Favorite Thing Friday: Chobani

Yogurt is an acquired taste. I used to not be a fan… especially of the Fruit-on-the-bottom varieties of the 90s that my mother insisted on packing in my lunch as a kid. 

Enter Chobani. I like yogurt now. A lot. 
I’m not sure who told me or where I heard that greek yogurt was good for you, but I just decided one day to buy some at Target. They had all kinds of flavors that I liked, peach, blueberry, mango (!), pineapple and good ole’ vanilla was even delicious. For about a year I kept seeing where greek yogurt was being used as a substitute in cooking, but since I wasn’t much of a cooker until this year, that wasn’t very meaningful to me. 

Enter plain Chobani, a hungry husband, a kitchen and summer break. This yogurt has changed my life. I’ve used it for everything.. from mac & cheese, to pizza, to brownies, to pancakes, to enchiladas. It is the absolute most versatile food ever. I’ll even spread it on a waffle and drizzle some honey over it in the morning for a quick protein breakfast. The other day I was shocked to find that with fresh strawberries and blueberries and honey, plain yogurt tastes strikingly similar to vanilla. Today even I subbed plain Cho in tuna salad (with ½ the mayo… you really can’t replace mayo) and loved it to pieces. 

I think the best part of this stuff, isn’t that it tastes exactly like sour cream on a taco and packs a fraction of the fat and a ton more protein, or that blends perfectly in with a brownie or pancake, but that it leaves you feeling full. Before school was out, I made a baked mac & cheese with Chobani and normally I would eat lunch around 11 but by the time 2:30 rolled around I was always starving. When I took the mac & cheese, I was full until dinner time. I was shocked. Great job, Cho. Those low calorie sweetened yogurts of the 90s (I guess they are still around), pack a ton of sugar and I never really feel like they fed me, just curbed a sugar craving. 

They have a great start-up story, and I just love the spirit of the company. It is such a great snapshot of how America is a great place for business. Their prime advertising strategy is social media, which is completely brilliant. They have Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter accounts where they constantly interact with consumers. I LOVE their Pinterest boards, as they are constantly compiling and sharing recipes that use Chobani (where I found mac & cheese and BBQ chicken pizza) and motivation for eating right and exercising. 

So yum. Below are some of my Chobani creations!

So, if you aren’t a believer in greek yogurt yet, I challenge you to go pick a flavor and try it. My absolute favorite is black cherry. If you add some oats to the top you’ll be shocked you aren’t eating good ole American cherry pie. If you’re already a cooker and are looking for ways to cut calories and add protein, grab a plain carton of Cho and see what you can create! 

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