Greek Yogurt- A great frugal ingredient!

IMG_7966I bet a lot of you see the coupons for Greek yogurt and pass it by.  Maybe you’ve sampled it at Costco or the grocery store and were turned off by it’s thick texture or tart taste.

Greek yogurt (or strained yogurt as it is referred to in other parts of the world) has a lot more going for it than the sugary yogurt in the little cup with a french name.

1- It’s got double the protein than regular yogurt.  That means you’ll stay fuller longer.

2- It’s lower in Carbs. That’s because most Greek yogurts don’t contains all kinds of funky sweeteners.

3- It works well in all kinds of recipes in place of sour cream, mayo, and oil. I use it in baked goods instead of the liquid oil or butter.  It adds a richness without adding fat.

4- It makes a killer chip or veggie dip, baked potato topping, or chili topping plain or dressed up with herbs and spices.

Greek Yogurt is a frugal ingredient because it’s so versatile!  You can eat it as is, dress it up with herbs, fruit, granola, or use it in recipes. We buy the large carton of Fage at Costco every few weeks.  It’s the cheapest place in town for us to get Greek Yogurt. If you aren’t a Costco shopper, keep your eyes open for coupons and sales! Here are just a few:

Here is my favorite dip recipe with Greek Yogurt- perfect for sharing at any potluck!  It’s got  thicker texture, and it’s not for a wimpy chip- I dip pita chips and veggies.

Herbed Yogurt cheese dip

Ingredients

  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 2 T. chopped shallots
  • 2 T. minced onions
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • spray release (like Pam)
  • 3 T. herbs of your choice- I like Mural of Flavor from Penzey’s. (You may want more or less)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I don’t add either)
  • cheese cloth (It’s on the baking aisle at the grocery store)

Directions

  1. Wet the cheesecloth, wring out and stretch over the mouth of a bowl.  Secure with string or a large rubber band.
  2. Gently pour the yogurt over the stretched cheesecloth, and spread evenly over the cheese cloth.  What you are doing is straining out any extra whey (liquid) from the yogurt.  This is cause it to thicken up and make one helluva dip!  You can leave it on the counter for 1-2 hours to drain, as long as the temperature in your house is at or under 75 degrees. (We never turn on the heater at our house, so that’s never a problem).  If you house is warm, you can place the bowl in the fridge.
  3. In the mean time, spray a saucepan with spray release (or you can use a little EVOO if you prefer), and saute the shallots, onions, and garlic over low for 45-50 minutes until they start to caramelize.  Remove from heat, and pour int oa large bowl.  Place in fridge to cool.
  4. After yogurt has drained, scrape the yogurt solids from the cheesecloth into the bowl with the sautéed shallots, onions, and garlic.
  5. Mix well and add herbs.  Place in fridge for a minimum of 1-2 hours before serving.  I make this dip the day before I want to serve it.
  6. Discard the liquid that drained off the yogurt and the used cheesecloth.
  7. Serve the dip with veggies, pita chips, or use it as a topping on your baked potato or chili.

Serves 10-20.

If you like your dips sweet instead of herbs and veggies, you can add a few tablespoons of jelly or jam to strained yogurt and a smidge of cinnamon to make a fruit dip.

 

How do you like to serve Greek Yogurt?

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