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Sour Cream vs Greek Yogurt – the Choice of a Creamy Goodness!

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Have you ever done a sour cream vs greek yogurt comparison?

Ever debated that creamy taste you can get from both sour cream and greek yoghurt? Well, I agree, they are both super creamy and delicious. But there’s more to it than that.

Yogurts and creams have become popular in many countries and homes. The great thing about them is their versatility: you are not limited to just one use and, in fact, have a great many ways to use them. Their nutritional value in particular makes it a favorite in my home. Since I love to eat healthy, I often substitute yogurt or sour cream in place of other dairy products.

There are different types of yogurts as well as creams. This has made a lot of us wonder which is which. Learning about this can help you make a choice, depending on what you prefer. The quest to know the differences and similarities between greek yogurt and sour cream has been very popular in recent years. We will go over all of that in this article.

I’d like to say first of all, however, that both are really cool and unique and, most importantly, healthy. Just go for the one that suits your taste.

What Exactly is Sour Cream?

What is sour cream? I assume this question has been asked a thousand times. Not to worry, we’ll get our answer now.

Sour cream is a dairy product obtained from milk. It is fermented with a particular bacteria (lactic acid) through a culture process that makes it easier for our bodies to digest. A process known as souring helps it thicken and become more acidic. It can be made either naturally or artificially.

Traditionally, sour cream was produced by allowing the cream skimmed off a milk top to ferment in medium temperature. This normally contains about 18% to 20% of butter fat.

When making sour cream artificially, gelatin, rennet, guar gum and carrageenan is used to sour the cream. This type contains a minimum of 14% milk fat.

Sour cream is a healthy source of fats and calories and serves as a versatile ingredient for breakfast as well as for cooking different food. It is also a healthy replacement for certain foods with higher levels of fats such as butter, eggs and synthetic sugars.

Sour cream nutrition

I mentioned earlier that sour cream is healthy. And indeed, it is super healthy with numerous nutritional benefits. There’s so many positives sour cream can do for your body that we can’t possibly touch on them all. But let’s go ahead and see a few benefits we can get from this creamy goodness.

Fats: It is high in fats, containing 44 grams of fat per cup of serving. Even though a lot of us see this as a problem, studies  have shown that milk fat has positive impacts on our general health.

Protein: It is rich in protein, containing about 7.13 grams of protein per cup which is needed in the body to generate energy and build the immune system.

Protein is also needed to help in skin repair and maintain healthy hair.

Vitamins: It is rich in vitamins. Sour cream contains vitamin A,  good for our eye sight, and vitamin B12 which helps in the functioning of nerve cells and also the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Riboflavin: It is rich in riboflavin. Riboflavin helps the body’s metabolic processes and also has antioxidant properties.

Minerals: It is rich in minerals, especially phosphorus which plays an important role in the maintenance of dental health as well as bone strength. Other minerals include selenium, calcium, zinc and sodium.

Time to Learn About the Famous Greek Yogurt

Since there are a lot of yogurts out there, we should tell you the difference between them. Lots of recipes call for using greek yogurt so it’s important to understand what it is. A lot of people get confused when they go to the store and see a lot of yogurt options.

Greek yoghurt or strained yogurt is a dairy product obtained from the fermentation of milk with bacteria. It called a strained yogurt since excess water, mineral and lactose are drained out. This makes it more concentrated and richer in protein content.

It has grown to be really popular and a lot of people prefer it to regular yogurt. It is characterized by its thickness and high concentration of proteins with low calories. It is consumable even without cooking.

The low amount of calories makes it very suitable for those of us desiring to lose weight. It serves as a healthy replacement for higher calorie foods such as Granola, eggs and cheese.

And just like sour cream, you can use it as an ingredient for making different foods or take it alone.

Greek yogurt nutrition

Is greek yogurt healthier than sour cream? We are going to find out. Did I mention that yogurts are known as superfoods? Yes, yogurt is a superfood and greek yogurt is packed with loads of nutrition.

There’s a lot of good we can do our bodies by consuming greek yogurt and we’ll be getting into some of them.

Protein: It has high protein content, containing between 12 to 17% protein in one serving. Greek yogurt contains adequate protein to provide the body energy, boost the immune system, build bones, repair skin and maintain healthy hair.

Probiotics: It is rich in probiotics. Probiotics, otherwise called a “good” bacteria, help to keep the digestive tract healthy and boost the immune system.

Calcium: Greek yogurt is also very rich in calcium which is needed for building strong muscles and proper functioning of the organs. It contains about 18% percent your daily calcium value.

Vitamins: It contains vitamin B12 which helps in DNA synthesis and brain functioning. The vitamin B12 percentage per one serving is about 21%.

Potassium: It is rich in potassium, containing about 6% per cup serving, which helps lower blood pressure.

Similarities and Differences Between Yogurt and Sour Cream

Ok, so we know they are both creamy and delicious. Still, we want to know exactly how they are similar and what exactly makes them similar. Therefore, you guessed it, we’ll be looking at the similarities of greek and sour cream.

