Let’s talk about yogurt.
Ask my parents, and they’ll tell you that I have always loved yogurt. They never had to force me to eat this healthy food - I grew up downing Breyer's fruit on the bottom cups like nobodies business. None of that Trix shit for me! (Although I did get treated to YoCrunch every so often...chocolate in my yogurt?! Yas.)
(This is making me oddly nostalgic...)
And now, yogurt is the official snack of New York! I kid you not, people!
All joking aside- the yogurt industry has exploded in the past few years, and it’s a seriously fascinating study in food trends. You can spend hours reading articles on the internet devoted to yogurt. But since most people aren’t as strange as me, and don’t necessarily care to use their free time reading about a dairy product, I’ve gathered some interesting information for you. You can thank me later. With yogurt treats, preferably. (Fage is my preference, FYI).
1) Think you can go to the store, pick up a container of yogurt, and pat yourself on the back for eating healthy? Think again. So much of the yogurt on store shelves today are LOADED with artificial flavors and TONS of sugar. If you’re eating yogurt that’s named “Raspberry Cheesecake” and thinking that it’s all-natural and good for you, think again.
There are tons of articles online that compile some of the “healthiest” yogurts on the market, but at the end of the day, I say keep it simple! Much like oatmeal, yogurt is extremely versatile and you can make it delicious without buying containers that come with their own sugary “fruit” mix-ins.
Buy plain yogurt. “EW” you’re probably thinking. I know, I used to be the same way. But when you add cinnamon, honey, raisins, strawberries, and other fresh fruit- you can transform plain “meh” tasting yogurt into deliciousness!
(Perhaps not the most convincing pictures...it's yummy I promise! And yes, I put PB in my yogurt. Are you really surprised?)
2) There are still a ton of options when it comes to plain yogurt, and it’s still important to know what to look for on labels. Keep in mind that 0% fat yogurt will be lower in calories than other options, but the fat found is yogurt shouldn’t be feared!
When looking at labels, remember that yogurt has naturally occurring sugars in it already- so you can subtract those from the total grams of sugar listed. Really looking to cut down on sugar? Buy Greek yogurt.
3) The hype about Greek yogurt isn’t nonsense. Greek yogurt is strained to remove liquid whey, lactose and sugar- which is why it’s so thick. For the same amount of calories, Greek yogurt can have up to double the protein and half the sugarcontent as regular yogurt! Cray.
4) Think I was exaggerating when I said the yogurt industry has exploded in the past few years? According to this article, since 2010, 671 new yogurt products have come out in stores.
(Go yogurt, go yogurt!)
5) Plain Greek yogurt can be used in so many different ways. I mean, just take a look at this handy little chart Chobani has created!
I use plain Greek yogurt as mayo when I’m making tuna fish, as sour cream on top of a potato, as dessert if I freeze it, etc.
6) Speaking of Chobani- did you know they have an entire restaurant dedicated to yogurt?! Oh yes. And it is absolutely one of my favorite places in the city. Everything I’ve tried there has been so delicious. It will most certainly get its own blog entry at some point, but for now, I’ll just mention that they make creations like yogurt with avocado, mango and blue tortilla chips. Drooling yet?
7) Froyo is like an entirely different beast all together, but it has the word yogurt in it, and I just feel like mentioning that it is quite possibly my favorite thing. And it seems like the rest of the country agrees!
(I would like to publicly state that I have yet to cross this line in my froyo obsession!)