Monday, January 4, 2010

Use Greek Yogurt to Lower Fat

The probiotics found in yogurt help boost immunity making it a great winter food, but did you know that yogurt is a great add in to your diet when trying to reduce fat and calories? Of course, like it's partner, regular low fat yogurt, it's good on all on it's own as a snack or even a meal replacement because yogurt can help to keep you away from that snack machine at work when the mid-afternoon hungries roll around. Some varieties on the market now even provide digestive helpers that help with regularity and some provide extra boosts of much needed fiber. But did you know that yogurt has a great place in cooking and even baking?  Low fat or fat free strained yogurt, known as Greek yogurt, is thick and creamy, despite the lack of fat, making it perfect to use in recipes calling for fats.

✓ Low fat Greek yogurt can also often be used where you would normally use sour cream or mayonnaise in a creamy dishes, dips, with pastas, in casseroles, salad dressings, and even as a topping with Mexican dishes or on a baked potato.

✓ Low fat regular or Greek yogurt can often reduce or replace butter, oil, and shortening when baking.

✓ Low fat Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute in many desserts to provide that same rich creaminess fats provide.

✓ Unlike regular yogurt, low fat Greek yogurt doesn't separate, so it holds up to heat making it perfect for making stovetop sauces and adding creaminess to soups, replacing whole milk, heavy cream or half and half in a recipe.

✓ Low fat yogurt or Greek yogurt can be used as a binder instead of eggs to reduce fat when breading foods, like with oven fried fish or chicken.

✓ Low fat Greek yogurt can often be a great stand-in for many recipes that use cream cheese as an ingredient.

Basic Guidelines to Substitute Yogurt to Reduce Fat
☞ Substitute part of the water or milk called for in a recipe by replacing 1/4 of the amount called for with yogurt.

☞ Substitute mayonnaise or sour cream with yogurt cup for cup. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of mayonnaise or sour cream, use 1 cup of yogurt.

☞ Substitute yogurt when a recipe calls for oil, by replacing half of the oil with 3/4s the amount of yogurt. Instead of 1 cup of oil, using 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of yogurt.

☞ Substitute half the butter in a recipe with one-half the amount of yogurt. If a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 1/4 cup of yogurt with 1/2 cup butter.

Experiment! Next time you need to use butter, cream, milk, oil, sour cream, mayonnaise, half and half, whole milk, or cream cheese, consider whether it could be replaced with Greek yogurt and save yourself some calories and fat! So good and so healthy - because it's natural, it's loaded with protein from being concentrated and it has lots of calcium.

The one problem with Greek yogurt however is it's cost. Did you know that you can make your own Greek yogurt at home for a mere fraction of the cost? It's true - I do it all the time! Click right here to find out how.


1 comment:

  1. You've convinced me, but I'm going to have to find a low-cal version - I have Greek yogurt but it's not figure friendly. My version makes wonderful cheese cake.


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