7 Ways Nutritionists Eat Greek Yogurt All Day, Every Day

If it's not a staple on your shopping list already, it will be after you see these recipes.

The yogurt aisle of the supermarket seems to be growing faster than the bacteria within. Greek yogurt has traveled from the Mediterranean to America and many of us are making the switch from conventional yogurts for good reason.

If you're looking to stay fuller for longer periods of time, get this: A single serving of Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Some Greek brands are also lower in carbs and sodium than conventional types, but buyer beware — not all yogurts are alike. Although dairy-based yogurts contain some naturally occurring milk sugar, check food labels carefully to see how much added sugar is keeping your yogurt company. Stock up on the ones that contain real fruit and ingredients you can recognize. Even better, buy plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit and other toppings yourself!

To me, Greek yogurt is like the chameleon of the plate — it can seamlessly appear at any time of the day to bring you the perfect combo of good taste, convenience, and healthy ingredients at a decent price point. Whether it's for a breakfast, lunch, a snack, side dish, dinner, dessert, or brunch, here's how nutritionists go Greek.

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Breakfast: Maple Pumpkin Banana Overnight Oats

"Packing enough protein into breakfast is a challenge," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, owner of NutritionStarringYOU.com. By soaking oats in milk and Greek yogurt — then adding in fruit, nuts, and seeds — you can wake up to a meal that's rich in enough protein and fiber to help your energy soar through the entire morning.

Harris-Pincus' Maple Pumpkin Banana Overnight Oats will keep your heart happy thanks to the cholesterol-lowering powers of soluble fiber in oats and the positive effect that potassium-rich pumpkin could have on your blood pressure.

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Mexican Avocado Chicken Salad

If you love the creamy texture of mayo but you're trying to save calories, Greek yogurt is the perfect solution for your salads.

"By using Greek yogurt instead of mayo in your chicken salad, you can enjoy the same creamy consistency and binding capacities of mayo in a much healthier version," says Abbey Sharp, RDN.

Plus, you can reap the benefits of added protein, vitamin D, and calcium that you won't find in mayonnaise. Sharp also includes avocado in this dish to provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and further boost staying power.

How do you choose a good brand of Greek yogurt? Sharp suggests picking the one that provides the most calcium to support bone health. Look for the ones that supply at least 15 percent of the Daily Value for calcium. (For women 19 to 50 years old, you're looking at 1,000 mg per day.)

Get the recipe here.

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Afternoon Snack: DIY Yogurt Bar

Move over, salad bar! Yogurt bars are taking over. My favorite afternoon snack starts with a foundation of plain Chobani yogurt. Next, I mix and match toppings depending on where I am and what I'm in the mood for. Add your own chopped nuts, dried fruit, cocoa, cinnamon, almond butter, chia seeds, or a healthy helping of any fresh or frozen fruit to help squash hunger and conquer cravings between meals.

Get the recipe here.

Side Dish: Indian Cucumber Salad

Gut health is a hot topic these days and Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, feels good about getting beneficial probiotics from Greek yogurt.

"Probiotics are live bacteria that are present in certain foods — Greek yogurt included — that help enhance the body's digestive system by improving the gut flora," Shaw explains. "By increasing your intake of probiotic-rich foods, you'll maintain a proper balance of good bacteria in your body, which helps with bowel regulation, immunity, and other conditions."

Shaw enjoys the versatility of Greek yogurt in both sweet and savory dishes to lower total fat while boosting the overall nutrient quality of the dish. Her crunchy spring Indian Cucumber Salad highlights cucumbers as a source of hydration, not to mention cancer-fighting anti-inflammatory properties.

Get the recipe here.

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Dinner: Roasted Salmon With Dill-Yogurt Sauce and Creamed Spinach

Although Greek yogurt may not have a starring role at dinner time, it's been cast in a supporting — yet no less important — position.

"Greek yogurt can be used for a sauce, as well as a side, to help add some creamy texture to a salmon dish," says Toby Amidor, RDN, author of the The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. "Salmon is a fabulous way to fight inflammation with its heart-healthy omega-3s."

This salmon dish is baked in the oven using only three ingredients: lemon, salt, and pepper. Nonfat Greek yogurt is used in her Dill-Yogurt Sauce instead of a typical calorie-laden ingredient like sour cream. Greek yogurt can also be used in the Creamed Spinach instead of heavy cream and butter. These swaps result in a lighter meal that weighs in at less than 300 calories per serving.

Get the recipe here.

Dessert: Apple and Pear High-Protein Muffins

Most muffins are more like cake poured into a muffin tin. Chocolate chips, sweetened coconut, and other sugary ingredients often bring this decadent treat out of reach for those trying to cut back on calories and fat. But Abby Langer, RDN, Owner of Abby Langer Nutrition, has a muffin recipe with a protein-boosting secret ingredient.

Greek yogurt, combined with almond flour's cholesterol-reducing healthy fat, makes for a delicious, fiber-rich muffin. And there's no need to add any sugar — apples, pears, and dates will do the trick.

Get the recipe here.

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Brunch: Swiss Chard Potato Chive Frittata

Having company this weekend? Kara Lydon, RDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog, swapped out heavy cream for Greek yogurt to lend richness and creaminess to her Swiss Chard Potato Chive Frittata without extra calories and saturated fat.

"Greek yogurt packs an extra protein punch into this dish. Combined with eggs — which, in addition to protein, contain vitamins D, E, A, choline, and eye-saving antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin — they're a powerful duo," she says.

Get the recipe here.

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