Greek yogurt is a staple in the kitchen of health-conscious individuals everywhere. If you haven't tried this type of yogurt yet, be prepared to be converted from that soupy stuff full of artificial dyes and sugar you may have been eating.
What Makes Yogurt 'Greek'?
All yogurt starts with milk. What makes Greek yogurt different is that it's strained to remove it's whey, which is the liquid portion. A cloth or bag is used to strain the yogurt, removing the whey and leaving behind a much thicker, more creamy solid yogurt. The taste of Greek yogurt is pretty tart, which is why it's often combined with natural sweeteners or fruit.
Why You Should Try It
At around 100 calories per serving, Greek yogurt makes a healthy addition to your daily diet. Looking for a reason to give it a shot? Here are five:
1. Probiotics -- All yogurt is made by adding cultures, which are good bacteria, also known as probiotics. The body needs probiotics to balance the bad bacteria within the body. Probiotics live within the gut, keeping the digestive system on track. Your gut is also where more than 70 percent of your immune system lives, which probiotics also support.
2. Protein -- The type of protein found in Greek yogurt is casein protein (since the whey was removed). On average, a serving of Greek yogurt will provide between 15 and 20 g of protein, which is essential for building lean muscle mass and for weight management. The protein in the yogurt also makes it more satisfying, helping you stay full longer between meals.
3. Calcium -- Enjoying some Greek yogurt will also provide about 20 percent of your daily calcium. Calcium is needed to keep bones strong and dense to prevent fractures and breaks, which become more common as we age. Calcium is also needed by the teeth to keep them strong and prevent any decay.
4. Low Fat -- Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it's very low in fat (there are also fat-free versions available). In spite of this, it still tastes very decadent due to its texture. It's also free of trans fats and low in cholesterol, both of which can negatively impact heart health.
5. B Vitamins -- Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin B12 as well as some vitamin B6. B vitamins are essential for energy production and proper function of the central nervous system. If you're deficient, they can help put a little pep back into your step.
Our Favorite Ways to Use it
If you thought yogurt could only be eaten one way -- out of a plastic cup -- get ready to be pleasantly surprised. Greek yogurt is incredibly versatile and can be used in a number of recipes in your kitchen. Here are some of our favorite ways to use Greek yogurt:
Top chili or a baked potato with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
Use Greek yogurt as the base for dips that normally call for mayonnaise.
Blend it into a smoothie with fruit for a creamy texture and more satisfying smoothie.
Top it with fruit and some raw honey for a sweet breakfast.
Blend Greek yogurt with fruit, put mixture into an ice cube tray, top with foil, punch popsicle sticks through and freeze.
Stir Greek yogurt into spicy foods to take away some of the heat.
We carry a wide selection of granola, dried fruit and natural sweeteners to help you enjoy more Greek yogurt. Shop eVitamins today and have a good week!