Musings on Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt with Pumpkin and Flaxseed Granola, Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries.

I eat a lot of yogurt.  A LOT.  Non-fat yogurt makes fresh fruit smoothies smoother, brings together granola and fruits for tasty snacks, and takes on flavor for more healthful dips and dressings.  And I happen to actually like yogurt. 

I was first introduced to the concept of Greek yogurt while making Indian cuisine at home a few years ago.  It sounded exotic and difficult to find but eventually I found some and used it sparingly.  It never occurred to me to actually eat it in place of the regular old plain non-fat yogurt I had become accustomed too.  Nope, it was for cooking Indian food only.

When I embarked on my lifestyle change I was confronted with hunger issues.  Significant issues.  As in, I was suddenly willing to eat any small woodland creature that crossed my path or one of my terriers (Niles has the most delicious looking thighs…).   I learned two things very quickly:  Processed foods do not give me the bang for my buck that whole foods do and high carbs/low protein equals one bitchy, starving fat chick. 

This is when I began to look at Greek yogurt as more than just a cooking aid for Indian food and more of an everyday staple.  My non-Greek yogurt of choice had 5g of protein, 11g of sugar and 80mg of sodium per 6 oz serving but its Greek yogurt equivalent boasted 13g of protein, 7g of sugar and 65mg of sodium for the same serving.  I could also pronounce all the ingredients in the Greek yogurt, not so much with the “traditional.”

The biggest issue with Greek yogurt has been that more so than with regular yogurt, is that when it comes to taste not all yogurts are created equal.  I like food.  I like my food to taste good.  I started by going to my traditional yogurt brands and trying their offerings.  Then I went to a few less expensive specialty brands.  I found that I could mix most brands into my morning smoothie without even noticing the flavor but when it came to mixing it with a little honey, granola or fresh fruits for a light snack I couldn’t stomach most of them.  Not even if I closed my eyes, plugged my nose and swallowed quickly.  If I can’t eat it, why bother? 

I finally broke down and shelled out a couple extra dollars for a tub of Fage 0%.  The instant I opened the tub I realized I had been missing something.  The texture, feel and smell were vastly different.  I took a tentative taste and instantly loved it.  I could actually eat it as is.  I didn’t even need honey.  And thus, I have found my Greek yogurt bliss and have now replaced even my favorite snack size packages of traditional yogurt with yummy, tasty, protein rich goodness.  And no woodland creatures or terriers need be harmed.

And now, Ode to Fage:

Delicious thick and creamy goodness;

Light on ingredients, heavy in protein;

Good with fruit, flax or honey;

Oh Fage 0% Greek Yogurt, I love thee.

Yes, I did just write a poem in celebration of my love of Fage.  Mock me if you must, I am secure in my yogurt love.