Going Greek

When I began trying to eat cleaner, I was always looking for alternatives to things like cream, mayonnaise, ice cream and other creamy high fat foods. After living in the US for 3 years, I found that Greek Yoghurt was very popular and so easily available, so I gave it a try and I absolutely loved it, I ate it with everything: for breakfast with fruit and cereal, in smoothies, salad dressings, dips, and even as a way to make pasta sauce creamy again! I had found the solution to my love for all things creamy!!

In the US there are lots of brands of Greek Yoghurt; I think I have tried them all and my favourite has to be Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt. I would go through at least one 500g tub per week, if not more. I would also buy the individual pots with fruit at the bottom from Yoplait. They were a really nice healthy snack or breakfast and for me the quality of the nutritional value really mattered. These individual yogurts were only 100 calories and had considerably higher protein and lower fat and sugar levels than regular low fat yogurts  - and to me tasted so much better.

But then I moved back to Ireland and couldn't find my beloved (authentic but low fat) Greek Yoghurt anywhere, and regular low fat natural yoghurt was just not cutting it for me, it wasn't as thick and creamy as the Greek stuff. And then one day I was in Donnybrook Fair and saw it....the Holy Grail.... tubs of Fage Total 0% Greek Yoghurt... but they were almost €6. I was used to paying only about $3 for the same size tub in the US. I thought I would buy it only as a treat, so I only bought it once every couple of weeks and had to ration it. But recently I have found that Dunnes Stores have started stocking it and at only €3.49 a tub - I stocked up and bought 4 tubs. 

In order to explain my rationale behind eating Greek yoghurt over regular yoghurt, I am going to show you the difference in nutritional values, even some yoghurts that are Greek style are not really the same as the protein content is completely lacking. I am going to compare my favourite Fage Total 0% Greek Yoghurt to Lidl's creamy Greek style natural yoghurt and also their low fat natural yoghurt .

Per 100g serving
Fage Total 0%
Fat Free Greek Yoghurt
Lidl Greek Style
Lidl Low-Fat Natural Yoghurt
Of which sugars

For me the comparison is a real eye opener. Many people think that just because something is low fat, it’s good for you, but really it's all about the quality of the calories. In the Fage yoghurt you are getting much more protein for your calorie compared to the other yoghurts - it is also the lowest in carbs and sugar, while also containing no fat. 

Fage Total 0%, chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, strawberries and blueberries 

Fage Total 0%, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, blueberries and passion fruit
Some of the ways I like to eat this yoghurt is with some protein powder mixed into it, to bump up the protein content while also adding some delicious chocolate or vanilla flavour to the yoghurt. I then add some chia seeds and fresh fruit for a great low carb, high protein breakfast or even snack. Another way I eat this yoghurt is to make salad dressings with it - by simply adding some lemon juice, basil and salt and pepper you have an excellent dressing for chicken salad, or as a substitute for mayonnaise on a sandwich or even with some cheeky chips!!

You will be seeing a lot of Greek yoghurt in my recipes, as it is a staple food for me and as I said earlier I eat it with everything! So keep an eye out for future recipes that will include my beloved Greek yoghurt.

Disclaimer: I was not paid by Fage for this post, but Fage if you read this, I would love some free yoghurt!!!