Get the Skinny: Beyond the Carton: 5 ways to use Greek yogurt to squeeze more protein into your diet

There are plenty of reasons to incorporate plain lowfat Greek yogurt into your diet. Not everyone loves the tart flavor, though, even dressed up with the typical toppings like fresh fruit, nuts and granola.  Fortunately Greek yogurt is also incredibly versatile, so here are 5 easy ways to incorporate more Greek yogurt into our diets, leaving your taste buds happy, as well.

Benefits of going Greek:

  • Ounce-for-ounce, Greek yogurt has 2x protein than ‘regular’ yogurt, with a fraction of carbs and sugar
  • Good source of calcium and vitamin D
  • Six-ounce carton has potassium equivalent of a banana
  • Rich in probiotics
  • Low in lactose

Smoothies: Think of Greek yogurt as your protein powder replacer to build a smoothie that’s perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up for a breakfast on the run.   Blend plain Greek yogurt with fruit (fresh or frozen). Add a bit of your sweetener of choice (optional), and experiment with add-ins like herbs and spices. Some of my favorites: Mango with chipotle. Blueberries with basil. Pineapple with cilantro. Almond butter with cocoa powder. You really can’t mess it up!

Butter substitute: Use plain, low-fat Greek yogurt in place of half the amount of butter called for in a recipe.  For example, instead of one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of Greek yogurt, and save 725 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat.

 

Sour cream swap-out: Use a dollop of Greek yogurt to top lean chili, tacos, or a taco salad. Same tart creaminess, for a fraction of the calories.

 

Mayo: Use it in your favorite chicken salad, tuna salad, deviled eggs or ‘potato’ salad made with grilled cauliflower or sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes

Cheese sauce: No kidding, this really works. Melt equal amounts of shredded reduced-fat shredded cheese and plain Greek yogurt over low heat, and you’ve got a deliciously savory cheese sauce that’s perfect paired with veggies, grilled fish or baked chicken, or make a good-for-you mac & cheese with fiber-rich pasta like Banza chickpea pasta.

 

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