Yassou! It’s Greek tzatziki sauce recipe we’ll be having today at Healthy Kitchen 101.
This superb recipe actually came from Gracey-the-vegetarian, when I was asking the team the other day to offer some recommendation on a new paste to go with my toasts after about 2 consecutive weeks of guacamole (remember our superb recipe?). One can have too much of a good thing, apparently.
“This is what the Greek gods eat”, she said.
And I’m inevitably sold.
But First Thing First, How do you Pronounce Tzatziki?
The word tzatziki comes from the Greek word τζατζίκι, and is pronounced /tsatˈsiːki/ or tsah-SEE-key if you’re not familiar with the IPA. It is not uncommon, however, to hear people pronouncing it as tuh-ZEEK-ee or zah-ZEEK-ee.
Don’t worry if you can’t do the exact pron though. It’s not like everyone is a phonology purist, or however you say the word will affect the recipe and make it any less Greek.
How Healthy is Tzatziki Sauce?
Greek food is known as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world, with lots of vegetables and olive oil and cheese being the base ingredients in most dishes. That’s probably how they had so many gods with super powers that lived through eternity.
If you’re concerned about the extra padding around the gods’ bellies, rest assured that it’s most likely due to the fact that they almost never had to walk, apart from their possibly generous consumption of cheese. Which isn’t even an ingredient in this tzatziki sauce.
The authentic Greek tzatziki sauce also does not contain milk. It does, however, have Greek yogurt in it, which makes it non-vegan. On the bright side, because the yogurt is almost free of lactose, it’s a good choice for those intolerant of the sugar.
Apart from super duper healthy Greek yogurt, the authentic tzatziki sauce is composed of garlic, cucumber, lemon juice, and of course olive oil. These fresh veggies are all low in carbs, and are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and strong antioxidants.
Sounds to me like the definition of healthy.
In this hybrid version of the sauce, I wanted something quick but couldn’t find Greek yogurt in the 7-Eleven downstairs, so I substituted it with plain yogurt. Which is healthy and tasty itself, but if you’re not desperate like I was, definitely get the Greek one for a more authentic experience.
Plus, Greek yogurt contains 2 to 3 times the amount of protein and fat but only half the carbs, and is definitely a superior choice for the weight concerned.
How Long Can You Keep The Sauce?
Homemade tzatziki can have some salt in it, the amount of which you will decide, which can serve as a preservative. As a result, you can keep it in an airtight jar for 2 or 3 days in the fridge.
Personally, however, I don’t recommend leaving the tzatziki for that long before consuming it. The reason? The mushy blended fresh ingredients are very prone to oxidation, although signs of degeneration may not be recognized with naked eyes within the first couple days.
The best time to use the sauce is actually after 2 – 3 hours of refrigeration. That’s when it reaches the ultimate coolness and texture.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 4 oz low-fat plain yogurt
- 10.5 oz English cucumber 1 medium, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp garlic 1.5 clove, peeled
- 1/2 tbsp dill
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Ground pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl. Serve right away or after cooling in a fridge for about 2 hours.
No, seriously. The heavenly sauce can be made from scratch in 15 minutes. Yes, add it into your list of go-to foods when you’re lazy and want healthy homemade food. Or when you’re again lazy but still have to look like a pro chef at a BBQ party.
What Goes With Tzatziki Sauce?
Turned out my boring toasts are not the only thing tzatziki can complement and augment.
The sauce goes great with literally anything and everything. It brings to any dish a cool, refreshing feel. It makes veggies naughtier, while grilled pork seems sharper and healthier with it.
Our top recommendations would be grilled meat like pork, chicken, or beef. The sauce also makes the perfect dip for fresh or baked veggies (think eggplant, potato, yam, zucchini) and foods with drier textures like pita, crackers, or chips.