Greek yogurt is all the rage. It's hard to walk down the dairy isle without spotting an overwhelming number of brands and flavors to choose from. You might be wondering—why all the sudden hype?
Greek yogurts contain between 15 to 20 grams of protein per 8-oz serving, compared to 5-11 grams of protein in regular yogurt varieties—that’s nearly double the amount of protein! It also contains 20 percent of your daily calcium requirements in addition to providing an excellent source of probiotics, which aid in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Getting adequate protein is essential for bariatric patients, making this tangy treat a great addition to your diet.
Because of Greek yogurt's uniquely thick consistency, it can be used in cooking as it does not curdle when heated. It possesses a distinctive taste and is actually quite versatile. Many recipes now call for Greek yogurt as a substitution for sour cream, cream cheese, butter, or oil as it creates a creamy and moist texture, without all of the added fat and calories. Consider using it in place of other high calorie ingredients in dips, sauces, dressings, desserts, and marinades. Furthermore, it can boost the protein content and add a serious nutrition bang to any dish.
Here’s how to incorporate Greek yogurt into your cooking:
- 1 cup sour cream for 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup oil for ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup butter for ¼ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup butter
- 1 cup mayonnaise for 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cream cheese for 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup buttermilk for 2/3 cup Greek yogurt + ¼ cup buttermilk
Want to try cooking with Greek yogurt? Try this delicious, healthy and protein-packed dish. With 30 grams of protein per serving, you will be sure to fill up quickly—and stay that way!
Chicken souvlaki with tzatziki Sauce
Yields: 2 servings (serving size: 2 skewers and about 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce)
Source: Cooking Light (March 2003)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- To prepare souvlaki, combine the first 5 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to combine. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.
- Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Thread the chicken and zucchini, alternately onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers.
- Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add skewers; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.
- To prepare tzatziki sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 garlic clove, stirring well. Serve the tzatziki sauce with souvlaki.
Amount per serving:
- Calories: 219
- Calories from fat: 19%
- Fat: 4.7g
- Saturated fat: 1.3g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.3g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
- Protein: 30.9g
- Carbohydrate: 12.3g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Cholesterol: 69mg
- Iron: 1.4mg
- Sodium: 705mg
- Calcium: 161mg