Greek yogurt has grown in popularity in recent years. It can be more expensive than regular yogurt, but with at least double the protein and less than half the sugar, in my opinion, the health benefits outweigh the cost. You can also save by purchasing in bulk from stores such as Costco and BJ’s. And Plain Greek yogurt is such a versatile addition to other foods that a 35-ounce container can save you from buying sour cream, desserts, dips and mayonnaise. Here are some ways to enjoy plain Greek yogurt as a healthier alternative to other foods. If you’re trying to cut back on fat, make sure to buy nonfat or lowfat versions of Greek yogurt.
Dressing up Greek yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt can be a little, well, tasteless. But that doesn’t mean you should buy the more expensive and overly sugary fruit flavors. Add your own flavor and fruit with reduced-sugar jelly and jam. Stir in approximately one tablespoon per half cup of plain Greek yogurt. If you prefer a more subtle sweetness, stir in a little honey to taste. If you have small plastic containers, you can pre-mix enough little cups for the week with a couple different flavors.
Greek yogurt as sour cream. Plain Greek yogurt has a similar taste and consistency to sour cream. A dollop is delicious on top of baked potatoes, soups and in salsa. Simply mix equal parts salsa and Greek yogurt for a creamy, almost cheesy, dip. Packed with protein and no fat, this satisfying dip is a great addition to any meal. And you know that last bit of yogurt from the large-sized container that has gone a bit sour? Don’t throw it away – you can use it in recipes calling for sour cream.
Greek yogurt as cream. Replace cream for yogurt in dishes like creamed spinach, cheese sauce, or soups. You will save calories without losing any of the flavor. Macaroni and yogurt? Use Greek yogurt instead of milk for an added bonus.
Greek yogurt as mayonnaise. Many people now know that Greek yogurt can serve as an excellent substitute for mayonnaise in deli salads such as chicken salad or tuna salad. The texture of Greek yogurt is so similar to mayonnaise that it is difficult to spot the difference. Another way to use Greek yogurt is to dress up sandwiches by turning it into gourmet mayonnaise. Mix a little Greek yogurt and dried parsley, oregano, red pepper or even dill to make a yummy spread. Making a chipotle sandwich? Add some chipotle seasoning. It’s fun to experiment with different spices to create different flavors.
Greek Yogurt as dessert. Plain Greek yogurt on its own isn’t very sweet, but adding the right ingredients can make it a healthy and sweet snack. Start by adding a little honey or a drop of vanilla extract, then dress up the yogurt like a sundae. Nuts, coconut and chocolate chips are great on top. Craving frozen yogurt? Save yourself a trip to Ben and Jerry’s by mixing together some fruit, fruit juice and yogurt into a small bowl. If you have a popsicle mold, you can make frozen popsicles. Simply mix about a cup of yogurt, a tablespoon or two of honey or juice and fruit. Make sure the ingredients are really mixed together then pour into mold and freeze. If you don’t have molds, turn little plastic containers into small frozen yogurt cups.
Greek yogurt as a beauty treatment. Yogurt is a healthy alternative to chemical moisturizers for your skin. It contains lactic acid, which can help smooth and exfoliate skin. Apply a thin layer of Greek yogurt to your skin to soothe sunburn or itching.
One quart of Greek yogurt may cost a little more than one quart of plain yogurt, but not having to buy mayonnaise, sour cream and even ice cream can save your wallet, and your health. What are some ways you use Greek yogurt?
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