Greek Yogurt Madness

You don’t have to scroll very far on Pinterest to realize that greek yogurt is a pretty popular health food. My favorite three reasons to eat greek yogurt are:

1. Protein. Protein is what makes you feel “full” at meal time or snack time…it helps you maintain a healthy weight…and it helps you recover after a hard workout. We need protein and greek yogurt has almost twice as much protein as regular yogurt!
2. Probiotics, which help improve digestion and make our immune systems stronger.
3. Versatility. I love to eat yogurt as a snack with nuts or granola (or peanut butter Cheerios), but I also realized that I can replace some higher-calorie ingredients in other recipes with greek yogurt. The thick texture and rich flavor make it a perfect substitute for milk, sour cream, or cream cheese.
{Read more about greek yogurt from this source.}

I’ve tried many different brands of greek yogurt, but I cannot jump on the Chobani bandwagon! My favorite is Dannon Light & Fit.

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There are a TON of crazy flavors out there now! I usually stick to vanilla (it’s just my favorite) but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a bit. 🙂 Notice that even though this is Greek yogurt, the crazy (or fun) flavor adds a little debate to it…is it as healthy as it could be? Most likely, there is added sugar and such to give this the perfect flavor. Some people think this isn’t “healthy” or something that can be considered “real food” since it contains other added ingredients. They believe eating plain greek yogurt in its purest form is the healthy way, but I think a compromise is acceptable every once in awhile. I try to eat as much “real food” as possible but I don’t have any super strict guidelines for myself. So occasionally, you will see me eating something “healthy” that might also have some not-so-healthy ingredients, like artificial flavoring. That is just my opinion and you should eat what you believe. I have never baked with caramel apple pie greek yogurt, but I have baked with my beloved vanilla. Here is one way you can eat greek yogurt without a spoon. 🙂

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Going back in the iPhoto archives, I found these cupcakes that I made in the summer of 2013. 🙂 That is the first summer I started experimenting with food and recipes in the kitchen. The left is what they are supposed to look like…mine are on the right. 😉 You will need:

2 Dannon Light & Fit vanilla greek yogurt cups (or approximately 10 oz. greek yogurt)
1 1/2 cups Truvia
2 egg whites
3/4 cup flour
2 T milk of choice
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Mix ingredients, pour in muffin tins, and bake on 350* for 15-20 minutes!

Then there are the possibilities of plain greek yogurt. Vanilla works well too, but depending on what you’re making, you might not want the vanilla flavor and prefer or need something plain. Now, because PLAIN greek yogurt is supposed to be so good for me, I have tried it on a handful of occasions. And I’m not going to lie, I have thrown it away more times than I’ve eaten it.

Plain greek yogurt has quite a bitter taste. Dare I even say…sour. I would not recommend scooping plain greek yogurt out the container into your bowl, but maybe we have different palates. 🙂 In any case, here are a few ways I have found I can disguise plain greek yogurt to reap all the health benefits without sacrificing my taste buds.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

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(source)

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This dip can become a protein powerhouse if you add plain greek yogurt! The above image is from Frank’s RedHot website because that’s the recipe I like to use. I just simply replaced the cream cheese with greek yogurt and BAM! My mom is the one who taught me to favor recipes that don’t call for many ingredients, and this one sure wins with only five! We also like to eyeball most ingredients (i.e. desired amount of hot sauce and cheese), but I was a little more specific for you. 🙂

1 cup plain greek yogurt
*The recipe calls for one block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese which is 8 oz.*
1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot sauce
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 shredded cheese of choice
Shredded chicken breast
Combine all ingredients and bake on 350* for 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until melted.
*Let the dip “set” in the pan when you remove it from the oven. The greek yogurt does change the consistency a bit and the few minutes to cool after cooking are important.*

Protein Pancakes

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For every protein pancake recipe you see, there are five more. I have tried many and my favorite “from scratch” includes bananas and oats but that’s another story. These are a recent find from Nikki over at Antos Does Life. I made them on Friday morning and they were delicious! You could definitely get creative with toppings. I just had mine with Walden Farms syrup and I was good to go. Typically pancakes and waffles don’t keep me feeling full for very long, but I went about my day for four hours before I ate again. That’s a serious win for me! Here’s what you will need if you’re whipping these up for breakfast (or dinner)!

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 T all purpose flour
1 packet of Splenda (I used Stevia)
1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking soda
Whisk ingredients in a bowl and cook pancakes as usual.

And now…the most recent discovery…

Plain Greek Yogurt. In a bowl. As a snack.

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“Add frozen fruit.”
“Add PB2.”

“Add cocoa powder.”
“Add cinnamon and nuts.”
“Add sweetener.”

People. I have tried it all. I usually get my bowl out in excitement…get the “extras” lined up on the counter…create a concoction that lasts for one bite and then ditch it. TODAY I perfected my bowl of plain greek yogurt.

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
splash of vanilla extract
a little bit of Truvia
a few shakes of cinnamon
…and my favorite topping. 🙂

I’m not going to say it’s better than my beloved Dannon vanilla greek yogurt…but I definitely didn’t want to spit this mixture out! I was Googling ideas and found a comment that said “five drops of vanilla extract and sweetener” made a world of difference…so I decided to try it. The first bite was not exactly what I was expecting, but it was good enough to eat the whole bowl and that has never happened before! You can see that my measurements are not so specific;) That won’t exactly help in recreating this snack, but at least now I know what to combine!

– Are you a fan of plain greek yogurt?

– What’s your favorite “healthy” snack?

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5 thoughts on “Greek Yogurt Madness

  1. I actually love plain Greek yogurt! And regular plain yogurt as well – vanilla and flavored yogurts are too sweet for me. Favorite recipe using plain yogurt (Greek or regular):

    1-2 bananas
    2 cups plain yogurt
    2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter (I prefer natural – again, not much of a sweet tooth here)
    2 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder

    (All measurements approximate and can be adjusted). Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth, and enjoy – this is my all-time favorite post-long-run recovery shake. High in protein, delicious chocolate-peanut butter-banana flavor, and no added sugar (if you use plain yogurt and natural peanut butter). Super easy to make, and delicious!

  2. Hey Kylie! Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog!! Anyway, I cannot wait to try those Greek yogurt muffins. I need a treat that won’t undue all of the work I’ve been doing.

    Also, I miss seeing you at school. SOE14 ☺️

  3. Hey Kylie! I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog! Also, I cannot wait to try these Greek yogurt muffins. I really wanted to find a treat that wouldn’t undue all of my hard work.

    Miss seeing you at Duquesne. SOE14!

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