Think Fresh: Greek Yogurt

romano cracked pepper dip

Greek yogurt is one of my fridge staples. I use it in lots of baking instead of butter or oil. I use it for making sauces and dips. And I use it instead of icecream as dessert for my kids! There are lots of great organic varieties out there. Greek yogurt can be significantly higher in fat than regular yogurt(up to 10% milk fat), which is fine for my micro-eating children, and there are some incredible brands that are made with skim milk, 0% milk fat!

Yogurt is a tricky thing because it’s often touted as health food, and then is often filled with sugar, or worse, sugar replacements, such as splenda or aspartame, and thickening agents to give it a creamier texture. Stay away from these. I feel strongly about our dairy being organic, exclusively, but if you are not too concerned about it, just make sure you find yogurt that is sweetened with fruit. Or better yet, buy plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with pureed fruit, or a bit of honey or maple syrup.

Greek yogurt is different from regular yogurt, in that it is strained, through cheese cloth, to give it that incredible thick and creamy texture. So creamy that it feels like a treat! All yogurt is full of probiotics that are imperative for our keeping our digestive systems healthy.

So here are a few ideas for getting more yogurt into your diet!

1. Stir in a bit of skim greek style yogurt into tomato sauces, or pasta dishes, making for a rose, or cream sauce, with a fraction of the fat of adding butter and cream.

2. Make healthy, kid friendly sundaes, by freezing greek yogurt, even plain, and topping with fruit that has been lightly simmered with a touch of honey. My kids love lemon yogurt with blackberry sauce.

3. Use greek yogurt, to replace mayo or sour cream in dips and spreads. I made the following recipe for some friends last night. We dipped cauliflower into this and it was a big hit! Easiest appy ever!

Romano Cracked Pepper Dip

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup finely shredded romano cheese

freshly cracked pepper and sea salt to taste.

Combine and serve with crudites!