Seven Creative Ways to Use Greek Yogurt
Here we are. It’s Sunday and you’re scared of the week ahead. You’ve decided that your weekend full of beer and pizza needs to be offset by a week of healthy eating, so you hit the grocery store.
Ah, yes- you can grab this tub of plain Greek yogurt. That’s healthy, right? Maybe you can have it for breakfast? I don’t know- you have no plan. But you grab it anyways.
Okay so it’s Wednesday. You tried to eat your Greek yogurt for breakfast on Monday morning when you were passionate about making a change this week and you hated it. You ate it plain (that was your first mistake) and got through about three bites before putting it back into the office fridge. God… How did this bacon, egg, and cheese make it onto your desk?
Because Greek yogurt is one of the least pleasant foods to eat plain- that’s how!!!!
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good yogurt bowl- but you’ve got to dress it up. Add fruit, nuts, seeds, almond butter, honey, cinnamon- whatever you have on hand will work. And it’s delicious.
However, Greek yogurt is so freakin’ magical and versatile and amazing that you should absolutely try all of my favorite ways to enjoy it (not just for breakfast in the morning). Greek yogurt is high in calcium, protein, and vitamin D (buy the low fat or full fat version rather than the fat free version for better absorption of vitamin D). It keeps you full, controls blood sugar spikes, and enhances different dishes in so many ways. The only rule when buying Greek yogurt is that you have to go for the PLAIN flavor. When you start getting into vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, etc.- it can be very high in sugar. So, stick with plain and flavor it with your own ingredients.
OR you could try some of my favorite ways to use Greek yogurt. Go ahead, let it change your life. You know you want to…
Below I have listed seven creative and simple ways to use Greek yogurt:
OOOOOO HONEY. Okay, this is probably one of my favorite original recipes that I have ever created. This is a play on of your favorite Tuna Salad Sandwich, but it is higher in healthy fat thanks to the salmon and higher in protein thanks to the Greek yogurt. I make this in big batches for my meal prep when I am having one of those “okay I need to get my life together” weeks. It goes beautifully on a sandwich, in a wrap, or over a green salad.
I also love making this salmon salad because let’s be honest, using canned salmon is just so much easier than marinating and sautéing a fresh salmon fillet. While salmon fillets have a time and place, my lifestyle requires me to not have to think very much about the food I eat (I am way to focused on making sure YOU know what YOU are supposed to be eating- a woman of the people, what can I say?).
So, the fact that this quick salmon salad prep means that I can squeeze in lots of healthy fat throughout the week without the hassle (and cost) of making fresh salmon every night? Sign me the f up baby.
Here is the link to my quick and easy Salmon Salad recipe:
Use Greek Yogurt to Thicken a Soup
Yogurt… In soup???
YES. This works perfectly if you are making your own creamy soup. Not only does Greek yogurt thicken soup and create the dreamiest texture- it also adds that beautiful protein that we are lookin’ for!!
Making a large batch of soup (especially in the winter) is such an easy way to meal prep for the week. My biggest piece of advice for soup is to make it super flavorful with herbs and spices so that you do not get bored throughout the week- nobody has time for bland soup!!
There are literally a million different soup recipes that utilize Greek yogurt, but I have linked my favorite original recipe by me. It is a Butternut Squash and Sage Soup. This soup is spicy, comforting, and so easy to make. Not to mention, it offers a ton of health benefits with all of the nutrient dense ingredients!
Add Greek Yogurt to Your Smoothie
This one may seem like a no brainer but hear me out- there is a correct way to do this. Sometimes Greek yogurt makes your smoothie too thick (yes, that is a thing). If I am using protein powder, I typically leave out Greek yogurt. However, I have recently changed my ways and gone for Greek yogurt INSTEAD of protein powder because it provides Vitamin D and Calcium ALONG with the protein that my powder is used for. Not to mention, there are far less creepy ingredients in Greek yogurt when compared to protein powder.
My tip for Greek yogurt is to add it at the END of preparing your smoothie. Blend every other ingredient together before adding the Greek yogurt to ensure that the smoothie does not become too thick. This way you can enjoy some added protein in your smoothie without having to burst the blood vessels in your cheeks when you’re trying to get your smoothie through the straw.
Use Greek Yogurt in the Place of Sour Cream
With this one, the options are endless. A dollop of Greek yogurt on your tacos, a scoop on your baked potato, dip your quesadilla in Greek yogurt- I’m talkin’, end. less.
You can substitute Greek yogurt almost anywhere that you use sour cream. It is higher in protein and lower in saturated fat than sour cream but still gives you that texture and tang that we love from sour cream.
Keep this in mind when you are planning your meals for the week. Using Greek yogurt as a sauce, topping, or dip for veggies is a great way to make sure that you get through the entire container (delicious and no food waste- a win win!).
The holy grail of sauces (in my professional opinion). Tzatziki goes on sandwiches, salads, Greek meatballs, and every single other thing you can think of. Not only is it versatile, but it is so easy to make. Making a large batch of tzatziki in the beginning of the week ensures that you will have plenty of garlicky goodness to pair with anything your heart desires.
This is how I make my tzatziki:
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup cucumber, diced with seeds removed
1.5 Tbsp minced fresh dill
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Spoon all of the seeds out of the cucumber (this is important- if you don’t do this, you will have watery tzatziki) and dice. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed. I typically let my tzatziki sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let the garlic flavor develop before I use it on anything. It will last about five days in the fridge!
If you want to use your Greek yogurt as a healthy dessert- try out some frozen yogurt! You can use your creativity here but, as we said before, start with plain yogurt and choose your own ingredients to flavor it.
Here are a few ideas to get you started (blend in the food processor until combined and then freeze in a container):
Plain Greek Yogurt + Fresh Strawberries + 2 Tbsp Honey
Plain Greek Yogurt + Blueberries + 2 Tbsp Agave + 1 tsp Cinnamon
Plain Greek Yogurt + 1 Banana + 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter + 1 Tbsp Honey
Plain Greek Yogurt + 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup + 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Well, if you made it this far, welcome to the best thing that has ever happened to. I don’t even know how to describe this Blueberry Zucchini Bread.
It’s… perfect? Life changing? The only thing you are going to need to achieve real happiness???
I am begging you. If you are standing in the grocery store, scared and alone on a Sunday, debating whether or not to buy the tub of Greek yogurt- buy it. And then buy everything else you need for this recipe and make it as soon as humanly possible. Call your roommate/boyfriend/mother/dog while you are in the checkout line and ask them to please preheat the oven to 350 degrees so that when you get home, you can start immediately.
Okay, that is the drama, but seriously- you need this. This bread is refined sugar free and the secret ingredient is….
You guessed it…
The yogurt makes this treat super dense and satisfying. I mean seriously, you can’t beat this bread. Here is the link to my recipe:
I bet you didn’t think you’d spend your time today reading about all of the different ways Greek yogurt can change your life, but I am sure glad you did! I hope you guys try all of these different ways to use your Greek yogurt! They are absolutely some of my favorite recipes and tricks and I hope you love them as much as I do.
As always, if you have any questions, you are interested in a customized meal plan, or you just want to chat about anything nutrition/life related, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!!
I can also be reached via Direct Message on Instagram: @saltandsagenutrition.
Talk soon friends xoxo