Monday, December 6, 2010

Go Greek!

I had read online that Greek yogurt was healthier than regular yogurts and had a unique taste.  I decided to give it a try. 

I knew some peoples' version of "unique" may not sit well on my taste buds which meant that "plain" yogurt as a taste-test for Greek yogurt would be a "no go."  Instead, I went to the grocery store, and I picked up Fage Total 2% strawberry yogurt:

The first thing I noticed was the packaging.  You can't really tell in the above picture, but there are two separate compartments.  That compartmentalization is because there aren't strawberries IN the yogurt nor are they located at the bottom.  One compartment houses the Greek yogurt, and the other smaller compartment is strawberries.  Yum!

I looked at the label on the yogurt, and I noticed it had 130 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 18g carbs, and 10g protein.  Let's compare that to Yoplait's Thick n' Creamy:

Calories: 190
Total fat: 3.5g
Cholesterol: 15g
Sodium: 100 mg
Carbs: 32g
Protein: 7g

Fage's sugar is nowhere in the yogurt.  The sugar (yes, real sugar) is found in the strawberry mixture.  Yoplait uses sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup - yikes!

Right there on the label I could see the health benefits.  I opened the lid, and I immediately noticed that the Fage yogurt was creamier than regular yogurts.  It was "hard" like sour cream, and when I tasted it I knew I was hooked.

Greek yogurt DOES have its own "zing."  If you don't like sour cream, or you're used to the over-sugared yogurts, you may not like it, or it may take some getting used to.  I like sour cream.  I was fine.  The texture was thick, smooth, creamy, and definitely yummy.  I could hear my body cheer.  I dipped my spoon into the strawberry mixture and then grabbed some yogurt, and it was even better (though I later learned you're supposed to tilt the mini fruit compartment over into the yogurt.)  I think I paid $1.12 for this little 5.3 ounce  gem.

Because I liked Fage, I tried Chobani when I went to the store next.  It didn't have a compartment of fruit, it was a standard "fruit on the bottom" yogurt, but is anything but "standard."

The yogurt I chose was similar to the one above, but mine had raspberries in it instead of strawberries.  It was Chobani's Non-fat yogurt (as it was all the store had.)  Opened, mixed, and enjoyed.  It was creamy just like Fage, and because the fruit was mixed with the yogurt, it didn't have as much of a zing (that I'm still getting used to.) I paid $1.20 for the above yogurt. 

Then I wondered, if Greek yogurt has similar flavor and texture of sour cream, can I substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in my recipes??

Breakstone Sour Cream - Serving size 30g (1 ounce)

Calories: 60
Total Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 10mg
Carbs: 1g
Protein: 1g

And our Greek yogurt? Serving size 1 ounce...

Calories: 18.5
Total Fat: 0.60g
Cholesterol: 1.4mg
Sodium: 9mg
Carbs: 1 g
Protein: 2.4g

Pretty clear-cut to me.  Greek yogurt is the healthy alternative, and after doing some research online, I found out that yes, Greek yogurt CAN be substituted for sour cream in recipes (there's some finagling with some recipes, but others are a straight substitute!)

So if you're game to try something new and healthier, try Greek yogurt.  I plan on eating it as a replacement for ice cream or other not-so-healthy desserts.

No comments: