Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Easy Greek Yogurt Dessert with Agave Nectar and Pecans

Greek Yogurt with Agave Nectar
Here's a delicious dessert you can make in about one minute!

If you've never tasted Greek Yogurt, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. I'd heard about Greek Yogurt for years, but hadn't seen it for sale in Salt Lake until recently when my friend Georgette informed me she found it at Wild Oats here. Imagine how excited I was when I went to Wild Oats and found three brands of Greek Yogurt. All were good, but of the three my favorite is Fage Total Greek Yogurt (pronounced Fa' Yeh). Normally Greek yogurt has more fat than regular yogurt, but I bought the fat free version of Fage Total Yogurt, and it tastes fantastic.

I first raved about Greek yogurt when I used it to make the World's Best Tzatziki Sauce, but one of the traditional ways to eat this in Greece is as a dessert. It's drizzled with a bit of honey, topped with walnuts, sometimes figs or other fruit, and possibly a bit of mint. Since honey has a high glycemic index, in this recipe I substituted agave nectar for the honey, which makes this much lower-glycemic dessert.


Greek Yogurt with Agave Nectar and Pecans
(Makes 1 - 2 servings, depending on whether you're having it after a large meal.)

Ingredients:
1 container Greek yogurt 5-6 oz. (I used Fage Total Greek Yogurt, fat free variety)
1 T agave nectar (the amber variety of agave nectar will taste most like honey)
about 10 pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Instructions:
Run a knife around the outside edge of the yogurt inside the container, then invert container over a plate so yogurt comes out upside-down. Drizzle amber agave nectar over yogurt, then sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Agave nectar is mostly fructose, the type of natural sweetener found in fruit, with a small amount of glucose. For this reason this dessert should be limited to phase two or three of the South Beach Diet. (Read here for more about Agave Nectar.)

More Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes using Greek Yogurt:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Fresh Peach and Blueberry Yogurt Parfait 
Low-Sugar Double Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
Greek Yogurt Dessert with Hazelnut Agave and Shaved Dark Chocolate
Low-Sugar, Fat-Free Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Pops
Low-Sugar, Fat Free Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

33 comments:

  1. Kalyn, I have been reading about Greek yogurt ever since I started reading food blogs (almost 2 years).
    We can't find it here in Brazil but I've seen some ways of draining regular yogurt to get something close to Greek yogurt.
    I've seen it in TV food shows and it's really thick! :)

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  2. yum, i love greek yogurt! thanks for posting this recipe!

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  3. Stunning conversion to South Beach Kalyn! I eat this fairly regularly, with walnuts and honey, but I'll try and get some agave syrup and eat it in a more healthy fashion in future!

    Thanks for the link!

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  4. I'm a big Fage fan--and now I know how to pronounce it, too.
    I just this morning had cup up canteloupe with a dollop of Fage, a drizzle of honey, and some chopped mint from the garden: heaven.

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  5. I'm ready to go face-down in that photo. I LOVE Greek yogurt.

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  6. Looks great, I bet you don't even miss the sugar. And it looks savory as well.

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  7. Any tips on where to find agave syrup? Is it something I will likely have to order online? This looks fantastic and I am dying to try it!

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  8. Patricia, I have tried that trick of using a coffee filter to strain the water out of the yogurt, and it's pretty close.

    Jessica, you're welcome.

    Dianne, thanks. It was so, so good.

    Lucette, isn't it just fantastic!

    Jenny, me too.

    Kelly, the agave nectar tastes great.

    Sarah, I'm writing more about agave nectar tomorrow. I think it's pretty widely available, much more than a few years ago. I'm guessing you can get it at most any health food store, or you can definitely get it online. The brand I have is even available at Amazon.com.

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  9. I love love love Greek yogurt but am also having great luck at my neighborhood international grocery with Lebanese, Russian, etc -- they're all thick and luscious and have considerably more 'spark' than American yogurt. Last night I stirred in some sorghum for dessert, some times it's jam.

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  10. Thank you for posting this recipe. I am always looking for healthy ways to use yogurt.

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  11. Oh, that looks so delicious! Greek yogurt makes such a luscious dessert. I love it with honey, fresh berries, and toasted pistachios too.

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  12. In summer I love Greek yogurt with comb honey. We have some quite good versions in NZ.

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  13. Greek yogurt is best served overlooking the Agean Sea on a Greek island. That makes everything taste better!!!The substitution of the algave Nectar sounds intriguing!!!

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  14. I just discovered Greek yogurt this year also and yes it does live up to it's hype. And the fat free is lovely!

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  15. Very nice...I have to try Agave soon...I see it in the ethnic section all the time.

