Friday, December 3

Super Food Friday: Greek Yogurt

   It's Friday again! I'm very glad for the end of another week. It's week 3 of the series Super Foods for Kids. This week is Greek yogurt. 
   Why is the Greek Yogurt a super food? Let's find out.

  • Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has almost double the amount of protein. 
  • Greek yogurt is also lower in carbs.
  • Watching your kid's sodium intake? Greek yogurt is good for that too. It is lower in sodium than the regular yogurt. 
  • Greek yogurt contains the healthy bacteria that is known to boost immunity and aid in digestions.
  • Greek yogurt also has less sugar than other yogurts.

  Of course it is pretty easy to get kids to eat yogurts for snacks or as part of breakfast or lunch. However, I've grown increasingly concerned about the level of added sugars to the kids' yogurts. A nice plain greek yogurt with dried or fresh fruit, nut, or granola add-ins could help that. Also it could be thrown into a smoothie to up the nutritional value.
   When I sat down at the beginning of the week, I wanted to give more than just snack ideas. So I made it my dinner challenge this week to incorporate Greek Yogurt into the main dish.

I love pasta and would eat it everyday if it weren't for needing to give my girls a variety of foods. This week I did want to make spaghetti...but I've been working to get a nice tomato cream sauce. I made combination of whole wheat spaghetti and regular spaghetti pasta and cooked according to package directions. While the pasta was cooking, I made up the sauce. One can tomato sauce, one small can Italian-style tomato paste, and 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt. I cooked that over medium-low heat and added some more spices to taste. Once the pasta was done cooking and drained, I returned it to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir it up to fully coat the pasta. Cover and let sit over low heat for a few minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over it. Yumm!

    Alfredo Sauce
The hubby loves my alfredo sauce and has been asking for it for a while now. Why not try to incorporate the Greek Yogurt? First things first, the pasta. I didn't have any fettuccine on hand, so I cooked up some ziti pasta according to package directions. Then, I heated 4 Tablespoons of butter in a pan to melt it down. Then added in about 2 cups of half & half creamer. Whisk to combine. Whisk in 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and garlic powder, onion powder, and basil to taste. Turn heat up to about medium/medium-high and once it starts boiling, whisk continuously for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the Greek Yogurt. Once the pasta is finished cooking, has been drained and returned to the pot, pour the sauce over it. Stir to evenly coat the pasta. Serve with a nice sprinkle of some more Parmesan cheese over top!

  So those are both dinner choices. What about lunch for the kiddos? Every now and again, my daughter asks for the box macaroni and cheese. Since it's not everyday, I oblige when I can. So for lunch Thursday, that's what I made for the girls. I stirred in about 3/4 cup of Greek Yogurt with it. It was so good, I even ate it! 

  What have we learned? Basically that Greek Yogurt can replace sour cream in a lot of instances. What is even nicer, is that the yogurt has it's own flavor which adds an extra layer to whatever it is being added to. Kids hungry before dinner? Make an Avocado Greek Yogurt dip, with some basil, onion and garlic powder, for some raw carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, or whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. Definitely a healthy appetizer for the kids.
  Just experiment to find what works for you! This is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in an array of dishes; from breakfast to dessert and everything in between!


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