Greek yoghurt is high in protein, all-natural, and makes for a fabulous substitution for a lot of other less-healthy ingredients in baking and cooking. I was never really a big fan of yoghurt until I tried the Greek versions - it's strained to produce a thicker, creamier texture. Not dissimilar to loosely whipped cream, the stiffness (!) of this type of yoghurt holds well in cakes and dips.
It's become a breakfast staple in my diet (next to overnight oats) - mainly because I try to work out as soon as I wake up. After that, I need something to feed my muscles with plenty of protein to build lean muscle. A protein shake offers about 22g of protein per serve, whereas 170g yoghurt offers a fair 18g. I like to use protein shakes as a healthy snack, rather than meal replacement - so I save these only for mid-afternoon or when I'm really pushed for time. If you can't handle it plain (boooooring), add a touch of honey or sweetener of choice, vanilla powder, cinnamon and berries.
Other than having it straight-up for brekkie, here are 5 ways to include it in your diet:
1. Dip It
Combine plain Greek yoghurt with herbs and spices to use as versatile dipping sauce for your veggies. It's a perfect substitute for mayo and sour cream in recipes too, or try mixing it through your homemade pesto to make a creamy pasta sauce.
2. Drink It
Dollop into your blender along with your favourite fruits and some ice cubes for a delicious smoothie. Try this Blackberry Smoothie Bowl for a delicious snack or breakfast option.
3. Freeze It
Combine greek yoghurt with your favourite fruits (protein powder optional) in a food processor and add honey or stevia to taste. Divide the mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze.
4. Bake It
Substitute 1 cup of butter for 1 ½ cups of Greek yoghurt in your cake mixes for a light, high protein version.
5. Top it
I love throwing a dollop of yoghurt on spicy dishes such as fajitas, curry or homemade chilli. It adds a nice balance and keeps the mouth slightly cooler so you can enjoy the individual flavours. For sweet, I love this Breakfast Berry Crumble topped with yoghurt and for savoury why not try these 10 Minute Healthy Pitta Pizzas.
My personal go-to yoghurt is 0% Plain Chobani because it doesn't seem to affect my growing dairy intolerance as much as other brands (watch this space...). It's also the highest protein, lowest-sugar option available in Aussie supermarkets at the moment. Make sure you check the label to ensure there is no added sugar. Aim for a protein content of 10g or more per 100g of yoghurt for it's satiating properties.
Cho also provides a handy guide for subbing yoghurt in your kitchen. Exercise some common sense here though (of which I am seriously lacking) - if you're required to sauté something in oil, don't expect yoghurt to have the desired effect!
Want to try it for yourself? Check out some of my fave yoghurt recipes below:
What are your favourite ways to use greek yoghurt? Let me know.
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