Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist
When Greek yogurt first appeared on the market, it was a novel take on its “regular”, thin-textured first cousin. Greek yogurt brings together so many elements – function, nourishment, and indulgence. As a dietitian, I was excited that something that was already good for you (milk) could be transformed again into yet another delicious food with a host of nutrition and culinary benefits. Win Win!
How does Greek yogurt benefit us? The recently released Dietary Guidelines point to yogurt as being one of the foods that can help children and adults get to the recommended three servings of dairy per day. Greek yogurt contains high quality protein, complimented by about 20% of the Daily Value of calcium. Adults and children need more calcium, best from food sources – Greek yogurt is a tasty way to improve those statistics. Probiotics are also important, with yogurt a primary food source for Americans.
Other nutrition attributes include a very low quantity of lactose – less than 5% in plain Greek yogurt, so it is a good fit for those who want to have dairy but struggle with lactose issues. Chobani’s fruited and blended yogurts have about 40% less added sugars than some others, and their Simply 100 line uses monkfruit or stevia sweeteners – natural sweeteners that have no calories. The sweetener information is important – there is a lot of nutrition education focusing on added sugars, but yogurts only account for 2% of added sugars to the American food supply – in other words, Americans are not getting the majority of added sugars from Greek yogurt.
Creamy, rich, natural, sweet, savory, indulgent, heritage, craft, community, sustainable, transparent, high protein, nutritious, probiotics, smooth …..so many ways to describe this time-honored/new age staple food!
My Chobani journey ended with a yummy blended Key lime Greek yogurt – as I enjoyed it, I was already thinking of the different recipes I could make with it – like Key lime Greek Yogurt frozen bites in mini puff pastry cups, and Key lime parfait with raspberries – no recipe required. As we journeyed together on this cow-to-cup tour throughout June Dairy month, we have enjoyed Greek yogurt in so many ways. We began with breakfast recipes to start our day; sipped and savored our way through the month, and end it now on a sweet note – I hope we have mooooooved you to enjoy some Greek yogurt today!