  • They both provide a creamy and tangy taste.
  • They both have great nutritional properties.
  • They are both dairy products.
  • They are both good sources of calcium and vitamins.
  • They are both produced by the same process of fermentation.
  • They both provide the “good” bacteria known as probiotics which helps keep the gut healthy.

We’ve seen the similarities between the greek yogurt and sour cream but I know a lot of us are as eager to find out the differences. Let’s see what they are:

  • Greek yogurt is lower in fat and has lower calories as well, with about 133 calories in one serving for fat free greek yogurt or nonfat and 300 for the full fat. Sour cream on the other hand, both the fat free sour cream and the full fat versions, has more calories and is higher in fat which can possibly raise cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Greek yogurt is a richer protein source, producing about 71% percent of your daily recommendation. Sour cream contains much less protein.
  • Sour cream is mostly used as a condiment while greek yogurt is considered a snack.
  • Greek yogurt is low in lactose making it appropriate for those who are lactose intolerant.  Sour cream has a higher level of lactose overall.
  • Sour cream contains more whey (the watery part of milk) than greek yogurt. This makes greek yogurt thicker than sour yogurt.
  • Greek yogurt has a stronger flavor than sour cream as sour cream is usually not flavored, unlike greek yogurt which is popular in many different flavors.

The Best Ways to Use Greek Yogurt

We have talked about greek yogurt, both what it is and its nutritional content. Since this has been dealt with, let’s see how you can use it because sometimes you have to make a crucial choice between it and sour cream. One or the other might be right for a  particular dish!

  • For salads: Greek yogurts are great for salads. So in place of mayonnaise or any other high containing cream, greek yogurts are actually a great option to add rich and healthy flavor to salads.
  • For cheese: Greek yogurt is packed with a lot of amazing flavor and makes a delicious accompanying taste to your cheese.
  • Cupcakes: For the love of cupcakes! Greek yogurt on cupcakes makes them just dreamy. Consider it as a healthy alternative to high calorie frosting.
  • Pizza or flatbread: Combining greek yogurt with pizza or flatbread is simply amazing!
  • Smoothie: To make your smoothie smooth, creamy and beautiful, greek yogurt is what the doctor ordered. Besides its creamy nature, it is super healthy.
  • Pancakes: I love pancakes and I’m sure a lot of you do too. Making pancakes with greek yogurt is really wonderful.
  • Muffins: A little tart flavor in muffins is not a bad idea at all. It makes your muffin more moist and tastes great as well.
  • Dessert: Greek yogurt goes well with just about any dessert and can help balance them out.
  • Cornflakes: Instead of whole milk, greek yogurt can come in. That creamy crunch is so fun and satisfying.

There is a lot more you can do with greek yogurt aside from what we’ve mentioned. So I suggest you go ahead and experiment!

The Best Usage of Sour Cream

Just like greek yogurt, sour cream is versatile. There is just so much you can do with sour cream. Some of them are:

  • Cheese: A mixture of sour cream in cheese produces a tender and tasty finish.
  • Salad: Using sour cream for salad dressing is simply yummy! So for those who love a little tang in your salad and love to eat healthy as well, sour cream should be a go to.
  • Cakes: Just like greek yogurt, sour cream gives your cake a tender texture and adds a little tart flavor as well.
  • Meat: Sour cream is great for saucing meat. It makes your meat really delicious and adds some tangy taste to it as well.
  • Dip: Sour cream makes for an awesome dip. It can be used as dip for a variety of things, ranging from vegetables to chips to many other foods. Want to try a new dip? Maybe you should think about sour cream.
  • Dessert: A little change in your dessert routine might not be a totally bad idea. The tangy quality of sour cream adds a new dimension of richness to your dessert.
  • Filling: Sour cream is also great as a filling. The feeling of moist, sour and smooth is simply irresistible and it makes food melt into your mouth just the way you want it to.
  • Batters: I say batters because it can be biscuit, pancakes, or any other thing you make with a dough.  Sour cream adds beautiful flavor and most importantly moisture to it to make really tender.

Conclusion

Sour cream vs yogurt. Hmmm, who won? The quest to know which is better is a confusing one and we understand how tough it is. We’ve seen what sour cream really is, how it is produced (by fermentation of milk) and its makeup. We have also seen how healthy and nutritious it is.

Just like sour cream, we have seen what Greek yogurt is. We also know that, just like sour cream, it is a fermented dairy product and a super healthy one at that. They are both creamy and tasty. We also saw their similarities and differences.

We’ve also listed out some ways in which you can use them. These two are quite flexible and versatile and there’s just so much on the table.

Having seen all of this, I cannot say which is better as both have their uniqueness and serve very important functions to our bodies as well. So sour cream or greek yogurt? The choice of this creamy goodness simply comes down to what works for you.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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