About 3 years ago I was at a conference in Europe and had the most amazing Greek Yogurt. I was surprised at the manufacturer: Dannon.
After arriving back in the US I discovered Dannon did not carry a Greek yogurt. When I went to the Natural Foods Expo that year I went to the Dannon both inquiring about why they did not carry Greek yogurt in the US.
And the answer: there’s not really a market for it.
And you know the rest of the story. Greek yogurt is now the rage with most major yogurt companies having their own brand: Dannon and Yoplait recently came out with Greek yogurts. Other popular brands are Fage, Chobani and Oikos.
So what’s the big deal? Texture, creaminess and PROTEIN.
Most fruited yogurts at the grocery store are lucky if they have even 8 grams of protein per cup. Greek: 20 grams per cup. Of course it depends on the brand but that is the average.
How is this possible? Greek yogurt is made by straining plain yogurt to remove not only the liquid but also the lactose and sugar. This cuts the carbohydrate/sugar and increases the protein in the same amount of calories besides giving it the creamy rich texture.
Greek yogurt can be a great quick breakfast or lunch – just mix with fruit and nuts for a very satisfying meal. If you are having a vegetarian meal of beans and veggies adding some Greek yogurt can quickly increase the protein and calcium content of your meal.
Other uses? Greek yogurt can substitute for mayonnaise in chicken or egg salad, which I did in my book A Recipe for Life, or sour cream in a healthy dip with veggies. You can also use it as a substitute for cream in sauces.
Flavor preference? I personally prefer the Fage 2%, which comes in small, medium and large sizes. The Chobani and Oikos follow that. I do not care for the Yoplait or Dannon, which is not the same as the European one.
Buy the plain and mix with your own fruit (fresh, frozen raspberries which can taste amazing) or a tomato/cucumber mixture. Other great ad-ins are: cinnamon, raw honey, vanilla extract.
Those with lactose intolerance may tolerate this yogurt better than regular as it contains less of the milk sugar lactose.
Greek yogurt may taste a bit sour at first so flavor to your liking but eventually you will have a high protein treat that is portable, easy and very satisfying!