As a Sports Dietitian, I am always looking for foods packed with nutrients that can be used in recipes in a variety of ways. Greek yogurt is one super food with many nutrition benefits that I highly recommend.
If you are not familiar with the nutritional benefits of Greek yogurt, one cup has ~21 grams of protein. For comparison purposes, a cup of regular yogurt only has ~7 grams of protein. I encourage athletes to consume 25-30 grams of protein with each meal. Finding ways to incorporate Greek yogurt into meals can help athletes in accomplishing this goal. Greek yogurt is also a great source of calcium and some brands of Greek yogurt add in Vitamin D as well.
Looking for ideas on how to add Greek yogurt into your daily meal plan? Here are 5 of my top tips for incorporating this nutritious food into your diet.
#1 Power-Up with Greek Yogurt at Breakfast
Many athletes find it difficult to get in adequate protein at breakfast – Greek yogurt can be a great solution to this dilemma. Consider using Greek yogurt as the base for a fruit & yogurt parfait, adding as an ingredient in overnight oats, or mixing together Greek yogurt and honey or fruit preserves for a delicious topping on pancakes.
#2 Blend Greek Yogurt into a Smoothie for Added Nutrition
If you want to boost the protein content of your smoothie without using a protein powder, try adding in 6 oz of Greek yogurt. I typically add Chobani® Vanilla Greek Yogurt into my smoothies for added flavor and creaminess. This is a simple way to enhance the protein and calcium content of your favorite fruit smoothie.
#3 Use as a Substitute for Sour Cream
Plain, unflavored Greek yogurt can easily be used as a substitute for sour cream in recipes. The next time you make chili, try stirring in a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. You can also use plain Greek yogurt as a topping on your baked potatoes or tacos.
If you are making any dips that call for sour cream, substituting Greek yogurt creates a dip packed with nutrition. My personal favorite is Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip – delicious!
#4 Mix into Your Chicken or Tuna Salad
Similar to sour cream, plain Greek yogurt can be used in place of mayonnaise when making chicken or tuna salad. If you add a squeeze of lemon juice and some Dijon mustard it will further enhance the flavor of your recipe. Substituting Greek yogurt in your chicken and tuna salad recipes will ensure you have a protein packed lunch!
#5 Make Some Creamy and Delicious Guacamole
Adding Greek yogurt to guacamole will not only make the guacamole extra creamy and delicious – it is an easy way to add in protein and calcium. This nutrient dense topping can be used as a dip with fresh veggies and pita chips, added as a spread on sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to your meal.
Next time you are at the store, buy some Greek yogurt and try out some of these ideas. Comment below and share other creative ideas you have for adding Greek yogurt into your meal plan!