Greek yogurt cups may be some students’ go-to snack during this final week of classes, but if you’re looking to shake up your routine, remember this: There’s more than one way to eat yogurt.
Dairy yogurt is made by adding bacteria cultures to plain milk that ferment and give the yogurt its classic tart taste. Yogurts are high in calcium and protein, and the cultures have been shown to improve digestive health.
Many standard yogurts lining grocery store shelves are laced with additives and extra sugar, so be sure to read the ingredients list and nutrition facts before making your selection. Natural yogurt options usually only include the milk and cultures, as well as natural sweeteners such as agave or maple syrup and natural flavorings such as vanilla bean.
Greek yogurt, which is strained more than regular yogurt to give it its thickness and more pronounced taste, tends to have more protein and less sugar. Although it is low in calories, it can be high in fat, so opt for nonfat or low-fat choices.
Plain Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to sour cream in many instances, such as when you’re marinating a chicken or choosing a potato salad base. A dollop of yogurt also makes a great addition on top of soup for presentation and taste purposes.
Icelandic-style skyr is a close relative of Greek yogurt. They’re both strained extensively and don’t include the whey of their traditional thin counterparts. It’s a relatively new type of yogurt to hit American shelves, but it’s been made and eaten in Iceland for more than 1,000 years. If you like Greek yogurt, chances are you’ll love skyr.
Nondairy yogurts have also seen a recent boom in production and consumption. They typically feature almonds or coconuts as the base. Skip the store-bought versions, however, and make dairy-free cashew yogurt at home by blending soaked cashews, water, lemon juice and other flavorings.
Plain cashew yogurt can be turned into savory sauces for vegan and vegetarian dishes alike. Try adding chili paste to it and dousing your next tacos with the spicy goodness.
Yogurts of any style can be used in baked goods such as muffins and cakes. Thicker yogurts are best for more dense goods, such as hearty blueberry muffins. The rich taste of chocolate also pairs well with the yogurt’s sour notes.
For a filling breakfast, blend yogurt with bananas, eggs and oats for a healthier take on pancakes. If you’re short on time, add yogurt to your standard smoothie and blend away.
Chia pudding and overnight oats are another way to get in your yogurt intake for the day without much effort. Check out our blueberry chia pudding recipe using Icelandic-style skyr below:
- – 1 cup vanilla Icelandic-style skyr
- – 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- – 1/4 cup chia seeds
- – 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- – Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together until fully incorporated, slightly smashing the blueberries to release some of their juices.
- – Cover with a lid, and place in refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight. Serve and enjoy.