Greek yogurt has gone mainstream, and that's a good thing! Gone are the days of hunting down hard-to-find Greek yogurt in the natural foods aisle or making a separate grocery trip to get some. Greek yogurt now dominates the billion dollar yogurt industry in the United States. Eaten on its own or added to sweet and savory recipes, Greek yogurt is our not-so-secret ingredient for rich, creamy, healthy dishes.
Traditional Greek yogurt is made using sheep's milk, but producers in the United States use cow's milk and label their product "Greek-style yogurt." Greek-style yogurt is simply yogurt that has been strained to remove the liquid, called whey. It takes four times the amount of raw milk to make Greek yogurt than traditional yogurt. This added concentration of milk solids means a richer, creamier texture, tangier flavor, plus more protein per serving! Greek yogurt is also packed with healthful probiotics to improve digestion and boost the immune system.
Greek yogurt typically contains less sodium and carbohydrates than traditional yogurt. The natural sugar carbohydrate in milk products, known as lactose, can cause stomach discomfort for those with lactose sensitivity. Fewer carbs means less lactose, which means a happier tummy! However, traditional yogurt still contains more calcium than Greek yogurt, as some calcium is removed during the straining process.
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Now that Greek yogurt is easy to find, there are endless choices and flavors to select from at the grocery. But, be warned, not all Greek yogurt is created equal! Under the guise of sweet and tangy bliss, many flavored Greek yogurt options are packing extra calories, lots of fat and double digit sugars. Your best bet is often to select plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and flavor it to your taste at home. Or, just for fun, you can buy traditional plain yogurt and strain it at home for a DIY option.
Obviously, Greek yogurt is delicious on its own, but you can also pump it up with a few extra ingredients. Try our Pumpkin Pie Yogurt with Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts for an out-of-this-world dessert. Go savory instead and use Greek yogurt as a dressing with this Greek Farro and Chickpea Salad. Make a classic dish healthy by using Greek yogurt in our Spinach and Artichoke Dip. For a list of even more of our favorite Greek yogurt recipes, check out Greek Yogurt 50 Ways.