A favorite breakfast item is yogurt stirred together with chopped fruit or berries and topped with granola. But yogurt can be used in so many other ways. Out of buttermilk for a recipe? Use half milk and half yogurt. Mix plain Greek yogurt with a little lime juice for a great sour cream substitute. You can even use it to replace part or all of the cream in your favorite ice cream recipe.
Adding Greek yogurt to cheese cake recipes makes them lighter. Or, place half yogurt, half orange juice, and half a banana in the blender with a couple of ice cubes for a great fruit smoothie. Or how about yogurt, 1/2 cup of strawberries, and several ice cubes?
Yogurt eaters will get a dose of protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving of regular yogurt, or 15 grams for Greek yogurt), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium.
But one of the words we're hearing more and more of regarding yogurt is probiotics. Probiotics are "friendly bacteria" that are naturally present in the digestive system. Live strains of these good bacteria are also found in many yogurt products. While more research needs to be done, there's some evidence that some strains of probiotics can help boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract.