Perhaps you have heard of Greek yogurt or seen it in grocery stores and wondered what the buzz is all about. I was at the grocery store the other day and noticed several different varieties scattered among the already wide variety of yogurt in the dairy section. I used to only be able to get my Greek yogurt at the health food store so I was pleased to see that it is becoming more popular! According to webmd.com, yogurt itself has many health benefits. Yogurt contains pro-biotics which improve digestion and the body’s immunity. Yogurt is a dairy product and contains calcium, B vitamins, potassium and magnesium. Greek yogurt is much thicker and creamier than regular yogurt and contains almost twice the protein and less carbs than regular yogurt. This being said, Greek yogurt is a fabulous addition to your muscle building, fat loss meal plan! Greek yogurt also has less lactose than regular yogurt (ideal for those sensitive to lactose).
1 cup of 0% fat plain Greek yogurt has only 130 calories, 0 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs and 23 grams of protein. A one cup serving of Greek yogurt has more than 30% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Here are some awesome ways to include Greek yogurt in your diet:
Greek yogurt now comes in flavored varieties but I prefer to make my own since the store bought fruit flavored Greek yogurt contains a lot of added sugar. I add fresh or frozen berries to a serving of Greek yogurt and sweeten with Stevia.
If I am not dieting for a photo shoot or competition, I add some low fat, gluten free granola cereal to my Greek yogurt and berries or layer the three ingredients to make an awesome yogurt parfait!
Use O% Greek yogurt in place of sour cream as a topping on your favorite dishes. I love to top sweet potatoes with a spoonful of Greek yogurt!
Swap O% fat Greek yogurt for sour cream in your favorite dip recipes to add more protein and calcium while trimming the fat from your recipe.
I absolutely love Greek food and I recently enjoyed an awesome Greek dish at a restaurant on a trip to Cleveland OH. The man who owned the restaurant offered me some Tzatziki sauce (translation: tangy dressing with dill and cucumbers) and told me his wife made it herself with a non-fat recipe using Greek yogurt. It was amazing I managed to bribe him with my charm to get the recipe from him! Since I came home from Cleveland, I have made several batches of this delicious sauce and have been putting it on everything! Try this high protein, fat free recipe as a dip for your veggies, chicken, or salmon or use it in place of dressing in a pita!
3 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
1 lemon, squeezed
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 medium sized cucumbers, seeded and diced
Remove the skin from the cucumbers. Remove the seeds from the cucumbers by slicing each of the cucumbers in half and scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Tzatziki sauce is characterized by its thick, creamy texture so you will want to drain some liquid from the cucumbers. To do this, dice up the cucumbers into thick chunks and place in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and drain for 30 minutes. The salt will release the majority of the water from the cucumbers. Place the cucumbers, lemon juice, chopped garlic and chopped fresh dill into a food processor until cucumbers are finely chopped. Stir in the Greek yogurt and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours! Serve with fresh veggies, wheat pita bread wedges or use as a dip for chicken, salmon or lamb.
I hope you like this recipe! Keep working hard on your fitness goals! Life is too short! If you dream it, you can achieve it!
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