I’m in New York City on business for a few days this week. Somehow all of my meetings worked out to be staggered perfectly around each meal time on a single day. It was positively gorgeous outside, so I walked about 60 blocks throughout lower Manhattan to get to each meeting. My second-to-last meeting was with the nice folks from Chobani and it timed out perfectly for a post-lunch dessert / mid-day snack.
“A first-of-its-kind Mediterranean yogurt bar in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood- this is @chobani like you’ve never had it before,” is how the @ChobaniSoHo Twitter page describes itself. It’s dead on. I was invited to meet the Chobani team at their six-week-old yogurt bar. I’m a total Chobani fanboy; a significant part of my grocery budget goes to their Greek yogurt. So of course I’ll meet you there!
The shop is nestled on the corner of a likable street in SoHo, just a few blocks from the brand’s NYC office. It’s got all the allure of most fro-yo shops, except this isn’t frozen. Barely. They say they keep the yogurt chilled to about 34 degrees, where grocery stores only manage about 41 degrees.
Since we eat with our eyes, the bright LED board displaying their ten menu options pulled me and my appetite in. Even with a simple menu, it was not simple to make a choice. Finally, I committed to the Pistachio + Chocolate. The brand’s tagline is not a lie… this was nothing but good. Frankly, nothing but amazing and truly indulgent.
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If you’re a dairy farmer or yogurt manufacturer, then consider being in Albany, New York on August 15 for what is likely the state’s (or any for that matter) first yogurt summit. The state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, recognizes the booming business that could potentially grow New York’s economy more than it already has.
“The state will look at regulations and laws that could get in the way of farmers providing more milk and manufacturers making yogurt,” explained an AP News release.
“Chobani strongly supports Governor Cuomo in his charge to continue to grow the New York State economy and help industries who are making a difference in doing so like Greek yogurt,” Chobani, leading Greek yogurt brand in the country, told us in an email.
The brand plans to be in attendance at the summit later this month, and says “We’re proud to be a part of the Greek yogurt boom in New York State and are committed to building the industry by supporting our farmers and local community and continually investing in our Chenango County production plant.”
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There are stories that Elvis Presley would eat one food, in particular meatloaf, for weeks. It would be the only thing he’d eat. I tend to get in to similar ruts with breakfast. It will be three months of nothing but scrambled eggs and toast. And then I’ll switch to months and months of Cheerios, or yogurt with granola. Last week, it was time for a change, and I rediscovered my blender.
Smoothies are a perfect breakfast. They are fast, simple, and can give you several full servings of fruits and vegetables in a glass. Drink it on the go and you can’t complain about not having time for breakfast!
I assessed the smoothie-making ingredients I had on hand… fresh baby spinach, an avocado, a pint of blueberries, bananas, ice, and Chobani Greek yogurt. I had a few flavors to choose from (because we’re rarely without) and I opted for the brand new blood orange. I hadn’t yet tried it, and figured this was a perfect opportunity to add a burst of sweetness to my smoothie. The color, when all stirred and combined, wasn’t as bold as I’d expected (I mean, have you seen the raspberry Chobani? Pop!), but the flavor was perfect.
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Greek yogurt is growing in popularity and seems to be popping up for sale at every grocery store. Aside from being thick, rich and high in protein, Greek yogurt has intense versatility. You can use it to cook with or in place of condiments that might be higher in fat and calories. At Diets in Review, we like to lean toward Chobani and Fage for our Greek yogurt purposes. The possibilities with this product are endless and it can all be done with zero percent fat, plain Greek yogurt.
We recently spoke with recipe developer, cookbook author, lifestyle blogger and President of Ingredients, Inc. Alison Lewis about some of her favorite uses for Greek yogurt. “I love to use it instead of sour cream in dips, tacos and fajitas. I also love to use it in spreads, dressings and in baked good recipes for muffins, cookies and quick breads,” Alison said.
You may be wondering about substituting and if it will affect the taste of your items, so I asked Alison if she noticed a difference in flavor when using Greek yogurt. “Actually I think it gives all of the foods a richer, tastier flavor. My kids cannot even tell when I have replaced it on top of baked potatoes or tacos. I think it adds even more moisture and fluffiness to baked goods,” she said.
Using Greek yogurt in some of your favorite recipes can definitely help you cut fat, calories and add protein without sacrificing flavor. Below are some suggestions for using plain Greek yogurt in your favorite dishes.
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Americans have found a new yogurt. According the to the numbers, Greek yogurt sales are dominating the market and look to continue that pattern.
Currently, Greek yogurt accounts for a quarter of the total U.S. yogurt market. The top two national Greek yogurt companies are Chobani and Fage, and each company is currently expanding their plants to meet the demands. Chobani produces an astounding 1.5 million cases of the thick yogurt every week. Consumers are foregoing the thinner, sometimes watery, version of yogurt for the thick creamy blends of Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt unique texture is achieved by straining off the whey, leaving a creamier yogurt with nearly twice the amount of protein of a traditional.
Many foods have been issued fad status and some of the rapid growth of Greek yogurt may be attributed to that. However, there’s a strong industry belief that Greek yogurt is here to stay. Its rapid rise to fame may speak to its predicted longevity.
In 2005, Hamdi Ulukaya bought an old Kraft Foods plant in New York state. He planned to make the type of yogurt that was common to his home country of Turkey. He didn’t feel the current yogurt in stores was being made right so Ulukaya and his company Agro-Farma began producing yogurt for companies like Stonyfield Farms and eventually, his current company, Chobani, was launched in 2007.
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