JEFF TIEDEMAN: It's all Greek (yogurt) to himFood trends have always intrigued by me. I often wonder how they got their start. Generally, they can be broken down into two categories — food that is eaten because it tastes good and food that is good for us.
Food trends have always intrigued by me. I often wonder how they got their start.
Generally, they can be broken down into two categories — food that is eaten because it tastes good and food that is good for us.
Here is an example of each:
— Krispy Kreme doughnuts. A couple of years ago, they were all the craze. Whenever a store would open a new location, people would line up for hours for the chance to buy the 800-calorie morsels.
— Kale. This nutrient-packed leafy vegetable took the food world by storm in 2011, mainly because of enormously high levels of Vitamin A, C and K, not to mention the exorbitant amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids.
I love a good treat just as much as the next person, and if given the choice 20 years ago between the aforementioned foods, there’s no doubt the doughnuts would have won.
But these days, kale is more my preference. In fact, it can be found most nights along with a couple of other greens in our dinner salad.
I’ve never been one to hop on the trend bandwagon. But there’s one that’s been sweeping the country that’s drawn my attention.
Greek yogurt, in case you haven’t noticed, has taken the U.S. — and our home — by storm. (We love it with fresh fruit and as a sour cream substitute.) Once relegated to food co-ops and health food stores, it’s now a common fixture in supermarkets, a $1.5 billion business, up from $60 million just five years ago.
The difference from regular yogurt is the whey has been removed from the Greek, done by straining it through a cloth, giving a consistency between that of yogurt and cheese.
But there are other differences. Greek yogurt is rich in protein and B vitamins. An average 1-cup serving contains 17 to 19 grams of protein, almost double the amount in regular.
It also is an excellent source of calcium (a 1-cup serving contains one-third of the Daily Recommended Value), a good source of potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus and has about half the sugar as regular.
To be clear, both yogurts — plain, nonfat or low-fat — can be part of a healthful diet. In fact, regular yogurt is higher in calcium.
Yogurt’s live and active cultures also contribute bacteria that promote digestive health.
“Adding yogurt into your diet throughout the day helps fill in the calcium, potassium and vitamin D nutrient gaps most adults and children have in their diets,” said licensed registered dietitian Sue Streitz, Altru Health System’s Nutrition Therapy supervisor.
Yogurt also is very versatile. Here are a few ideas from Streitz to get you started.
— Serve yogurt for breakfast or snacks as a parfait layered with fruit, ¼ cup low-fat granola, a drizzle of agave syrup and a tablespoon of toasted, sliced almonds.
— Fruit smoothies made with Greek yogurt, fresh or frozen blueberries, a banana, a few ice cubes and agave syrup to taste, makes another great snack or breakfast on the go.
— Use Greek yogurt as a garnish on oatmeal along with a tablespoon of dried cherries, sliced toasted almonds and agave syrup to taste, putting a new spin on oatmeal.
— Modify recipes by substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise in salads, dips, casseroles and more.
— Sweeten plain low-fat Greek yogurt with crushed pineapple and top it with toasted coconut for a pina colada dessert.
— Top a baked apple with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
You can’t do all that with a dougnut!
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at email@example.com.