5 Uses for Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt for Athletes
As a Sports Dietitian, I am always looking for high-protein food items that athletes can enjoy in a variety of ways. Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt is a great option for athletes looking to boost the protein content of their meals and snacks.
Let’s take a look at the nutrient content of Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt. Then we will explore 5 ways athletes can use Greek yogurt in their meals and recipes
Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt: Nutrition Facts
Athletic teams frequently shop at Costcto® Wholesale. Thus, it can be helpful to identify high-protein items at Costco that teams can purchase for their athletes.
Costco’s Kirkland Organic Plain Greek Yogurt contains the following nutrients in a ⅔ cup (6-oz) serving:
- 100 calories
- 18 grams protein
- 0 grams fat
- 7 grams carbohydrates
- 0 grams added sugar
- 220 mg calcium (20% daily value)
- 270 mg potassium (8% daily value)
If you are not familiar with Greek yogurt, one of the main differences between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is the protein content. One 6-oz serving of Kirkland Greek yogurt contains 18 grams of protein. For comparison, a 6-oz serving of regular yogurt has ~9 grams of protein (1).
Protein Needs of Athletes
Protein recommendations for athletes are based upon body weight. Athletes are encouraged to consume ~0.25 grams of protein per kg of body weight with meals and snacks spaced evenly throughout the day (2). For most athletes this calculates to be approximately 25-30 grams of protein with each meal.
Incorporating Greek yogurt into meals and snacks can help athletes with meeting their daily protein needs. Kirkland Greek yogurt also contains calcium, which is important for supporting bone health in athletes.
5 Great Uses for Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt
Now that you are aware of the protein content of Kirkland Greek yogurt, let’s identify 5 ways for incorporating it into an athlete’s sports nutrition meal plan.
#1 Power-Up with Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt at Breakfast
There are a variety of ways that Kirkland Greek yogurt can be enjoyed at breakfast to help athletes with meeting their protein needs.
Athletes can use Kirkland Greek yogurt as the base for a fruit and yogurt parfait. Simply layer together Greek yogurt, mixed berries (I use frozen), and granola or whole grain breakfast cereal. The berries will add natural sweetness to the yogurt and the granola/cereal will provide an added crunch.
If you are looking for a breakfast on-the-go idea, consider taking time on the weekend to meal prep overnight oats. The Greek yogurt will increase the protein content of the overnight oats and give the recipe a rich, creamy consistency.
Greek Yogurt Pancakes and Muffins
Another way athletes can enjoy Greek yogurt at breakfast is as an ingredient for making pancakes or muffins. This is a great way to increase the protein content of your favorite breakfast items. Check out this recipe for Greek Yogurt Pancakes from Lauren Ott, Registered Dietitian.
If you like muffins, the Bob’s Red Mill® Apple Oatmeal Crisp Muffins made with Greek yogurt are a delicious option to enjoy at breakfast or for an afternoon snack.
#2 Blend Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt into a Smoothie for Added Nutrition
Greek yogurt can be an easy way to boost the protein content of your smoothie without using a protein powder. Blending 6-oz of Kirkland Greek yogurt into the smoothie will add 18 grams of protein as well as calcium. Athletes can further boost the protein content of their fruit smoothie by blending in high-protein milk, dry milk, nut butters, or chia seeds.
A post-workout smoothie made with Greek yogurt can support athletes with meeting their recovery nutrition needs. Following a workout, athletes should consume carbohydrates to refill their energy stores and protein to build and repair muscles. A well-planned smoothie can be a nutritious solution for meeting these recovery nutrition needs.
Athletes can experiment with adding different types of frozen fruit, spices, and other ingredients to create a variety of smoothie flavor combinations.
#3 Mix Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt into Your Chicken, Tuna, or Egg Salad
Greek yogurt can be used in place of mayonnaise in recipes such as chicken, tuna, or egg salad. I suggest adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice as well as some Dijon mustard to further enhance the flavor of the recipe.
Substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise will help decrease the fat content of your recipe. This is a great way for athletes to create a protein-packed recipe they can enjoy on a sandwich for lunch or with crackers for an afternoon snack.
#4 Use Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt as a Substitute for Sour Cream
Kirkland Greek yogurt can also be used as a substitute for sour cream in recipes. Similar to mayonnaise, adding lemon juice to the Greek yogurt will give the recipe a flavor closer to that of sour cream.
Athletes can substitute Greek yogurt in dips that call for sour cream. This will create a high-protein dip athletes can enjoy as a snack or appetizer before a meal. My personal favorite is Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip.
Athletes can also use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream as a condiment with their meals at lunch or dinner. Consider trying it as a protein-packed topping on baked potatoes, burrito bowls, tacos, or chili.
#5 Make Some Creamy and Delicious Guacamole
Finally, Kirkland Greek yogurt can be added as an ingredient when preparing guacamole. Mixing in Greek yogurt will make the guacamole creamy and boost the protein and calcium content of the recipe.
Avocados are an excellent way for athletes to add healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber to their diets. I typically make Greek yogurt guacamole by mashing together 2 medium avocados and then stirring in ⅓ cup Kirkland Greek yogurt. I then flavor the guacamole with fresh, squeezed lemon juice, onion and garlic powders, salt, and pepper to taste.
This nutrient dense topping can be used as a dip with fresh veggies and pita chips, added as a spread on sandwiches, or enjoyed as an accompaniment with an athlete’s meal.
5 Uses for Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt for Athletes
You are now set with 5 ideas for using Costco’s Kirkland Greek Yogurt to boost the protein content of an athlete’s meals and snacks. Consider trying out these ideas the next time you purchase Greek yogurt at Costco.
For additional sports nutrition tips, check out my blog: 21 Healthy Snacks for Athletes to Support Performance.
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About the Author
Mandy is a Sports Dietitian Nutritionist in the San Antonio, TX area. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Licensed Athletic Trainer, and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Mandy has experience working with athletes at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. She believes the key to reaching one’s full potential, both in everyday life and in sports performance, relies on a healthy nutritional foundation. Learn more about the work Mandy does here.