In the delicious, competing world of dairy products, Greek yoghurt has nudged its way into yoghurt stardom. If you're reading this, quite possibly your grocery trolley too!
This blog post is sponsored by The Collective; a New Zealand dairy and plant yoghurt company. I’m excited to be working alongside them to share the wonderful (and nutritious) joys of yoghurt.
As always, all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Nourish & Tempt possible.
Greek yoghurt…oh so, creamy-dreamy.
It’s revered for its thick glossy texture, tangy taste, nutritional benefits and stand-a-spoon-in-it consistency. With a global market poised to hit approximately 10.2 billion USD by 2024 (1), there’s no doubt Greek will keep hanging about on supermarket shelves.
Today’s blog is a deep dive into Greek yoghurt, along with twenty creative ways to celebrate more of it in the kitchen.
To Start – Yoghurt Making 101
Regular and Greek yoghurt are both classified as cultured, or fermented, dairy products. They have the same base ingredients and go through fermentation (a metabolic process where bacteria, yeasts and other iddy biddy organisms create desirable change in food and drink).
In a yoghurt making nutshell milk is heated and then cooled to an ideal fermentation temperature range. Live cultures, or ‘good’ bacteria, are added, which ferment the naturally occurring milk sugars (lactose), converting to lactic acid. As lactic acid is, well, acidic, it makes the milk more acidic, causing milk proteins to coagulate aka come together.
This gives rise to yoghurt’s thickened texture and unique tart taste – and hey presto, you have yoghurt!
How is Greek Different to Regular Yoghurt?
Despite the same process, not all final yoghurt pottles are equal – their end taste, texture and nutritional profiles can differ.
Zoning in on Greek yoghurt, after fermentation whey and other liquids are removed or eliminated (2). This switches up the end product:
Texture-wise. Removing whey and other yoghurts makes yoghurt thicker and denser, with more milk required to make a batch the same size. While you can pour many classic yoghurts, Greek yoghurt is superbly dense.
Taste-wise. Greek is tangier – the more concentrated the product, the more concentrated the flavour. This flavour profile offers up endless culinary possibilities in the kitchen.
What are the Nutritional Differences of Greek Versus Regular Yoghurt?
Due to the removal of whey and other liquids, Greek yoghurt naturally has nutritional points of difference compared to regular yoghurt. For example:
Protein. Greek yoghurt has almost double the protein compared to regular yoghurt.
Carbohydrates & sugar. The processing of removing whey will also reduce the lactose (a naturally occurring sugar in milk) content in Greek yoghurt, leading to less lactose than regular yoghurt.
Fat. Greek yoghurt contains around three times as much saturated fat compared to non-Greek. This is unless you opt for a lower fat variety, in which it’ll sit very similar to regular lower fat yoghurt.
Sodium. Greek yoghurt will contain almost half the sodium of regular yoghurt.
Is Greek Yoghurt Good for You?
Regular plain yoghurt have always been a nutritious snack option, offering an array of dietary perks. Greek yoghurt is no different. Doubling down on Greek it provides:
Gut-loving probiotics. Live Greek yoghurt is a source of probiotics, which may help support our digestive wellbeing, when eaten or taken in adequate amounts (4).
A source of protein. Protein helps to keep us full for longer (great snack-time idea!).
Essential minerals. Greek yoghurt is a rich source of calcium; a mineral necessary for bones, teeth and muscle contraction.
All-important vitamins. Like the B vitamin crew, important for energy.
Lower in lactose. The milk sugars in Greek are often digested more efficiently, including those with lactose intolerance, compared to other dairy sources of lactose. This is because good bugs aka probiotics help assist digestion!(3) Cool huh?
20 Tasty Ways to Use Greek Yoghurt in the Kitchen
If you’re a fan of Greek yoghurt you’re probably already on the morning yoghurt-fruit-muesli bandwagon. However, there are countless other ways to use Greek yoghurt, whether as the starring hero of a dish or a supporting ingredient role.
Here are twenty creative, something-for-everyone, ways to incorporate more Greek yoghurt into your meals. Note: when it comes to versatility, unflavoured or plain Greek yoghurt is unmatched in the kitchen!
1. Marinade your meat. Bacteria in Greek yoghurt help tenderise meat, making it an ideal marinade counterpart.
2. Swirl overtop of soups. Swirling Greek yoghurt into soups makes them look restaurant-style fancy-pancy, adds creaminess (sans cream), as well as a protein bump.
