It's All Greek to Me: Greek Yogurt & Why Its Good For You

Feeling a little bland? Did you wake up this morning with the desire to get a little crazy, live on the edge even? Well, no passport required for this cultural experience. Greek yogurt is the filling answer to spice up your life. Contrary to popular yogurt belief, Greek yogurt is not indigenous solely to Greece. The same yummy recipe is made the same way in Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, and even Israel. So technically, Greek yogurt could be called Turkish yogurt or even Lebanese yogurt--it's a yogurt of many nationalities! So, for the rest of this post, I will be putting Greek quotations to accredit all countries for their delicious contribution to the US of A.  

"Greek" yogurt has a different appearance than its distant yogurt cousins. Its initial texture is thicker, richer and creamer than regular yogurt which tends to be lighter and smoother. Also, from what I have heard, it can be an acquired taste. "Greek" yogurt sometimes tends to taste more tart compared to the sweetness of regular yogurt. And, not only being bilingual, "Greek" yogurt has a ton of added health benefits. Here are a few:
  1. 2x the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt! One cup of "Greek" yogurt can have up to 13-20 grams of protein! Hello, Hercules.
  2. It's swimsuit-friendly! It contains less sodium so it will be filling without the bloat. 
  3. It has less carbohydrates which means less lactose! So it's easy to digest for all fellow yogurt lovers with sensitive GI tracts, I got you.
  4. It has a fun texture! "Greek" yogurt is strained to remove the whey which also removes the water causing it to become thicker and more satisfying. 
  5. It's a great cooking and baking substitute. It can be added in lieu of milk or sour cream--which can help make dishes healthier, too!
Now knowing all the health benefits, which brand do you buy? Chobani? Stonyfield? Trader Joe's? Fage? While you could try them all, and I support your decision, it is still a tough choice when bombarded with yogurt options at the grocery store. Since "Greek" yogurt is growing in popularity due to the above factors, many dairy manufacturers are adding this product to their yogurt line-up. There are so many different "Greek" yogurt companies; and, though the recipe is similar, taste can vary between brands. I am not yet a Greek connoisseur, but I did a little research on taste and this is what I found and I made it into a little, handy dandy, fun  personality quiz:

What Does Your Personality Say 
About Your "Greek" Yogurt Brand?

You're bold: You'd love the original, funky "Greek" taste of Fage yogurt. It has more of a sour taste, but you're tough and up for the challenge.

You're simple: You'd appreciate the taste of Chobani. It's a more delicate taste, and a nice "welcome to the club" choice for new "Greek" yogurteers.

You're sweet: You're a fruit on the bottom kind of person, so Stonyfield Oikos would fit your sweet taste. They also have flavors like caramel and chocolate which completes this dessert in a cup.

You always save room for dessert: If you're a person after my own heart and your sweet tooth takes steroids, then Trader Joe's Organic Vanilla Bean is a match for you. It's sweet and creamy while not being overly rich.

No matter your personality, I say go crazy and try every brand; you can't go wrong. Regardless which kind you choose, you are still getting the good-for-you benefits of "Greek" yogurt. It'll be the easiest, cheapest, and most delicious cultural experience in the dairy aisle.

(Sources: http://www.livestrong.com/article/86488-benefits-greek-yogurt/; http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/08/taste-test-greek-yogurts-fage-trader-joes-oikos-chobani-greek-gods-brown-cow.html )


Shaheen said...

I really like Greek yogurt plain and tend to add honey or fresh berries to it - delicious.


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