Shameless Product Placement of May

Because the world didn’t come to an end last weekend, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Friday is finally upon us.  It feels good to be alive.  Although, I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed.  Harold Camping, the preacher who predicted our impending, all be it false, doom has made one hell of a shocking announcement this week. He did his math wrong.  I like a man who can openly admit he is wrong when the general public is unaware of his misstep.  It takes a large set of cahones to publically admit you’re wrong, especially after you make the entire world acknowledge what you believe to be their death sentence.  He formally apologized about this on Monday, saying he did not have the dates “worked out as accurately as I could have.” Wowsa.  Note to self: Always do your homework. Lucky for us, he has recalculated the date the world will end and now we have until the end of October to get our affairs in order.  Thank God.  I was worried. Having your will drawn up when all you own is a few pair of jeans and an ipod is STRESSFUL. And who does one leaves things to when the world ends? Probably no one, but I like having back up plans for my back up plans. Agh, I have so many unanswered questions.

Although we all only have a few short months left, I think we can all still enjoy the wonderful perks of food. Having said this, the Shameless Product Placement for the month of May  is…

Greek Yogurt
I know what you’re thinking.  Kimberly, yogurt is for chicks. Kimberly, yogurt is disgusting. Kimberly, I hate how my toenails grow in various pointing directions.  It’s okay.  It took me a while to get accustomed to Greek yogurt.  I’ve always loved yogurt, but that may be due to the fact that most of the flavored brands are loaded with sugar. Greek yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurt and has a slight tanginess to it. Regardless, it’s the bee’s knees.

 

The difference between traditional yogurt and Greek yogurt simply lies in processing. Obviously, both forms are made from milk. Regular yogurt is formed by introducing bacteria (probiotics) into the milk. This mixture then ferments to form its signature consistency. Greek yogurt is made in a near similar fashion. After the bacteria have been introduced to the milk, the mixture is then strained through cheese cloth and the extra liquid whey is drained out.I’ve chosen to plug Greek yogurt this month for numerous reasons. One reason does not include the fact that the Yahoo! News Business page ran an article on the stuff this week entitled “Greek Yogurt: Weight Loss Secret for the Summer”. Bologna. I love articles like this. She writes sarcastically.  Below I’ve provided you with the opening two sentences:

Need to lose weight you gained over the winter? Clinical research proves that a reduced-calorie diet that includes yogurt can encourage fat loss.

This is ground breaking.  A reduced-calorie diet encourages weight loss? Ugh I love when people claim the obvious to be something revolutionary. In addition to this, you could substitute almost any other “healthy” food for yogurt in that last sentence and the statement would still ring true: Carrots, beets, grapes, mangoes, etc.. I also found it interesting that this article was in the Yahoo! New Business section and not the Health section until I scrolled down to the bottom of the article where I learn it was written by Emily Neukircher from Sun Valley Dairy. Bingo. I’ve included this slightly obnoxious paragraph to encourage us all to be active readers when it comes to health related material. Being aware of where your writers are coming from can help you distinguish facts from advertisements.

Back to Greek yogurt.  For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to pick a brand to discuss. Oikos.  One 5.3 ounce container contains 0% fat and only 80 calories. The true claim to fame of Greek yogurt is the protein content. This small little container packs about 15 grams (2 ounces) of protein, making it a crazy good breakfast item or mid-afternoon snack.

Like I mentioned before, eating Greek yogurt can take some getting used to. So to ease into all the deliciousness, my suggestion is simply dilution. This was how I first starting eating it. Half a cup of plain Greek Yogurt mixed with your favorite traditional yogurt. Feel free to add in berries, nuts, or granola.  After a while, the pain of mixing your yogurt will win out and you’ll realize Greek yogurt is actually pretty good by itself. I regularly eat it in the morning with some kind of juicy fruit (mango, berries, or orange slices) and top it with some sliced almonds.  For a while I also used honey or agave nectar to sweeten it up a bit.

Lastly, for all you bakers out there, Greek yogurt can easily be used in place of sour cream. Cutting the fat and boosting the protein content of any given baked good is truly a health nut’s delight. I substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in my Nana’s blueberry muffins and my Mother’s chicken enchiladas.  And I got to tell you, we can’t tell the difference.

Look for Greek yogurt in your grocer’s refrigerated dairy section. Other brands of Greek yogurt include Fage, Chobani, and Trader Joes. Greek yogurt can also be found in a wide variety of flavors if the plain isn’t your cup of tea. Blueberry, strawberry, peach, lemon, honey, raspberry, pomegranate, vanilla and mango are just a few of the numerous flavors of Greek yogurt that are out there.  So check it out and enjoy!

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