit dip: Mix plain yogurt, some ground ginger, honey, and a sprinkle of sea salt for a delicious fruit dip
  • Veggie dip: Instead of mixing French onion or ranch seasoning with mayo, try yogurt instead... Told you it was versatile!
So if you haven't tried it yet, go buy some! My only warning is that, like everything else, you should look at the nutrition label to make sure you're not buying a yogurt that's packed with sugar or other unwanted additives. And let me know what you think; feel free to comment with any of your favorite recipes.

by Cookie M., Contributor

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