The healthy food movement is alive and kicking.
“The consumer-driven shift towards fresher, cleaner foods isn’t a fad. It is a movement that is here to stay,” reported “Fortune” last year.
And stay it has!
We are increasingly seeing more fine-dining restaurants offer fresh, seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients within their menus. As well as many fast casual concepts making health-conscious decisions when it comes to sourcing ingredients, ultimately, making the healthy food movement part of their business model.
According to a Statista survey, 59 percent of professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation stated that vegetable carb substitutes were a top trend in main dishes for restaurant menus in 2017. In another survey from the same source, 76 percent of consumers said they are making small changes to achieve a healthier overall diet in 2016.
At the rate consumers are gravitating to a health-conscious diet, it is more important than ever for foodservice professionals and suppliers to recognize this and cater to the demand.
That’s exactly what yogurt company Chobani® has been doing through its recipe gallery for the foodservice industry.
For many, yogurt has long been considered a healthy snack alternative to candy or potato chips. Greek yogurt, specifically, has many health benefits helping people maintain a balanced, nutritious diet— packed with protein, probiotics, calcium, B-12, potassium, and amino acids, among other benefits.
The thick consistency of plain Greek yogurt lends itself to be a healthy food substitution alternative to sour cream, for example, while opening the gateway to creativity for other sweet and savory applications.
Chef Jake Briere, who has been working with Chobani® for over three years in their culinary development department, has been generating cooking techniques using Greek yogurt helping operators find ways to improve the nutritional outcome of their menu items without sacrificing on flavor or quality.
“A huge focus for me right now is what I might call yogurt awareness, which is the education of how to use Greek yogurt as an ingredient to achieve a ‘better for you’ recipe or end product that you feel good about serving and consuming,” says Chef Briere.
He further explains that because plain Greek yogurt is a substrate for flavor, the product makes for a great base to any sauce, dip, spread, and dressing.
“The versatility of the product really makes it an all-star when you consider all the other applications, like using it to quickly marinate proteins, add a cool element to hot soups, and a subtle tang to custards,” says Chef Briere.
Plain yogurt can also be used in a number of baking applications like traditional naan bread, muffins, and cakes.
“The functional aspect of cooking with Greek yogurt can also benefit a recipe, like in a scratch baking, the protein in the yogurt can help improve the crumb and moisture,” says Chef Briere.
What is special about Chobani® products apart from their use of real fruits, natural sweeteners, and local sourcing practices is the fact their Greek yogurt goes through an authentic straining process which makes Chobani®’s yogurt extra thick and gives it twice as much protein than regular, unstrained yogurts*.
Protein content of a meal can help sway diners’ decisions at the time of meal purchasing. Now, with so many restaurants offering clear labeling of nutritional value per meal, it is the perfect opportunity to encourage nutritious and delicious eating.
*Chobani® Greek yogurt contains at least 12% more of the daily value for protein than regular, unstrained yogurt. Protein content of regular low-fat yogurt is 11 grams protein per 8 oz. serving; Chobani® Greek yogurt low-fat contains 11-12 grams of protein per 5.3 oz. serving.