Yogurt is quite possibly one of the best snacks known to mankind. You can flavor load it up in so many delicious ways. The taste combinations are endless! The yogurt I am talking about today is Greek style yogurt. You may be asking the question I asked when I first found out about Greek yogurt, “what’s the big difference?” Isn’t yogurt, yogurt?
Greek style yogurt is deliciously creamy and has a rich, velvety texture. Have you ever tried plain American yogurt? Compared to the Greek variety, it has a more pungent, “sour” taste. The plain Greek yogurt has a milder taste, with the texture similar to sour cream. This lovely, thick texture is created due to the difference in how it is processed in comparison to the American brands. The milk is heated and cultured, and after this is completed, the yogurt will rest in muslin or cheesecloth bags. This process filters the whey out of the yogurt, so it has a thicker and denser quality. When you open up a container of Greek yogurt, you will see beautiful, solid yogurt. When an American variety of yogurt is opened, you will notice that there is liquid on top. This is what gets filtered out of the Greek kind.
What it comes down to is that the Greek kind is more condensed; you are filtering the whey out, which is leaving you with a more solid yogurt. Since you are getting a little more bang for your buck, you will see that it does cost a little more than other yogurts. Well worth every penny! At this point, I still may not have you sold on why this is a must-try product. Here are a few pointers on why Greek yogurt will get your body singing a new tune.
Lactose anyone? Due to the way Greek yogurt is processed, it contains fewer carbohydrates than our traditional yogurt varieties. Fewer carbs equals less lactose, which is the nifty little sugar ingredient that causes so many people stomach pains from dairy products. Easier to digest? Sign me up! Not only can you sweeten up this yogurt, but you can make it savory as well. Many people use this yogurt as a substitute for milk, sour cream, or mayonnaise in recipes. You could even use it in place of crème fraiche in cooking or baking. I have used yogurt in place of cream in a few pasta sauce recipes and it has turned out fantastic!
Since this yogurt is so dense, it actually has more protein in it than other American versions. That’s right, Greek yogurt also packs a protein punch! In the process where this yogurt gets strained in the cheesecloth it condenses the yogurt, providing 20 grams of protein per cup, where as the American variety has about 13g per cup. My muscles can feel it now! Not only will your muscles be thanking you, but your stomach will too! All of that dense yogurt that is high in protein will leave you feeling full longer. This can help keep you satisfied until your next meal or snack. I like that concept. Not only will you feel full, but your stomach will feel comfortable. Yogurt is packed with healthy bacteria that keep your GI tract running and functioning as it should. This “good bacteria” keeps your system in check, so you are feeling top of your game.
Next time you are cruising through the dairy section at the grocery store, give one of the Greek yogurt varieties a try. My favorite brands if Fage. It is so delicious with a lovely rich and creamy texture. Both the 0% and 2% have been a hit in our household and are available at most grocery stores. A few other varieties I have seen include Oikos and Chobani. Just you watch – Greek yogurt will become so readily available as more and more people realize how delicious it is! My favorite way to eat this yogurt is with a little drizzle of honey and a healthy sprinkling of fresh, chopped fruit. Arm yourself for this cold and flu season and grab some Greek! Tomorrow is a must read kind of day! Stay tuned for our top 10 list on cold and flu fighting foods.
How do you dress up your yogurt?
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.