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Hungry Girl Today: 1.18.12

Hey HG,

I just ate plain Greek yogurt for the first time and wasn't impressed. It is not good at all. Can you tell me how to make it taste better?

Tabatha's Trying

Hi Tabatha,

You're not alone. A lot of people find plain fat-free Greek yogurt too sour. Luckily, there are a lot of guilt-free ways to doctor up your yogurt and make it taste REALLY delicious. Compared to regular yogurt, it has about twice as much protein, fewer carbs, less sodium, and less sugar -- so it's worth another try.

First of all, not all plain Greek yogurts are created equal; some taste better than others. I LOVE the ones by Fage and Chobani. Now that that's settled...

If it's just some sweetness you're missing, try adding a packet of your favorite no-calorie sweetener (like Splenda or Truvia). Then add a drop or two of vanilla extract. Basic but delicious, and hardly any extra calories.

Want to really crank up the flavor? Swirl in some light or fat-free caramel dip (Marzetti makes this) or stir in a little sugar-free or low-sugar preserves. I've even added Crystal Light -- believe it or not, this tastes AMAZING.

Wanna add something crunchy? Crisp fresh fruit (like chopped apple), freeze-dried fruit, cereal, crushed soy crisps or mini rice cakes (sweet flavors, like caramel), a few mini chocolate chips... These all work great!

Don't feel like doing any work at all? You can find single-serving Greek yogurt containers with sidecars of gooey fruit mixture or granola topping. Look for kinds with 150 calories or less each. And of course there are also flavored Greek yogurts that are worth checking out.

Hope you find a delicious option that works for you. P.S. If nothing else, Greek yogurt works great in recipes -- click 'n see!

Hi Hungry Girl,

I am always starving at work come midmorning. Can you suggest something low in calories that would hold me over until lunch? It has to be delicious and easy. Thanks!

Midmorning Muncher

Hi Midmorning Muncher,

First of all, don't skip breakfast. (Bad idea.) For a satisfying pre-lunch snack, look for something with protein and fiber. The easiest way to go is with a bar -- but I'm pretty picky when it comes to bars. I look for ones that have 200 calories or less and at least 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Some bars are a bit lower in protein and fiber but pack a good amount of healthy fats from things like nuts; these are also pretty satisfying. I really like Luna (Luna Protein ROCKS), KIND, and Larabar. And one of my new favorites is Nimble by Balance Bar (especially the Peanut Butter flavor) -- just 120 calories and 4g fat. The single-serving yogurt combos mentioned in the last Q&A (above) are great -- Greek yogurt has so much protein, and you don't need to measure anything out. Fat-free and low-fat cottage cheese also have impressive stats and come in single-serving containers. Keep some fruit at the office, and you can toss it with the yogurt or cottage cheese for a good dose of fiber. (Plus, fruit is delicious!)

If you're feeling a bit more adventurous (read: you're open to snacks that aren't typical morning foods), I've got some fun pre-lunch picks. These Salsa-fied Tuna Stacks are easy to make, and the entire recipe has less than 200 calories. Hard-boiled egg whites with Dijonnaise are another great snack -- egg whites are high in protein, and Dijonnaise has just 5 calories per teaspoon. Other awesome combos? Lean deli turkey slices wrapped around pickles, light string cheese with a few almonds, and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light spread on apple slices.

Give these a try. I promise you won't be starving when lunch rolls around...

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