Three ways to make this delicious and healthy dip!

 

This week’s posts will be all Greek to you!

 

The reason? There’s an ongoing Greek-food-themed party on Twitter! Many fellow-food-bloggers are posting recipes to celebrate the new movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 which premieres this week in most countries – not in Greece, though. Here we have to wait until April 7.

 

So, I felt I had to make my own little contribution to the party. For many reasons. First of all, well… I’m Greek!

 

But I also have a very interesting perspective on this movie, at least the first one.

You see, when I first watched it back in 2002, I laughed a lot not only because it was a really good comedy but also at the way Greeks were pictured. To my eyes, it looked so exaggerated. Hilarious but clearly overdrawn. Which is not a bad thing, of course, it’s a movie, it’s supposed to entertain. What escaped me at the beginning was the difference between the Greeks who live in Greece and the ones who have built their lives on another continent, who created families in different cultures trying to keep theirs alive, the ones who were born and raised by Greek parents in other countries.

 

Oh, wait… I know such people… In fact, I’m married to one!

 

And that’s where the big surprise came from. When I watched the movie with my husband and my in-laws, I was amazed at how many things they could actually relate to! They were raised by Greek parents in Canada, and they had real stories to share that had many things in common with Toula’s struggles in the film!

 

Suddenly, the Portokalos family became more of a possible existing family and not just a fictional one. It may not be accurate to every last detail but it definitely has many truths revealed about the way Greek families live their lives on the other side of the planet.

 

Which makes me really eager to watch the sequel. I really can’t wait to see what my beloved niece would have gone through if she had been raised in Canada, hypothetically speaking!

 

And since the Portokalos family were restaurant owners in the movie, we have to pay tribute to one of the most famous Greek recipes in the world. An amazing, healthy dip that is so good for you!

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki!

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

What I have for you today is not just the recipe but also the secrets of making this wonderful dip perfect every time. Plus two different variations that you are going to love.

 

But let’s start with the details of the making.

 

First, the yogurt.

You need full-fat, strained, Greek yogurt to make tzatziki.

Can you use low-fat strained yogurt? Yes, you can, but you will be sacrificing its texture and its taste.

Can you use no-fat strained yogurt or other kinds of yogurt? The answer is no. In order for the ingredients to be combined together into a creamy dip, you need the fat and you need yogurt that has been strained off extra moisture. Otherwise, you won’t be making tzatziki but something closer to a smoothie.

 

Next, the cucumber.

I don’t need to tell you that we prefer to make it when cucumbers are in season, do I? We prefer local, small cucumbers, with no seeds and if we can go for organic, even better.

Do we peel them? Even though you can keep the skin, it will make the next step difficult and it’s the most crucial one.

You need to grate the cucumber before you add it to the yogurt. But if you add it like this, you get kind of a smoothie again…

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

If you want your tzatziki to be creamy, you need to get rid of most of the cucumber’s moisture. Remember that they are among the vegetables with the highest content in water- about 96%!

How do you do it? Using a piece of tulle or a very thin towel, you squeeze as much water as you can out of it.

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

Alternatively, you can do it with your hands. You may have come across other directions that say you can leave it in a sieve overnight. Not enough! If you don’t squeeze, the water will end up in your tzatziki.

 

The quantities of the ingredients.

You can absolutely experiment with them! For example, some people like it too hot and spicy and they add lots of garlic. Others don’t. It’s totally up to you. Just bear in mind that the garlic taste becomes stronger the longer it stays in the yogurt.

 

But I promised you two more variations, right?

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

So, apart from the classic

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

There’s also the crunchy!

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

And last but not least, the colorful!

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

In the crunchy edition, you just add grated carrot and diced red pepper.

In the colorful one, as you may have probably already guessed, this amazing color is a gift from grated beets!

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

You can find the recipes below for all three variations. Which one will you choose to make?

I hope I’ve given you all the guidelines needed but if you have any questions,  I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments below!

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki

  • Servings: about 2½ cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

What you need:

  • 2 cups full-fat, strained Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cucumber, grated (measured before straining)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (plus more for garnish if you wish)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt

 

What to do:

– Place yogurt in a medium bowl.

– Using a thin towel or piece of tulle or your hands, squeeze as much water as you can out of the grated cucumber. Add the strained cucumber to the yogurt.

– Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until they are well combined.

– Garnish with olive oil and / or freshly-ground pepper and serve.

 

 

Crunchy Greek tzatziki

  • Servings: about 2½ cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

What you need:

  • 2 cups full-fat, strained Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup cucumber, grated (measured before straining)
  • ½ cup carrot, grated
  • 1/8 cup sweet, red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (plus more for garnish if you wish)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt

 

What to do:

– Place yogurt in a medium bowl.

– Using a thin towel or piece of tulle or your hands, squeeze as much water as you can out of the grated cucumber. Add the strained cucumber to the yogurt.

– Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until they are well combined.

– Garnish with olive oil and / or freshly-ground pepper and serve.

 

 

Colorful beet tzatziki

  • Servings: about 3 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

What you need:

  • 2 cups full-fat, strained Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup beets, boiled, skinned and grated
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for garnish if you wish)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt

 

What to do:

– Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl.

– Stir until they are well combined.

– Garnish with olive oil and / or freshly-ground pepper and serve.

 

 

Authentic Greek tzatziki! One of the healthiest dips you can make. The classic recipe plus two delicious variations. | Healthy Bits and Bites

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Authentic Greek tzatziki (plus two delicious variations!)

    1. Thank you, Evi! My favorite is the beet one. Its taste is different and the color is unique!

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