EDITOR'S NOTE: Guest blogger Cynthia Parrott is a busy working woman who manages to find the time for fitness, diet and the writing of great advice for health-conscious women.
If I had to choose only one condiment to keep in my fridge, it would be a container of low-fat plain yogurt. It's healthy, nutritious, low in calories, and easy to use.
Yogurt is also packed with protein, calcium and potassium.
I like plain yogurt because it is naturally tart and so versatile that you can add herbs, spices or your favorite sweetener to it. You can also mix it into just about anything, transforming a boring food into something delicious, rich and creamy!
I am a vegetarian so I consume very little animal fat. I select low-fat varieties of yogurt because there are times I crave a little fat. Sorry, but non-fat just doesn't do it for me.
For those of you who are really trying to control your intake of additional fat, there are delicious brands of non-fat yogurt available, too. The choice is up to you.
First of all, I would recommend you buy a 32-ounce container of plain yogurt. You will find so many uses for yogurt so you will not want to be without it.
I'm an advocate for REAL FOOD and plain yogurt is as real as you can get. There are no artificial colors, additives or flavorings. Anything you do add to your serving of yogurt will hopefully be as fresh and as natural as possible.
Let's take a look at a 6-ounce serving of low-fat plain yogurt:
Now, let's look at a 6-ounce serving of nonfat plain yogurt:
The non-fat variety contains 20 more calories, but the nutritional value is much better.
The decision is up to you. But if you are looking to boost your nutrition, the nonfat yogurt is the obviously the better choice. I would recommend you try both and decide which one you like best.
You can eat a whole cup of yogurt mixed with whatever you like or use it as a condiment in place of sour cream, mayo or whipped cream. You'll cut your calories and fat, yet reap the rich rewards of yogurt's nutritional value.
So now that you have a container of plain yogurt, what are you going to do with it?
--Use it in place of sour cream in tacos.
--Mix in some fresh herbs, allow to sit in the fridge for an hour or two, and serve it as a dip for fresh veggies.
--Spoon a cup of yogurt into a blender, add fruit and ice and create a healthy, vitamin-packed smoothie.
--Stir in some fresh or dried dill weed and spoon it over grilled salmon.
--Replace the eggs, butter and oil with plain yogurt in brownies and muffins.
--Add fresh vanilla extract, your choice of sweetener and add a dollop of your flavored yogurt to fresh fruit or a warm baked apple laced with cinnamon.
--My favorite on-the-go breakfast is plain yogurt with a touch of sweetener. I prefer honey, but the choice is yours. I toss in a handful of almonds and some sliced bananas and I am ready to go! It's quick, nutritious and delicious!
--Plain yogurt can be transformed into creamy salad dressings, used as a sandwich spread, mixed with tuna instead of mayo, and stirred into bowls of spicy homemade turkey chili or soup.
--You can even mix in some fresh strawberries or blueberries and serve on top of your waffles or pancakes.
Yes, the possibilities are endless.
Who knew a little container of plain yogurt could be so incredibly delicious, nutritious and satisfying?
If you are interested in discovering more ways to enjoy yogurt, visit the Stonyfield Farms website.
About Cynthia: I am a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor. My company is Metamorphosis Consulting and I have been in private practice for over 10 years. I believe we can completely transform our lives by nourishing our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. It is my desire to help others achieve their health and nutritional goals, their personal goals, and to live the life they have always dreamed of. Learn more at www.truemetamorphosis.org and www.cyndaily.com.