I remember reading in a women’s magazine several years ago that plain yogurt was a good alternative to sour cream, but when I tried it, I found the yogurt was too runny to be used the way that one would use sour cream. I just wrote it off as one of those substitutions that fails to live up to its promises–the sort of thing that makes people give up on diets.
But recently, when we got into clean eating and started reading Clean Eating Magazine, I realized my mistake. There is a yogurt out there that is as thick as sour cream with all the tangy flavour, but has a fraction of the fat: Greek yogurt. It’s not super easy to find, which might explain why I didn’t know it existed when I was younger. But as people are increasingly interested in eating healthier, more and more stores are carrying it.
Since we started using it as a substitute for sour cream we’ve also discovered a myriad of other uses for it, and all of them make for healthier dishes and healthier families. Obviously, it’s yogurt, so you can just eat it straight up with your breakfast. The vanilla or honey flavoured varieties make tasty desserts (especially if you add some fresh berries or melon) and make great substitutes for whipping cream on waffles, pancakes, pies, etc. But plain is the most versatile. We use it wherever we would normally use sour cream or mayo. Plain Greek yogurt goes great with Mexican-style dishes in lieu of sour cream and makes excellent chicken, tuna or egg salad sandwiches. Use it as the base for a dip at your next party and serve with chips or fresh veggies–we promise that no one will notice the difference. And because it’s thick and rich, Greek yogurt is a better choice than regular yogurt when you’re using it as a substitute to reduce fat in your baking. There is only one place where it doesn’t work as well as regular yogurt: salad dressing. If you want a creamy, yogurt-based dressing, it’s best to go with the runnier version.
Try it; you will be pleasantly surprised by how little you miss your old sour cream and mayo.