Super Food: YOGURT

Today’s Foodie Friday Post:

_MG_0587Yogurt: the dreamy, creamy white stuff of angels.  So much has been written and waxed poetic about it.  But I think it’s yucky. It’s not the look of it or the smooth texture.  It isn’t that it is eaten cold and it is a healthy dairy product.  It’s just that darn sour part; oh, and the weird chalky aftertaste I get on my tongue.  EWWWW…. Also, I do have a lactose intolerance problem, so even if I adored the natural pudding,  it would leave me sick in a short while.  Therefore, if I indulge in such a thing, I have it in small doses (1/4 cup at most) and I mix it in with a plethora of other devices to mask that sour taste.

Here is the awesome news about yogurt; and I’m not referring to that abomination that is candy colored-artificially sweetened-dessert inspired- nonsense:

“Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you substances. Yogurt is a vehicle food that can be enriched with probiotics for a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, and beneficial, heart-healthy plant stanols. And lactose sensitive people may tolerate yogurt better than milk. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Versatile yogurt can also be used in entree and bakery recipes, in dips for veggies, etc. Don’t like yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. ‘Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition — and in just the right balance,’ says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. ‘No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical.’ ”

This info was swiped from the article “10 Everyday Super Foods” from WebMD.

So, what did I do with my yogurt research? For the record I used 2% Greek Yogurt for my recipes and wouldn’t have it any other way diet or not.  Eating it any other way wouldn’t create the proper texture I was after.  And, it must be said, I did not eat a lot of it at once.  So having the slightly higher fat version is ok in my book if that is the way you will eat it too.  Otherwise, if I were to dig straight out of the carton, I would probably eat a 0% fat version.

First Recipe: Yogurt Sauce

_MG_0568This sauce is more commonly known as Tzatziki in Greek cultures. It usually has cucumber in the sauce, but since I wanted it to last several days in the fridge, I omitted that part so it would stay fresh and not sog out from the water being leeched by the grated cucumber.  Feel free to add or take away as you please. For heaven’s sake, it’s just a sauce…but will you ever WOW your friends with this one!

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

3-4 garlic cloves crushed and chopped

Fresh or dried dill and mint to taste (1/2 – 3 Tbsp depending on which you choose)

2 Tbsp good olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Salt & Pepper

Mix and season to taste with whatever you think it needs more or less of.  If less, add more yogurt to even it out.

Second Recipe: Spiced Yogurt Chicken

_MG_0572MMMMM….this was as good as it looks.  I grilled these babies and used chicken breasts that weren’t full sized.  I just don’t need all that meat in one sitting.  But do as you please.  The recipe calls for normal sized breasts. This one I stole from here.

  • 2 1/4 cups plain yogurt (18 oz; preferably whole-milk)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb total)

Marinate chicken in all the spices and yogurt-olive oil-lemon juice for 30 minutes to 24 hours in a plastic bag or bowl of choice.  I say, the longer the better. Then grill, bake or saute to your delight. This can go in a salad or by itself or chopped up into a casserole………

See the way I paired my chicken with a simple cucumber and tomato salad and plain potatoes.  That sauce really hit the spot for all three elements to come together:

_MG_0577And oh yeah, there’s one more: Yogurt-Banana-Oat Smoothie

_MG_0582Great for breakfast or afternoon snack.  This may not sound appetizing at first, but it really is and it fills you up. Yes, I did go over my dairy allowance, but you could substitute Almond Milk or Soy for regular milk. Also, it has been mentioned before and I probably will continue to do so, there must be credit the GREAT Martha S. for this one on her iPad app Whole Living Smoothies: Banana + Oat

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk (your choice of fat)

1/2 Tbsp honey

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tsp flaxseed

1/2 chopped up frozen banana

1/2 cup ice

cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla extract if you want

Blend, blend, blend-then apply to face.

PLEASE TRY! 🙂

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