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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 5, 2016

Holiday fare with Greek yogurt

By MICHELLE KUSTER, RD, LD Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor | Nov 17, 2016

Greek yogurt has become an overwhelmingly popular snack. But do you know what makes it so appealing?

Greek yogurt goes through a different straining process that actually takes three times the amount of milk used to make regular yogurt. The end result leaves us with two times the amount of protein than that found in regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great way to get a portion of your three servings of daily dairy that is recommended for adults by the USDA. Dairy is the primary source of calcium in the American diet and helps us to build strong bones and teeth, and also maintain bone mass throughout our lifespan. This creamy, thick treat can also be used to make healthy swaps in your kitchen.

When asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to your next holiday gathering, choose Greek yogurt to put a twist on it.

Here are some helpful substitutions:

• 1 cup buttermilk equals 2/3 cup Greek yogurt plus 1/4 cup buttermilk

• 1 cup butter equals 1/4 cup Greek yogurt plus 1/2 cup butter

• 1 cup of oil equals 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

• 1 cup of sour cream equals one cup Greek yogurt

• 1 cup mayonnaise equals one cup Greek yogurt

• 1 cup cream cheese equals one cup Greek yogurt

Here are additional recipe ideas using Greek yogurt:

• Cheesy Potato Casserole (see recipe below)

• Layered Taco Dip

• Dill or Ranch dips with cut up veggies

• Spinach and Artichoke Dip

• Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt Dip

Try this delicious Cheesy Potato Casserole.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Serves 10 (about 3/4 cup).

Ingredients:

-Canola oil cooking spray

-2 pounds red potatoes, diced

-1 cup low-fat milk

-2 tbsp. cornstarch

-8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about two cups)

-1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1/2 tsp. plus a pinch of salt, divided

-1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

-2 cups crushed unsweetened corn flakes

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch (or similar-size) baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover and bring to a boil. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and return to the pot.

3. Meanwhile, whisk milk and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often until bubbling and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, two to four minutes total. Remove from the heat and stir in cheddar cheese, yogurt, onion, 1/2-teaspoon salt and pepper until combined. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and mix well. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

4. Sprinkle the casserole with corn flakes. Using short bursts, coat the corn flakes with cooking spray; sprinkle with the remaining pinch of salt. Bake until browned and bubbling at the edges, about one hour. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step three; cover and refrigerate for up to one day. Let the casserole stand at room temperature while preheating the oven. Proceed with step four .

Nutrition Facts per serving: 233 calories, 8g fat, 5g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 396mg sodium, 30g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 11g protein.

Daily values: 19 percent vitamin C, 22 percent calcium and 25 percent iron

Recipe source: EatingWell, Inc.

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