By: Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN
Mix it up, dip it in, blend it together, or freeze it – I’ve always been a fan of yogurt for the taste, nutrition, and versatility in recipes. But what I’m not a fan of are the many yogurts on the market that are loaded with added sugars or artificial ingredients. Whether you’re looking for healthy snacking swaps or ways to boost mealtime nutrition, adding Chobani® Greek Yogurt is the perfect way to ensure great flavor without sacrificing nutrition for the whole family.
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There are SO many ways you can incorporate Greek Yogurt into your meals. This holiday season, we’re bringing you a slew of options, each more delicious than the next to inspire you in the kitchen. The below tips are brought to you by our RD friendly, Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN!
Boost Breakfast: Chobani® inspires nutritious breakfasts for families on the go. Whether you prefer a basic breakfast like a yogurt parfait or a savory spiced version (try a blend of mashed avocado with Greek yogurt on sourdough toast with fresh cilantro and a kick of sriracha) there are endless ways to boost your morning nutrition with Chobani Greek yogurt.
Fuel Recovery: Family dinners can be a timing challenge for kids who are famished after a long day. Tide them over until dinner with Chobani Kids® Tubes and Pouches for a recovery snack that’s a good source of protein and calcium and has 25% less sugar than other leading kids’ yogurt.[i]
No-cook Protein: If you feel like there isn’t enough time in the morning to pack balanced lunches for school or work, consider using Chobani Greek Yogurt for a no-cook protein option to round out the meal. Greek yogurt offers twice the protein of regular yogurt for the same amount of calories – and extra protein will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Get Saucy: Chobani Greek Yogurt adds creaminess, texture, and a slightly tangy flavor to warm sauces. Use 0% plain yogurt in place of sour cream, half-and-half, or cream in recipes. Chobani also pairs well with fresh herbs and seasonings to make a marinade. Since yogurt tenderizes and enhances the flavor of protein (like tofu, chicken, seafood, and beef) your dish will become even more flavorful and juicy.
Travel Wise: Finding nutritious choices for long family trips can be a difficult. Try packing a cooler with some Chobani Kids® Tubes and Pouches for a delicious and refreshing option made with only natural ingredients like real fruit and vegetables. The packaging is BPA-free and the pouches are re-sealable for less mess in the car, plane or train with your little ones.
Opt for Omega-3s. Make sure the whole family is getting the healthy fats they need. Research shows that DHA, an important omega-3 fatty acid, has been shown to boost a baby’s brain development and is good for children of all ages. While you might get DHA from fatty fish, your little one can enjoy Chobani Tots® Greek Yogurt that contains 12 mg of DHA per pouch.
Bake Better: Whether your family is in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, homemade banana bread, or a Birthday cake, Chobani Greek Yogurt is a healthy (and tasty) substitute for oil, butter, and cream cheese in baked goods. For example, when making a cheesecake simply substitute 1 cup of Chobani for 1 cup of cream cheese – you’ll save loads of fat and calories, but still keep the creamy and delicious taste. For best results, allow the yogurt to reach room temperature before using in recipes.
Inspire New Tastes. Inspire your family to try new dishes by including familiar ingredients they already love. Consider making a curry with Chobani Greek Yogurt swapped for coconut milk. Not only will your kids be more willing to try it, it also provides more protein and fewer calories than the traditional version.
Chill Out: For family meals that you want to cap off with a sweet treat, try Chobani Kids® Tubes and Pouches. They have 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurti and can be served chilled or frozen for a tasty ice cream alternative. See Strawberry-Banana Frozen Yogurt Chocolate Heart Sandwich recipe below!
Go Pro: Families all over the world start their days with a probiotic drink for good health, so inspire your family to do the same. Probiotics promote healthy digestion and the body’s absorption of essential nutrients. Make yourself a morning smoothie with Chobani Greek Yogurt, milk, frozen fruit, and flaxseeds (the probiotics in the yogurt feed off the prebiotics found in flaxseed).
Strawberry-Banana Frozen Yogurt Chocolate Heart Sandwiches
Yields: 10 mini sandwiches
8 Chobani Kids® Strawberry Greek Yogurt Tubes (6 tubes frozen and coarsely chopped and 2 tubes unfrozen)
4 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces, and frozen
1 tablespoon honey
NO-BAKE COCOA SANDWICH COOKIES
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 14 dates), packed
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the 6 tubes of frozen yogurt and 2 tubes of unfrozen yogurt. Add the frozen banana slices and honey and process until whipped and very smooth, about 4 minutes. Yogurt base should be thick and creamy. Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8 casserole dish, ensuring yogurt base is at least 1-inch thick coming up the sides. Smooth out the surface and freeze for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the cookies. Return to the food processor with a clean bowl and pulse the rolled oats until a finely ground flour forms, about 1 minute. Add the pitted dates, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and water and process until a dense and dark dough-like ball forms, about 4 minutes with the motor running continuously.
Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece between two sheets of parchment paper to an even ¼-inch thickness. Cut 2 ½-inch hearts, circles, or desired cookie shapes using a cookie cutter. Re-gather and re-roll the scraps to yield the remaining cookies – there should be around 20 mini cookies. Set the cookies aside or store in the refrigerator for a later time.
To assemble, punch the same cookie cutter into the layer of frozen yogurt to create the shape of the sandwich. Place each frozen yogurt shape onto a cookie and top with another cookie to make sandwiches. Serve immediately.
Note: The frozen yogurt and prepared yogurt sandwiches will keep well airtight in the freezer for up to one week. Let thaw for 15 minutes before serving.
[i] Chobani Kids® Pouches, 10g of sugar per 3.5oz (99g) serving; leading kids’ yogurt, 14g sugar per 3.5oz (99g) serving. Chobani Kids® Tubes, 6g of sugar per tube; leading kids’ yogurt, 9g sugar per tube.
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