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  16. This is heaven! I was based in Greece for two months and I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with Greek yogurt...isn't it the best thing ever? :) And I used to take Fage too! You are SO lucky that it's available where you are...I had to pine for years before I found a good replacement here! This was my breakfast today :)

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  17. You know, I see it all the time but I'd never thought how to pronounce Fage! I love this sort of instant pudding and the protein and fat in the yogurt and nuts are likely to effectively lower the GI of the agave nectar even more.

    In the UK Yeo Valley have recently started making cow-friendly organic greek style yogurt which has made me very happy indeed!

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  18. I have loved the Greek way pf serving yoghurt with nuts and honey ever since a friend went travelling and came back with this recipe idea - it's so simple and so satisfying! Have never tasted agave nectar - does it have a flavour like honey, or is it more neutral like corn syrup?

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  19. Alanna, sugar free jam + Greek yogurt; there's anothr great idea, thanks!

    Pam, you're welcome.

    Susan, love the idea of the toasted pistachios with this.

    Barbara, wish I could come there and taste it!

    Valli, I do agree!

    Tanna, isn't it just wonderful!

    Peter I really love the flavor of the Agave nectar.

    Joey, how wonderful learning to like it in Greece. For some reason I never had it when I went there.

    Sophie, good point about the fat and protein lowering the GI, and good news about the organic yogurt too.

    Jeanne, the Agave has a delightful flavor. The amber type tastes quite a bit like honey and the light type more like sugar.

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  20. Hi Kalyn,
    Please don't call this sugar-free. Agave Nectar is 70% fructose and 30% glucose, both naturally occurring sugars. While you are correct that it does have a low glycemic value, it would be false to call it sugar-free. Please refer to this scholarly article published in Organic Processing Magazine for more information: http://www.agavenectar.com/CRMart/CRMart1.html.

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  21. Deb, I believe I've already cautioned about the fructose in my post, and sources I found listed the glucose as about 10%, not 30%. When I say "sugar-free" I'm referring to it being an alternate to white table sugar, not a complete lack of glucose or fructose, and I think people will realize that. Even yogurt has some natural milk sugars, but this is a safe product for people who are trying to limit their use of white sugar.

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  22. I ate plain yogurt with honey last night for dessert and remembered that you were planning on posting something about greek yogurt with another type of sweetener (I couldn't remember what it was you used). I'm off to find some agave nectar today and I think I'll stop by Trader Joes for Greek yogurt because I heard they have a good fat free one. Thanks!

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  23. I almost forgot to mention that your photos are beautiful!

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  24. Nicole, thanks! I'm trying out some of the things we learned, but I still have a lot to learn about food styling!

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  25. I bottom !! Congratulations !

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  26. hi Kalyn, this is my first time commenting - I think! - but I just wanted to tell you that I started the South Beach diet recently, and the idea of walnuts in plain yogurt sounds fabulous. It may just get me through my breakfast slump. I will skip the agave nectar until phase II, but at least I've got something crunchy in my yogurt! I wouldn't have thought of it myself -- I hate nuts by themselves.

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  27. I tried Greek yogurt recently for the first time and... oh, wow! I didn't realize what I was missing! I found a fat-free brand at Whole Foods. It was fantastic!

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  28. Dessert? I'm with lucette - I eat Fage, fruit, granola and nuts almost every day for breakfast. And every day it's a treat!

    I use it instead of sour cream on tacos, soups, etc, and would happily eat it for dessert too!

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  29. For those of you who have a Trader Joe's nearby, you will find an Organic Blue Agave Nectar there.

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  30. Hi I love your desert but I do not think it is accurate to describe it as sugar free when it contains agave. Agave is 70-90% fructose which is a sugar. As with high fructose corn syrup there are possible serious health risks associated with eating products high in fructose.
    I am concerned that Agave is being promoted as healthy and natural when it is potentially very unhealthy and is not natural.... check it out for yourselves... ThursdaysGirl

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  31. Thursdaysgirl, I believe I already addressed the issue of calling this sugar-free with a previous commenter. As far as the health concerns of fructose, this recipe has one tablespoon of Agave Nectar. I personally don't think it's a concern.

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  32. Greek yogurt is awesome. When I first read this, I didn't have pecans. I had pistachios. The were crunchier but the flavor was also amazing. Any favorite nut will work.

    To get the best deal, I have bought agave nectar by the case from Amazon. Now that my grocery store carries it, the price seems to be going down. I have read many articles that agave is healthier and low-glycemic. My tongue disagrees. It is too good to be true!

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  33. I had this today and thank you for the inpsiration! I didn't have pecans, though and used cashews. I will try pecans another time. Thanks! Yummy.

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