How To Make A Zingy, Low-Cal Tzatziki Dip [Recipe]
Tzatziki Dip is a Low-Calorie, Protein Packed Condiment
More like a condiment than a dressing, tzatziki can be used as a dip for pita bread or chopped up veggies. It’s a tasty sauce on any sandwich, particularly pita wraps or gyros. Tzatziki is also a cool compliment to roasted lamb, beef, chicken or veggies – so have it ready the next time you barbeque or grill up some kabobs.
Once you customize the recipe to suit your tastes, you’ll probably find yourself eating your tzatziki straight from the container with a spoon – it’s that good!
Best of all, in addition to being low in carbs and high in protein, tzatziki is low-calorie when compared to other creamy condiments. There are only 30 calories in two tablespoons – so you can load it on your turkey burger, guilt-free!
Make Tzatziki Like a Pro
As with any dish, the quality of the final product is only as good as the quality of its ingredients. This is especially true for foods that are fresh, rather than cooked, where flavors and textures are much more distinguishable.
We recommend sourcing your ingredients from local purveyors whenever possible (Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic place to start), and prioritizing organic or pesticide-free options whenever you can.
Ingredients For Tzatziki Dip Recipe:
1 cup English cucumber, grated and peeled (leave the seeds for extra flavor and nutrients)
1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (regular yogurt can be substituted but your tzatziki won’t be as flavorful or creamy)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
How To Prepare Tzatziki Dip Recipe:
Grate the English Cucumber, seeds and all, and then blot it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
Cover and chill for at least one hour, a few hours is even better to let all the flavors emerge.
The best way to keep tzatziki a low-calorie snack is to pair it with other healthy, low-calorie items like baked pita chips, fresh vegetables or lean, grilled meats.
Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Tzatziki is one healthy sauce! A primary reason for this is its Greek yogurt base. Greek yogurt is different from traditional yogurt because of how its made. Traditional yogurt, which is runnier, contains more whey – the liquid byproduct of cheese and yogurt production. This whey contains sugar and carbohydrates.
When Greek yogurt is made, the yogurt is suspended longer, which removes more of the whey. The result is a thicker, creamier yogurt that is lower in carbs and sugars – hurray!
Yogurt has several health benefits:
The USDA states that the average cup of non-fat, Greek yogurt contains 25 grams of protein – that’s twice as much protein as traditional yogurt. Protein is essential for cell growth, as well as the growth and repair of muscle tissue (more on that next).
While there are plenty of beans and veggies out there that contain protein, most of us derive the bulk of our protein from meat – which includes fat. Tzatziki that’s made with Greek yogurt will help you enjoy a delicious protein boost without any fat at all.
It’s a Workout Recovery Food
These days, exercise experts recommend following your run, swim, yoga class, workout or intense physical activity with a high-protein snack. The sooner your body has access to protein, the better it can heal torn muscle fibers, necessary for gaining the muscle-building benefits you’re looking for.
Thus, grabbing a container of veggies and a small cup of tzatziki dip can be a great way to tide yourself over to your next meal, while giving your body the protein-boost it wants.
Get Your Probiotics Here
Much is written about probiotics these days. Our bodies contain a range of flora and fauna that work to do everything from prevent infection and keep the “bad” bacteria in check, to facilitating digestion and nutrient absorption. Unfortunately, the balance of healthy flora and fauna is delicate and susceptible to things like chlorinated water, herbicides, pesticides, preservatives and antibiotics.
In fact, a single round of antibiotics for an infection can wipe out significant healthy bacteria colonies throughout your digestive tract and body. That’s where yogurt comes into play.
Yogurts, which are made using strains of body-friendly probiotics – both bacteria and yeast – can help to restore depleted probiotic populations. They will help your digestive tract do its job, keep you regular and are also known to help relieve symptoms of certain digestive conditions such as IBS or Crohn’s disease.
How About Some B12?
B12 supports your nerve and blood cells. It’s important for brain function and energy too. Unfortunately, It’s predominantly found in meat products, which makes it very tricky for vegetarians to consume adequate quantities without relying on supplements.
Greek yogurt has impressive levels of B12, which makes it an excellent way to add meat-free B12 to your diet. That’s good news for vegetarians, but also for those of us who are just trying to cut back on meat consumption.
Potassium for a Healthy Heart
Your body must have salt, but that salt needs to be balanced with potassium. Too much of the former and not enough of the latter takes its toll on heart function, leading to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Potassium is an electrolyte that works with salt to maintain a normal water balance in the cells. Most of us in the United States get more than enough salt, and not enough potassium, which can make it difficult for your body to:
Keep water pressure and circulation in balance
Conduct nerve function
Contract muscle fibers
Keep that heart beating regularly
Greek yogurt is high in potassium but low in sodium, so it’s a good way to boost those potassium levels up to where they need to be.
A Natural Source of Iodine
Iodine supports thyroid function, and your thyroid supports metabolism. Weight fluctuations can be a symptom of iodine deficiency, and many who are overweight find increasing their iodine intake helps with losing unwanted pounds and even helps maintain their target weight.
In an era where iodized salts are being kicked by the wayside in lieu of healthier sea and Himalayan salt options, it’s important to make sure your diet includes natural iodine sources. Examples include sea vegetables, navy beans, strawberries, potatoes AND yogurt. Non-fat Greek yogurt contains 75 micrograms of iodine per cup, roughly half of your daily recommended iodine intake.
Enjoy Fresh, Summertime Flavors All Year Round
Tzatziki is a cool and refreshing snack – both in temperature and in flavor. Whip up a batch this grilling season and see what the hype is all about. It’s so easy to prepare that we predict you’ll enjoy its fresh and delicious summertime flavor all year round.
For more health and fitness tips, visit Amfamfit.com or contact American Family Fitness to get advice from a certified fitness professional.