A Little Word on Yogurt Substitutes

So, it’s been really hot. Like, melt off your face, hot. It’s the kind of hot where you have to sleep on top of your covers, and hang out in the kitchen with the freezer door thrown wide open in the hopes of decreasing the apartment’s overall temperature by even one sweaty degree.

Everything looks beautiful, which makes this obligatory indoor behavior all the more depressing. I’d love to sit outside and enjoy lunch at a sidewalk cafe, or go for a run through Central Park, or even take that (free) outdoor yoga class – but it’s just really much too hot for all of that nonsense.

So I’ve been spending a lot of time in that aforementioned kitchen, thinking about what lovely little bites I can share with you all. Especially what doesn’t require turning on the oven, because I can’t afford to make it any hotter in Brooklyn right now.

At the moment, I’m staring at a giant tub of Dannon Light & Fit yogurt. I’ve been using Light & Fit yogurt for just about everything since I first discovered the tub of fat-free, low-calorie goodness sitting in the dairy isle at my local Shaws. Especially in this outrageously hot and humid weather, there’s nothing more refreshing than a scoop of light yogurt with fresh-cut fruit, or swirled into a lassi-style cocktail with a splash of rum.

With only 100 calories in a one cup serving, I use this for breakfast parfaits boosted with fruit and oats, and as the foundation for low-calorie desserts.  It’s a versatile product that easily transforms fattening, creamy dishes into slimmed down variations.

This sweet bite doubles as breakfast or dessert. High-fiber oats with fresh-cut fruit are the perfec way to add flavor and heartiness to a helping of Greek Light 'n Fit yogurt.

This sweet bite doubles as breakfast or dessert. High-fiber oats with fresh-cut fruit are the perfec way to add flavor and heartiness to a helping of Greek Light & Fit yogurt.

The only thing better than a meal made with Light & Fit fat-free yogurt is the new Greek version of the dairy treat. While the Greek Light & Fit yogurt has 130 calories per cup, it also packs an impressive 18 grams of protein in a serving. When compared to the 7 grams of protein in the standard yogurt version, it’s almost like getting the upgraded version of this year’s best guilt-free yogurt.

A Little Warning: Danon yogurts don’t come in the good old “Plain” yogurt flavor, making it difficult to swap them into more savory dishes. Chobani, however, makes a plain nonfat yogurt with only ten calories more per serving, and 23 grams of protein. That, there, is a win-win situation.

Remember the yogurt-based guacamole I was raving about the other day? The one with half the fat, half the calories, and a completely irresistable tang that complemented the nutty avocado? I’ve been finding yogurt in a massive variety of products these days. It’s a great way to sneak a few extra grams of protein into your diet, while cutting the fat and the calories.

Snacking in the LWB kitchen - asparagus wrapped in pickled ginger, with a Greek yogurt-based kale dip. The perfect way to cut the intense ginger and amplify the sweet asparagus.

Snacking in the LWB kitchen – asparagus wrapped in pickled ginger, with a Greek yogurt-based kale dip. The perfect way to cut the intense ginger and amplify the sweet asparagus.

Take Brummel & Brown Butter made with Nonfat Yogurt. One Tablespooon has only 45 calories – almost half of what you’ll find in a traditional serving of butter – half the fat, and zero cholesterol. The texture is creamy and smooth, but the flavor is extremely mild. It lacks the natural saltiness of butter – I wouldn’t recommend it for baking, but spread on toast with a Peach Apricot Cherry Jam, and a handfull of fresh arugula, it’s a perfect way to lighten refreshing snack for a hot summer afternoon.

Here’s to staying cool while waiting for a much-needed Ice Age to roll through the Big Apple.

As always, I’m off to find more ways to eat healthy, delicious foods – and now with the added challenge of not breaking a sweat in the process.

Melanie

Advertisements