Kid-friendly Fabulous Feta Tzatziki Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

Recipe: Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by etorres/Shutterstock.com
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

What happens when Greek yogurt, salty feta, and refreshing mint leaves come together? A Mediterranean masterpiece fit for drizzling, dipping, or dolloping! Try it on Greek salads, gyros, stuffed veggies, or whatever your palate craves!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Fork (optional)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
scale
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Ingredients

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

  • 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub soy or coconut milk-based plain Greek yogurt)**
  • 1/3 C feta cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1/4 C nutritional yeast)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 handful fresh mint, optional

Food Allergen Substitutions

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

  • Dairy: Substitute soy or coconut milk-based plain Greek yogurt. For 1/3 C feta cheese, substitute 1/4 C nutritional yeast.

Instructions

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

1.
crumble + tear

In a medium mixing bowl, crumble 1/3 cup of feta cheese as finely as possible with a fork or your fingers. Also, tear 1 handful of fresh mint (optional) and toss that into the same bowl.

2.
measure + whisk

Measure 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon water, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning into the mixing bowl with the feta and mint. Whisk all the ingredients until a light and tangy sauce is formed. Drizzle this sauce over your Great Greek Tasty Tofu Gyros (see recipe)!

Surprise Ingredient: Yogurt!

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Photo by mama_mia/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Yogurt!

"I'm a creamy and tangy food, and I'm very versatile! I work with both savory and sweet dishes. I also have less fat and more protein than sour cream, but you can often cook with me in the same way!"

History & Etymology

  • Yogurt's origin is undetermined. The earliest yogurts may have been spontaneously fermented by bacteria on plants or milk-producing animals. Historians believe it may have emerged during the last Stone Age, sometime between 10,000 to 4,500 BCE, when the Neolithic people began domesticating animals. 
  • Ancient Grecians, Romans, and Persians ate a yogurt-like dairy product called "oxygala" (οξύγαλα). They would eat it with honey. These days people often eat plain yogurt with honey, especially Greek yogurt.  
  • Greek yogurt is strained, which eliminates the whey and other liquids, causing it to be thicker and have more tang than regular yogurt. It also has two times the amount of protein. It is called Greek-style yogurt if it is thickened by adding powdered milk or another dry thickener. People with lactose intolerance may have less trouble eating it.
  • In 1916, Isaac Carasso of Barcelona introduced packaged yogurt to Europe. He dubbed it Danone, his son Daniel's nickname.
  • Yogurt with added fruit jam was introduced in 1933 in Prague. Dannon, the North American subsidiary of Danone, produced a fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt in 1947. 
  • The word "yogurt" is from the early 17th century and is derived from the Turkish "yoğurt" (pronounced "yohght"). 

How Is it Made?

  • Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made with milk. The bacteria used to ferment the milk is called the yogurt culture or starter. During fermentation, the lactose (the sugar in milk) is converted into lactic acid, which gives yogurt its tangy flavor and changes the milk protein, resulting in yogurt's texture. 
  • In various parts of the world, yogurt may be made from cow's milk, the most common source, or the milk of camels, goats, sheep, water buffalo, and yaks. 
  • Soy yogurt, a dairy-free alternative, is made from soy milk, which is not an animal product, as it is made from soybeans. 
  • Milk is first heated to about 185 degrees F to kill undesirable bacteria and alter the milk proteins so that they set together rather than form curds. The milk is then cooled to about 113 degrees F. Next, the bacteria culture or starter is added, and the temperature is kept at 86 to 113 degrees F for 6 to 12 hours to allow fermentation. 
  • If mold develops on the yogurt, toss it, as scraping off the top, visibly moldy layer does not entirely remove mold that has seeped into the rest of the yogurt. 

How to Eat It

  • You can eat plain yogurt by itself or with some honey or fruit. You can also buy yogurt that has already been sweetened and with fruit or fruit jam added. 
  • You can add plain yogurt to salad dressings, dips, sauces, and soups. It can add extra tang and richness to meat and poultry dishes in place of sour cream and brings tang and moisture to pancakes, cakes, and other baked goods. A fun way to eat fruit-flavored yogurt is in pies and frozen yogurt popsicles. 

