Greek Yogurt Recipes Your Kids Will Love

Berry Good Muffin Bites
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh
Greek yogurt is a healthy, creamy food with a rich flavor. Here are four kid-friendly recipes that incorporate Greek yogurt.
Blaine Moats
Blaine Moats

The Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is less watery than traditional yogurt because it’s strained to remove the whey. This results in a thick, creamy consistency and rich flavor. Greek yogurt also has about 40% less sugar, 38% less sodium, twice the amount of protein, and less lactose than traditional yogurt. It also contains live and active cultures – many of which act as probiotics.

Incorporating Greek yogurt into your child's healthy eating plan can help them meet the USDA's recommendations to have 3 daily servings of dairy each day. Here are four healthy Greek yogurt recipes your little ones will love.

Greek Yogurt Smoothies

Kids love smoothies, but oftentimes they don't realize how healthy the ingredients really are! Greek yogurt not only adds a ton of good-for-you nutrients, it also adds frothiness and a thicker texture that kid's adore.

Mama's Berry Smoothie

Serves 1 / Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

- 1 ½ medium bananas, peeled and frozen

- ½ cup frozen raspberries

- ½ cup frozen blueberries

- 1 cup fresh whole strawberries

- ½ cup nonfat milk

- ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

- 2 tablespoons honey

Make It

Place ingredients in blender; blend until smooth.

*Recipe from "The Greek Yogurt Kitchen" by Toby Amidor. Copyright © 2014 by Toby Amidor. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Greek Yogurt as a Dip

A 2013 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that kids were more likely to eat their vegetables when they dipped them first. The results found that 31-percent of kids liked a veggie alone compared with 64% who liked a veggie when it was served with their favorite dip.

Researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University conducted a second experiment where they found that kids ate significantly more of a veggie they disliked or previously rejected when it was offered with a favorite reduced-fat herb dip compared to when it was offered without any dip.

Greek yogurt makes a delicious base for many dips, including Mango Guacamole!

Mango Guacamole

Serves 8 / Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

- 2 Haas avocados

- Juice of 1 lime

- 1 serrano chile

- 1 clove garlic

- ½ medium red onion

- ½ medium red bell pepper, seeded

- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

- ½ teaspoon kosher salt

- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

- 1 mango, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice

Make It

Slice the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and place it in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice.

Halve the serrano chile lengthwise. Discard the seeds and cut the chile into 1/8-inch dice. Mince the garlic. Peel and finely dice the red onion. Slice the bell pepper in half, discard the seeds, and cut into ¼-inch dice. Add the chile, garlic, red onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, yogurt, salt, and black pepper to the avocado in the bowl, and stir to combine. Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado into a small dice. Gently stir the mango, and serve.

*Recipe from "The Greek Yogurt Kitchen" by Toby Amidor. Copyright © 2014 by Toby Amidor. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Greek Yogurt for Baking

Better-for-you cookies, brownies, and muffins? Yes, it's possible! Greek yogurt is a healthy substitute for butter found in most baking recipes. For each stick of butter a recipe calls for, use two tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt and ½ stick of butter instead.

 

Trail Mix Cookies

Makes 40 cookies / Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

- Cooking spray

- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

- ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

- 1 cup packed light brown sugar

- ½ cup granulated sugar

- 2 large eggs

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

- 1 cup seedless golden raisins

- 1/3 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds

Make It

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set it aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and yogurt. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until each one is incorporated, and then add the vanilla extract. Whisk until the mixture is light brown and thoroughly combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, folding gently until combined. Using one ingredient at a time, fold in the oats, raisins, and sunflower seeds.

Scoop up 1 heaping tablespoon of the dough and drop it onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling for at least 10 minutes before serving.

*Recipe from "The Greek Yogurt Kitchen" by Toby Amidor. Copyright © 2014 by Toby Amidor. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

Berry Good Muffin Bites

These petite sweets are more nutritious than they look thanks to whole-grain flour, Greek yogurt, and plenty of springtime strawberry goodness.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 24-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Gently fold in 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Then gently fold in 1 cup finely diced strawberries, fresh or frozen, and 1 tsp. lemon zest. For more intense flavor, fold in 1/4 cup coarsely crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Divide batter among mini muffin cups, filling to the edge. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan for 8 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Just before serving, make icing: Whisk together 1/3 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice. Drizzle icing over muffins and top with crushed freeze-dried strawberries, if desired.

Wild for Blueberries

Switch out the whole-wheat flour for cornmeal, the strawberries for frozen wild blueberries (smaller than regular!), and the lemon zest and juice for lime. Omit the vanilla extract.

Peachy Keen

Swap 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour with rolled oats and the strawberries with finely chopped frozen peaches. Skip the glaze; top with 2 Tbs. coarse sugar before baking.

Piña Colada

Replace the strawberries with 1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut. Use lime zest and juice in place of the lemon. Omit the vanilla. After glazing, top muffins with unsweetened coconut flakes.

*Recipe by Amy Palanjian

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