Simple Tzatziki Sauce
This tzatziki sauce is perfect for salads or dips, and it's so simple.
I LOVE GREEK FOOD.
Seriously, I've always loved anything involving hummus, tzatziki, olives, pita, feta cheese, all of it. Greek food is so flavorful, full of fresh vegetables, and just delicious. When I was in college, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of my favorite spots was Mediterranean Deli on Franklin Street. So much to choose from and so good. I think my favorite thing about Greek food has always been the tazatziki and I could eat it on just about anything. It's the perfect combo of creamy yogurt, cool cucumber, and flavorful dill.
The thing I love about sharing recipes through my blog is that it really encourages me to try new things and create recipes for foods I would normally just buy already prepared. This tzatziki sauce is an example of that. Tzatziki is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make when you do it yourself and I'm not quite sure why I didn't try to make it from scratch earlier. It's literally one of the easiest things I've ever made. Just chop up some cucumber and dill, add it to yogurt, pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon, done. I'll just reiterate here that I have no idea why I've been spending $5 for a small container of my favorite sauce when I could have been making it myself for cheap. You live and you learn I guess.
Anyway, because I don't want you to make the same mistake of buying something you can easily make, I'm sharing this simple recipe for tzatziki sauce with you! I like to include a little grass-fed dairy in my diet here and there, so I used traditional plain Greek yogurt for this recipe. My favorite grass-fed yogurt brand is Maple Hill Creamery. I love what the company is doing by committing to produce 100% grass-fed organic dairy products plus their stuff just tastes great.
A QUICK NOTE ABOUT DAIRY
I honestly don't think dairy is an inherently "bad" food. I don't think any food is "good" or "bad". There are just foods that work well for YOUR body and foods that don't. High quality, grass-fed dairy can be an excellent source of nutrition for a lot of people that leaves them feeling great. For other people, who are sensitive to certain proteins in dairy, it may cause breakouts, digestive trouble, or just make them feel not so great in general. Remember, when it comes to the food you're putting in your body two things are really important - the quality of your food and how it makes YOU feel.
I really want to strongly encourage everyone to consider those two things first before they go cutting entire food groups out of their diet after reading a blog post or watching a documentary (oh yes, I'm talking about What the Health). Sometimes, we place restrictions on are our diet that are just entirely unnecessary and based on fear mongering or other people's ideas/opinions about what works best for THEIR body all while ignoring the needs of our OWN. Want to know if high quality dairy, or any food, really works for your body or not? The best way is to do an elimination diet, like the Whole30, that requires you to remove that food for 30 days and then add it back in to test how you feel. If you have any questions about the Whole30 or just want more information, feel free to send me an email!
All of that being said, if dairy doesn't work well for you, then you could easily use almond or coconut milk yogurt to make this completely dairy-free. Just make sure to use a plain, unsweetened variety. If you do use a dairy-free yogurt, your sauce may not be as thick as the traditional. I find most dairy-free yogurts to be a little bit less thick than the regular, but that's ok because I'm sure it'll taste just as delicious. My personal favorite brand of coconut milk yogurt is Coyo. Their plain version would be so perfect in this! Unfortunately it's still a little hard to find, but if you do see it at your local store, I highly suggest giving it a try!
Simple Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (sub almond/coconut yogurt to make it dairy-free)
1 cup peeled, chopped english cucumber
1/2 cup tightly packed dill leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
Juice of half a lemon
Place the cucumber, dill, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
Combine the chopped cucumber, garlic, and dill with the greek yogurt and stir until well combined. Add the salt and lemon and stir again.
Enjoy! (told ya it was easy)