3. DIY Greek yoghurt salad dressing. Whisk together Greek yoghurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs and salt. Drizzle over salad or roast vegetables.
4. Sour cream swap. It’s Mexican night and you’ve forgotten sour cream…never fear! Swap in Greek yoghurt to dollop over nachos, tacos or burritos for that same creamy-tart taste.
5. Porridge protein boost. Bump up the protein content of your oats by mixing in or topping a bowlful with a dollop of yoghurt.
6. Make yoghurt flatbread. Easiest recipe ever – combine equal parts Greek yoghurt with self-raising flour into a dough. Roll into balls then flatten. Fry in a super hot oiled pan.
7. As a post-workout snack. The combination of carbohydrates and protein make Greek yoghurt an ideal post-gym recovery snack.
8. Level up baking. Triple whammy – Greek yoghurt keeps sweet treats moist, adds creaminess, and its acidic nature encourages leavening by reacting with baking soda. Try it here with this nutritious banana bread loaf recipe.
9. Get in your daily dose of veg with a Greek yoghurt dip. Greek yoghurts thick texture make it an awesome high-protein dip. Flavour with a swirl of sweet chilli or basil pesto.
10. Breakfast yoghurt pops.Take your favourite muesli and yoghurt into popsicle form. Mix Greek yoghurt with muesli, chopped seasonal fruit and honey. Spoon into a popsicle mold, insert a stick and freeze. Good enough for breaky.
11. Turn tomato-based pasta sauces creamy. Add a few big Greek yoghurt dollops to your favourite tomato pasta sauce for creaminess.
12. Go to the tropics with a papaya breakfast boat. Slice papaya in half, spoon and discard the inner black seeds, load with Greek yoghurt, sprinkle over muesli, add a favourite fruit and squeeze of lime. Aloha! Here’s a recipe.
13. Make deviled eggs.An appetiser contender for your next par-tay. Deviled eggs are hard boiled eggs where the yolks mixed with mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, S&P. As an awesome sub, try switching up the mayo with Greek yoghurt next time!
14. Greek yoghurt breakfast parfait. Take breaky up a notch by layering Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and muesli in a jar. A great one to make ahead and take on-the-go!
15. Frozen Greek yoghurt bark. Spread yoghurt onto a tray, decorate with nuts, seeds and freeze-dried fruit, then freeze. Break into shards and enjoy aa a yummy high-protein snack.
16. Indian raita. Can’t take the heat? Add raita. This Indian condiment’s often used to cool down the palate when eating spicy dishes. Simply mix together plain yoghurt, cucumber, coriander, cumin, garam marsala and salt.
17. Whip up a smoothie bowl.Blend Greek yogurt with frozen fruit for a thick need-a-spoon consistency smoothie bowl.
18. Dive a corn chip into guacamole.Avocados super spendy at the mo’? Stretch guacamole and bump up the protein by adding Greek yoghurt to your favourite guacamole recipe.
19. Greek-style cheesecake. Swap out some cream cheese with Greek yoghurt in a no-bake cheesecake.
20. Make frosting.Thick and cream, Greek yoghurt makes an ace butter or cream cheese swap for cake or muffin frosting.
Introducing The Collective
My pick for Greek yoghurt is grassroots Kiwi-owned The Collective. Personally, they’re unrivalled in taste and texture, and I love their ingredients list – it’s short and sweet, exactly what you want for yoghurt.
The Collective offers a range of thick and creamy Greek-style yoghurt; including their Just Greek unsweetened Greek style yoghurt, and mini Greek-style yoghurt scoff’rs (because you’ll scoff them, they’re that good!).
They’ve also just released their new plant Greek-style yoghurt, totally free of dairy and just made with plants (a unique combo of coconut, rice and oat).
This new yoghurt has been formulated to be higher in protein, mimicking how you’d expect the nutritional profile for Greek to look – clever! This yoghurt would be particularly suitable for those who are unable to consume yoghurt due to dietary restrictions or preferences (e.g. veganism, dairy-free or lactose intolerant); but still love the taste and feel of classic Greek.
You can learn more about their epic line-up of products on their website.
Thanks for reading – I hope this blog has provided some fresh ideas for using Greek yoghurt in the kitchen. Now go get spooning!