10 Facts About Greek Yogurt

10 facts about delectable Greek yogourt!

1. From zero to hero

Greek yogurt was virtually unheard of in 2009. Four short years later, it was the top-selling product in its category in Canada, jumping from 0 to 24% of total sales. Its smooth texture, short ingredients list and high protein content explain why nutritionists and consumers alike can’t get enough.

2. Worthy of the Gods

What exactly is Greek yogurt? Simple: It’s regular yogurt that has been strained. Thick and ultra-creamy, even in fat-free versions, it requires three times more milk to produce than regular yogurt, hence the steeper price tag. Enjoy it topped with honey and crushed pistachios for a treat worth of the gods… Greek or otherwise!

3. Do it yourself

Making Greek yogurt at home couldn’t be easier. All you need is a container of gelatin-free yogurt, a bowl, a coffee filter or cheesecloth and a little bit of patience, as straining the whey can take up to 12 hours. Click here for a detailed how-to.

4. It's alive

This staple of the Hellenic diet is packed with probiotic bacteria. Besides facilitating digestion, lactobacilli and bifidobacterium help boost the immune system by limiting the proliferation of bad bacteria.

5. Calcium counts

Calcium levels vary from one brand to the next, meeting anywhere from 15 to 50% of your recommended daily requirement. If calcium is a concern in your diet, check labels carefully.

6. Savoury superstar

Think beyond sweet. Plain Greek yogurt is a wonderful basefor homemade tzatziki (just add grated cucumber, chopped garlic and mint) orIndian-inspired raita (fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, green onions, red peppers and a dollop of Dijon).

7. Man on a mission

If one person can be held accountable for our Greek yogurt obsession, it’s Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani. His mission? To bring high-quality, Mediterranean style strained yogurt to the American market. Andconsider it a job well done: today, Chobani is one of the most popular yogurt brands in the United States.

8. Protein powerhouse

Some brands contain as much as 19 grams of protein. per 175-gram (¾ cup) portion. That’s enough protein for one meal.

9. Smooth stand-in

Greek yogurt can also quite handily do double or even triple duty. It’s an excellent recipe substitute: In equal amounts, it easily replaces sour cream an in dips, muffins and scones.

10. Shelf life

The “best before” stamp doesn’t necessarily mean “bad after”—the manufacturer just can’t guarantee optimal taste and texture after that date.Yogurt can last quite a while in the refrigerator because of its natural acidity.

Hélène Laurendeau

A nutrition and health enthusiast who loves to share: this description fits Hélène Laurendeau to a tee. She has been active for more than 25 years in the media and communications field. Nutritionist, host, columnist, author and speaker, Hélène holds a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and a Master degree in Epidemiology. She has spread her knowledge alongside Ricardo every week since 2005, as part of his daily show broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, as well as in Ricardo magazine, where she pens the Bien se nourrir (Eating Well) column.