The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt and Frozen Yogurt
What Is Greek Yogurt?
Quite simply, Greek yoghurt is a regular yoghurt that has been strained to remove the whey or the liquid part of the yoghurt. It is also called labneh, strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese and hung yoghurt.
As the water has been strained out the yoghurt becomes denser, thicker and creamier than the regular yoghurt. On a weight to weight basis, it has more nutritional value than the regular yoghurt.
The whey can be separated from the yoghurt by using cheesecloth, a muslin cloth, a paper bag or a filter.
Greek yoghurt is available in no fat, low fat and full-fat varieties as well.
The Origin Of Greek Yogurt
Traditionally, Greek yoghurt originated in Greece, hence the name. Sheep milk was originally used to make this yoghurt which had a tangier taste. For the US market, cow's milk was substituted for the sheep milk.
Fage is one popular brand of Greek yoghurt that is produced in Greece and is exported to the USA.
Greek Yogurt vs Regular Yogurt
Both types of yoghurt - Regular & Greek - are healthy, make no mistake about it. Of the two, however, Greek yoghurt is healthier. Let's see why!
The removal of whey removes a lot of sugar and in effect, calories, while increasing the amount of protein which is almost double due to it becoming denser as compared to the same volume of regular yoghurt.
Even low-fat Greek yoghurt is creamier due to its density. It has more tang than regular yoghurt.
Greek yoghurt has much lower lactose than regular yoghurt. This is beneficial for people who are lactose intolerant as it makes digesting it easier.
Greek yoghurt does not curdle at high temperatures and hence it can be added to hot dishes, unlike regular yoghurt.
Why Is Greek Yogurt More Expensive Than Regular Yogurt?
Not only the imported variety, but even the Greek yoghurt made in the US is also more expensive than the regular yoghurt as more milk is needed to produce the same quantity of both the yoghurt by volume.
Sometimes the milk used to produce Greek yoghurt is boiled for some time to evaporate some water and make the milk thick. To enrich it further extra butterfat and milk powder is also added.
As the strained yoghurt or Greek yoghurt is devoid of whey it becomes creamy and dense. The straining of whey removes sugar and carbohydrates contained in the yoghurt and makes for low-fat Greek yoghurt.
One can make Greek yoghurt at home in your very own yoghurt maker.
Nutrition Facts - Greek Yogurt & Regular Yogurt
Greek Yogurt vs Regular Yogurt
Serving Size - 6 Ounces (170 Grams)
15 - 20
5 - 8
13 - 17
Saturated Fat gms
Much more than in Regular Yogurt
Less than in Greek Yogurt
What To Avoid In Greek Yogurt ?
As Greek yoghurt is a healthier food choice, it would be better if the following are kept in mind while purchasing it.
- Choose a variety that has no additives, fillers or empty calories.
- Choose the type that is free of gluten so that it can be consumed by those allergic to it.
- It should be free of animal fats or gelatin thereby being vegetarian friendly.
- It should only contain natural sugar.
- Good quality and well made Greek yoghurt does not need thickeners or other ingredients to improve its texture, consistency or taste.
Uses Of Greek Yogurt
Greek yoghurt can be used in much the same way as sour cream and more.
It can be eaten as it is or topped with maple syrup, olive oil, honey, chocolate syrup, muesli, fruits, dry fruits. In fact, anything that catches your fancy.
It can be used to make dips, sauces, added to smoothies, shakes, popsicles, parfaits, muffins etc.
There are numerous other ways to get creative with Greek yoghurt.
Berry Greek Frozen Yogurt
About Frozen Greek Yogurt
Sales of Greek yoghurt have risen by over 100% in the last 3 years. To cash in, the frozen foods industry has jumped in.
Among a survey done, it was found that most of the Greek yoghurts that are frozen lost the creamy tang that is associated with it. Rather it tasted like ice cream or regular frozen yoghurt.
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