this post is sponsored by Oikos. i’ve been compensated for my time but all opinions contained within are my own.
I’m sure most of you won’t be surprised at this point to hear that Greek yogurt is a smart and nutritious option to incorporate into your diet. For those of you that have followed me for a long time, you know that I’m a big fan and work it into my snacks and meals almost daily. As such, I’m excited to be teaming up with Oikos today to bring you five of my absolute favorite ways to utilize this delicious and nutritious dietary staple!
As a Post-Workout Snack
I’ve spoken a lot about snacks on the blog in the past, but I haven’t touched too much on snacking post-workout. While in school pursuing my Masters in Nutrition and Registered Dietitian credentials I was fortunate enough to take an Exercise Physiology course where we learned all about the ideal refuel post-exertion. The two most important nutrients to aid your body in refueling and recovery after a workout are protein and carbohydrate. And it just so happens that yogurt is a great mix of both of these macronutrients. Greek Dannon Oikos plain non-fat greek yogurt in particular packs 15g of high-quality protein (helping aid in muscle recovery) and 6g of carbohydrate (which helps replenish those stores utilized during exercise) per 5.3 oz cup. It’s literally the easiest, most portable post-workout snack. Oikos also has drinkable yogurts which are awesome to throw into your gym back and gulp down post-workout on your way to your next activity – no blender, shaker or spoon required!
As an Ice Cream Alternative
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that I love a good yogurt-for-dessert option. I frequently go right past the ice cream aisle and instead load up my cart with some plain Greek yogurt! I love using plain Greek yogurt as a base for an ice cream alternative because it can literally take on ANY flavor I’m craving (an extra bonus for my wallet as I’m not buying 6 different flavored pints of ice cream!). You can blend it with fresh or frozen berries for a fresher ice cream-like treat or dark chocolate for a more decadent option. You can also just top it with your favorite frozen yogurt toppings (I’m a huge fan of chocolate chips and nuts). If you ask me, it’s much better to have a completely customizable option than be stuck with a single flavor of ice cream. Not only that, but it also contains way less sugar than your typical ice creams out there and much more protein (meaning this sweet treat will give you more nutritional benefits).
Great Start For Your Morning
As I’m sure you’ve gathered from this post so far, throwing some Greek yogurt into your grocery cart is never a bad idea. There are just so many uses for it. Take the morning for example, whether you’re rushing out the door or sitting down for a leisurely breakfast, there’s no end to the number of ways you can incorporate it to round out your meal. As many of you know, with each meal I suggest you aim to include whole grains, protein, carbohydrates, fruit and/or vegetables and a source of heart-healthy fat. If you have no time, you can easily grab a drinkable yogurt or a single serve cup, a piece of fruit and a baggie of whole grain, nut & seed mix to eat once you get to your destination. You’re covering all your needed macronutrients and not wasting a minute! I’m also a huge fan of a yogurt bowls. The yogurt covers your protein and some carbohydrate which I then love to top it with granola for some whole grains, chia seeds and/or nut butter for heart-healthy fats and fresh fruit for a fully balanced meal. Greek yogurt also goes amazingly well on top of whole grain waffles along with nut butter and fruit for a well-rounded meal. You can also throw it into fruit and veggie-based smoothies adding protein and some carbohydrate as well as a thick, creamy texture! Drink it alongside a piece of toast with nut butter and you’ve got a great start to your day!
As an Alternative for Sour Cream
I love using plain nonfat Greek yogurt as an alternative to sour cream. First of all, I think it tastes better! Second of all, it not only packs a powerful protein punch (Dannon® Oikos® Plain Greek Nonfat Yogurt offers 15g protein per 5.3 oz cup) but it also contains 0g saturated fat (versus 3.5g in just 2 tablespoons of sour cream) and more calcium (which is good for many things including our muscles and bones!). As meat and dairy-eating Americans, many of us get more saturated fat than we need on a daily basis, so if you’re already eating a meal full of cheese and meat, swapping plain Greek yogurt for sour cream is a flavorful and nutritious choice!
As an Alternative to Butter in Baking
Plain Greek yogurt also makes a wonderful substitution for some of the butter in baking. Not only does it serve to reduce some of the calories and saturated fat in the recipe, but it also makes for a super moist end product – a double win if you ask me! A good rule of thumb is to replace half the amount of butter a recipe calls for with half the amount of Greek yogurt. So for example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you would use 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt.
So there you have it! My top 5 favorite uses for Greek yogurt! I hope you found this post helpful – feel free to share YOUR favorite ways for using Greek yogurt in the comments below, I’d love to hear!9