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Our Blog: November 6, 2023

Endless Ways to Use Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is a diverse dairy product often enjoyed during breakfast, lunch, or snack time. It comes plain or in a multitude of flavors as well as various fat contents (fat free, reduced fat, and whole milk).

Over the last decade, there has been a lot of change in the yogurt aisle at the supermarket including the introduction of Greek yogurt. True Greek yogurt is unique in that it is always thick and creamy due to the straining process used to remove whey. Whey is a liquid that contains lactose (a natural sugar found in milk). What’s left behind is a custardy yogurt rich in protein.

Greek-style yogurt is also thick and creamy but gets this way by manufacturers adding a thickening agent to regular yogurt. Because the process is different, it may not contain the same health benefits as true Greek yogurt which contains a wide range of nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Protein
  • Probiotics
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B12

Eating Greek yogurt may improve bone health, boost metabolism, improve gut health, assist with building muscle mass, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In addition to the nutritional and potential health benefits, Greek yogurt is versatile and tastes great! Here are a few ways to enjoy it throughout the day:

  1. Top Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. Try berries, bananas, and peaches.
  2. Add a little granola and chopped nuts to create a simple, filling breakfast.
  3. Use it as the base for sweet or savory dips.
  4. Make creamy homemade salad dressings.
  5. Add it to soups for a creamy texture.
  6. Use plain Greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute on baked potatoes, in mashed potatoes, or with any Mexican dish or even baking recipes.
  7. Swirl a dollop into oatmeal or make overnight oats with it.
  8. Add a dollop to your pancakes for an extra creamy texture.
  9. Use it in place of mayonnaise for chicken, egg, tuna, or pasta salads.
  10. Add it to smoothies for an extra dose of protein.

Watch out for the sugar content of flavored Greek yogurt (or all yogurt for that matter). Some contain upwards of 16 grams of sugar (which is equivalent to 4 tsp. of sugar) per serving. Instead, you may opt to buy plain yogurt and flavor it yourself. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:  

Greek Ranch Dip


1 ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried dill
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. 
About the Author

Nicole Spain, MS, RDN

Childhood nutrition has been Nicole’s passion for more than 20 years. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Dietetics from Northern Illinois University. During her career with Learning Care Group (LCG), Nicole has assisted with developing and implementing the company’s proprietary Grow Fit program. Through her curated menus, the healthy lifestyle initiative positively impacts approximately 100,000 children daily in LCG’s 1,050+ schools. She aided in the rollout of the Veggies Early & Often campaign in 2021 and helped LCG be recognized as the 2017 Partner of the Year by the Partnership for a Healthier America. Since 2004, she’s also been an active Junior League member and developed the Kids in the Kitchen program for their Detroit and Milwaukee chapters. Nicole and her husband, John, have three children. In her spare time, Nicole competes on a rowing team with the Detroit Boat Club Crew.