Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Yogurt

Yogurt, whether it’s Greek or “regular,” has a host of nutritional benefits. For starters, it’s high in calcium, protein, and Vitamin B12. It’s also a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure. Where yogurt stands apart from many other foods, however, is the fact that it contains probiotics, or live and active cultures made up of “good bacteria” that help regulate the digestive tract. Almost all yogurt contains these probiotics, often in the form of acidophilus, so there’s no need to buy a specialty brand that makes claims about improving digestion. It also doesn’t matter if the yogurt is Greek or not – it will still contain these healthy bacteria.   Greek and regular yogurt do differ in a few ways, though: Greek yogurt is often higher in protein and lower in sugar, while regular yogurt is higher in calcium. Either way, you’re making a smart choice by choosing to incorporate yogurt into your meals and snacks.

Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients
1 cup chopped avocado (about 1 avocado)
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ cup firmly packed basil, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
Extra virgin olive oil (enough to reach desired consistency)

Instructions
1. Add the avocado, garlic, scallions, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt to a food processor or blender; process until relatively smooth.
2. Add the basil, parsley, and tarragon; process until smooth. If too thick, thin it out with a drizzle of olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. Makes 1 ½ cups.

Recipe adapted from FitSugar

Overnight Y’Oats

Ingredients
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Instructions
1. In a resealable jar, add oats, Greek yogurt, almondmilk and chia seeds. Stir, then seal the jar with a lid.
2. Place in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.
3. Once oats have softened and are ready to eat, garnish with desired toppings such as cinnamon, fruit preserves, almonds, granola, raspberries, and honey. Serve cold.

Recipe adapted from Trader Joe’s

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