This recipe for Healthy Homemade Tzatziki Sauce comes in conjunction with Monday’s gluten-free & vegan Baked Falafel! I have a serious love for Mediterranean food! When we moved to Salt Lake City, the #2 task on my foodie list was to find an amazing restaurant where I could eat falafel, hummus, gyros & tzatziki to my heart’s content (#1 was obviously Chinese food). I succeeded and found an amazing restaurant…however, we don’t go out to eat very often…so I have worked hard over the years to create homemade versions of my favorite restaurant fare! Tzatziki is one of my favorite “condiments” and I am so excited to share this version with you!
This tzatziki takes a little bit of planning…it’s not as “quick” as some of my other recipes. However, it is easy and so SO worth every.single.second! The first thing you need to do is remove the water from your cucumbers and yogurt. I always start the de-watering process first thing in the morning, because less water = creamier, thicker, more delicious sauce.
I drain the yogurt in a really fancy, high-tech way…with a coffee filter over a fine-mesh strainer! 😉 The pic below isn’t pretty (early morning lighting = bad), but I had to share it with you because a picture is worth 1,000,00 words of explanation! 🙂 Simply put the filter on a strainer, put the strainer over a bowl (make sure it’s not touching the bottom of the bowl and that you have space for the water to collect), then put your yogurt/sour cream mixture on top. Stick it in the fridge and let the draining commence.
To release the water from the cucumber, grate it and put it in a colander over a different bowl. Then sprinkle it with sea salt (to draw out the water). Always de-seed the cucumbers before grating (pictured below)…becasue you don’t want seedy tzatziki!
Leave the cucumber on the counter at room temperature to drain! While it’s draining be sure to press on it from time to time to help push out the water!
Once your yogurt/sour cream mixture is ready (after about 4 hours), it’s time to mix in the flavor! Spices, lemon juice, etc. Dill is the star of the show in this tzatziki sauce! I always keep dried dill on hand for the sole purpose of making this recipe! However, if you’re a planner and remember to grab some fresh dill from the store (or from your garden) it’s even more amazing! 🙂
When you’re ready to put it all together, (about 1 hour before serving) squeeze all the water out of your cucumber…like all of it. Once you think you couldn’t possibly get any more water out, wrap the cucumber up in a paper towel and squeeze harder! The less water, the better!
Finally! De-clump your practically dehydrated cucumber and add it to your mixture!
Your tzatziki is finished! Just chill for at least 1 hour to let the flavors blend, and then dig in!
- 1 cup Greek yogurt*
- ¼ cup sour cream**
- 1 cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ TBS white balsamic vinegar***
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- ½ TBS high-quality olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp minced fresh (or dried) dill
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Place a fine mesh strainer on top of a smaller bowl (to catch the water as it drains). Be sure that the strainer does not touch the bottom of the bowl and that there is at least 1-2 inches between them.
- Put a coffee filter on top of the strainer.
- Mix 1 cup Greek yogurt and ¼ cup sour cream together. Carefully scoop it onto the coffee filter/strainer and place it in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- !To strain the cucumber:
- De-seed and grate your cucumber. Put it in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
- Let it sit on the counter for at least 2 hours, occasionally pushing out the excess water.
- When you’re ready to make the sauce: squeeze out all excess water from cucumber by pushing it out while in the colander. Then get some thick paper towels, put cucumber in them and ring it out.
- Put yogurt mixture in a clean, dry mixing bowl. Add all ingredients except cucumber. Once thoroughly mixed add cucumber and refrigerate for at least one hour to let flavors blend.
- Serve with your favorite Mediterranean food like falafel or gyros!
*I have used fat-free & full-fat varieties with equal success! **Light or regular work great! ***You can substitute any other light-colored vinegar, but white balsamic is my personal favorite.
I hope you’re having a great week! We are gearing up for our first real family vacation since our oldest daughter was 10 months old! Our destination is about a 5 hour drive, so I need HELP! I absolutely abhor car rides that last longer than 10 minutes. No joke, the thought of being in a car for that long makes me freak out a little inside. However, I want to put my car-riding prejudices aside and make this a trip to remember for my kids! I want to make every second as fun as possible!
SO…if any of you have any great suggestions for ways to entertain
myself kids in the car…please leave them in the comments section! Whether it’s something you do for your kids, or something your parents did for you! PLEASE help a momma out! 🙂
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