What is Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is becoming more popular. Last week one of my friends asked me what Greek yogurt was…was it yogurt from Greece?

No, rather it is a type of yogurt that is more concentrated that what we are used to.  Manufacturers strain the yogurt and remove some of the whey which produces a thicker, creamier yogurt with more fat, protein, and calcium. Just like regular yogurt, reduced fat and fat-free versions are available.

Greek yogurt is more expensive than regular yogurt because it takes twice as much milk to make it. There are several varieties in larger supermarkets and specialty shops with Greek sounding names like Voskos, Oikos, Fage, etc. Yoplait also sells plain and flavored Greek yogurt for around $1.20 for a 6-ounce cup, and I read that AE Dairy is going to start distributing it this fall.

Yogurt is sometimes used instead of cream cheese or sour cream to reduce fat and calories.  Greek yogurt would be a good choice for substitutions because it is thicker. 

You can make your own “Greek” yogurt by straining regular yogurt. Just set a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a plain white paper towel over a bowl and spoon plain yogurt into the sieve. Refrigerate and allow the liquid to drain off for at least 2 hours. One cup of yogurt yields about ½ cup of Greek yogurt.

– pointers from Peggy

Am I spending too much on groceries? Part III

As I looked at my sister’s grocery receipts, I noticed she bought lots of fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables, which is great! There are not many prepackaged meals or convenience items—also a plus. The meat purchased was quite economical with the exception of chicken strips. They are generally not a smart buy in terms of nutrition and cost. 

There were four places I think my sister’s family could consider making some changes:

  1. Reduce the number of boxes of Toaster Strudel™ purchased. Twelve boxes (72 strudels) during the month cost about $25. Toaster Strudels™ are 190 calories, 38% fat including Trans Fat and provide zero vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and only 4% iron. Check out ideas for substitutes that your family could try on our recipe page.

  3. Reduce the amount of Kudos® (5), snack crackers (9), cookies (2), Cheetos® (2), snack pudding and gelatin cups (2), and jars of peanuts (4). Cost for these items was around $85. Encouraging the family to eat fruits and vegetables as a snack would decrease calories and increase nutrition content. Consider making some homemade bakery items for snacks. Packaging these items in snack bags could help with portion control. Popcorn could substitute for crackers as a snack. If you pop your own, it is very economical.

  5. The 13 packages of crescent rolls purchased this month cost around $37. Consider substituting whole wheat, French, or Italian bread for crescent rolls. Slice the bread, spread with margarine, sprinkle with garlic powder, and toast.

  7. Review the amount and brand of cheese purchased. The amount spent for the month was $33. Most of the cheese purchased was a name brand, instead of a store brand. Cheese does provide good amounts of calcium, but it is high in calories, fat, and sodium.

-pointers from Peggy

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