Yogurt is practically taking over the dairy aisle, and we’re okay with that. In addition to being a high-protein, high-calcium breakfast, it can also be used in e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. – from savory marinades to salad dressings to sweet homemade frozen yogurt.
When buying yogurt, look for one that contains minimal to no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Chobani is a good choice for this since it only uses natural ingredients and doesn’t contain preservatives. Whichever brand you choose, just remember that Greek yogurt will be thicker and contain more protein than regular yogurt.
The trick to making a breakfast that keeps you full until lunch is simple: Pair protein with fiber and a little bit of fat. For example, Greek yogurt is high in protein, berries are high in fiber, and nut butter is rich with unsaturated fat. And they just happen to be delicious when mixed together in parfaits or smoothies.
Use yogurt to marinate chicken. Not only does it contain enzymes that help tenderize meat, plain yogurt also has less sugar than most marinades, which tend to burn on the grill. Here’s a quick recipe that works for 1 to 1½ pounds of chicken: Mix together 1 cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, salt, pepper and any fresh herbs you like. Submerge the chicken in this mixture and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight, before grilling.
So you love potato salad and pasta salad but want a lighter version? Use yogurt instead of mayonnaise. You get the same ‘tang’ for your buck, without the extra fat. It also works well for egg or chicken salad.
Flavored Greek yogurts make delicious desserts, especially when they’re frozen. Two favorite ways to do this are to make frozen yogurt bark or frozen yogurt pops. For the bark, spread 2 containers (5.3 ounces each) of flavored Greek yogurt on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Then top with fresh berries and cereal; freeze for at least 4 hours. Once frozen, break the bark into large pieces and serve. To make frozen yogurt pops, mix 1½ cups of flavored Greek yogurt with ½ cup coconut milk. Pour the mixture into molds with a stick in the center of each and freeze for at least 4 hours.
If you’ve ever made a French Yogurt Cake, then you know how delicious yogurt can be in baked goods. It adds a richness, similar to buttermilk. In fact, yogurt works as a substitution for buttermilk, sour cream, and sometimes heavy cream in many recipes. Plus, the acidity of yogurt helps activate baking soda in cakes and quick breads. You can also use yogurt to replace some of the oil in a recipe. A good rule of thumb is to swap out half the oil and replace it with ¾ the amount of yogurt. So, if your recipe calls for one cup of oil, use ½ cup of oil and ¾ cup of yogurt.
Kylene Frost, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian
Hy-Vee, Lawrence, KS
Eryn Carter, RDN, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian
2951 SW Wanamaker Rd.