Nutrition

  • Yogurt is rich in protein, vitamins B12 and riboflavin (B2), and the minerals phosphorus and calcium. 
  • Some studies found that eating 80 grams per day of low-fat yogurt was connected with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and aiding bone health and digestion.

What is Tzatziki?

Photo by Stephanie Frey/Shutterstock.com
  • Tzatziki (tzat-ZEE-key) is a Greek dip or sauce made of plain Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and salt. It may also contain dill, lemon juice or vinegar, mint, parsley, and thyme. "Tzatziki" is a loan word from Modern Greek, from the Turkish "cacık."
  • The yogurt and cucumber make tzatziki tangy and refreshing. You may be familiar with it if you have eaten gyros (YEE-ros) or souvlaki (soo-VLAH-kee). You can also have it with bread, pita chips, vegetables, chicken, fish, or other meats. In Southern Europe and the Middle East, tzatziki is served with small plates or appetizers ("meze").

Let's Learn About Greece!

Photo by NadyaEugene/Shutterstock.com

Ancient Greece

  • Ancient Greece was a civilization in the northeastern Mediterranean region that existed from about 1100 BCE to 600 CE. Democracy began there in Athens in the 5th century BCE.
  • The first Olympics were dedicated to the Olympian gods and were staged on the plains of Olympia. Ancient Olympic sports included running, chariot racing, mule-cart racing, boxing, discus throw, long jump, wrestling, and pankration, a wild cross between wrestling and boxing with no rules except biting and eye-gouging!
  • A few of the well-known figures from this period were: Alexander the Great, who ruled over the whole empire from 336 to 323 BCE; Hippocrates, a physician referred to as the Father of Medicine; Herodotus, called the Father of History, who wrote his "Histories" about the Greco-Persian wars; Socrates, considered the founder of Western Philosophy; Plato, an author and philosopher who founded the first academy of higher learning in the West; Aristotle, a student of Plato's who also founded a school of philosophy; and Thales, a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece.  

Modern Greece

  • Greece, in Southeast Europe, is officially called the Hellenic Republic. Its government is a unitary parliamentary republic with a president, prime minister, and parliament. The capital and largest city is Athens, and the official language is Greek.
  • Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 and was recognized as an independent country in 1830. 
  • The size of Greece is about the same as the US state of Alabama but has twice as many people, over 10.5 million. 
  • The country of Greece consists of 6,000 islands, but only 227 are inhabited. Nearly 80 percent of the country is hills and mountains. 
  • About four-fifths of the people live in urban areas in Greece, and almost everyone is literate.
  • Greece has three times the number of annual tourists (about 31 million) as residents. It is one of the most-visited countries.
  • Greece is the third-largest producer of peaches and the fifth-largest producer of olives in the world. 
  • In the past, most Greeks were farmers, and they ate the food that they grew. Since Greece had a mild climate, they could grow many different fruits and vegetables as long as they got enough rain. Vegetables were a considerable part of the Greek diet and still are. Most Greeks eat a Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of olive oil, legumes, fruits, veggies, grains, and fish. They generally consume less dairy and meat.
  • Greek cuisine includes "fasolada" (soup of white beans, olive oil, and veggies), "moussaka" (eggplant or potato dish with ground or minced meat), "souvlaki" (grilled meat on a skewer), and "gyros" (pita bread filled with meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, veggies, and tzatziki sauce). 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Greece?

  • Greek kids have three stages of education: primary school for six years, gymnasium (junior high) for three years, and lyceum (senior high) for three years (this stage is not mandatory).
  • Kids may participate in sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, and handball. 
  • There are many museums and ancient sites to explore in Greece. Families love being outdoors and enjoy hiking and going to the many beaches. 
  • There are several different sweets that Greek children enjoy. These include "pasteli" (sesame seed candy), "bougatsa" and "galaktoboureko" (phyllo pastries filled with semolina custard), and "baklava" (nut-filled phyllo pastry soaked in a honey syrup).

THYME for a Laugh

What did the frustrated cheese say?

I'm feta up!

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