So you know how if the world was made out of ideas collected on Pinterest, we’d all sleep in beds made of wooden shipping pallets held together with burlap and washi tape and we’d stay perpetually skinny by adding dollops of coconut oil and Greek yogurt into everything we ate (and by “everything,” I mean a diet consisting largely of smoothies)? I love Pinterest (sometimes I love it more than others…I tend to like myself a lot more when I pin in moderation); I love so many of the ideas and being able to save such fabulous creative ideas into one place. But it’s also easy to get burned by trends that seem to have all the answers.
Like Greek yogurt.
I love Greek yogurt–I’ve loved it for way longer than it’s made your skin silky soft and established world peace one 5.3-ounce container at a time. But I’m under no illusions that it’s going to change the world. I also totally get it if you think it tastes like baby vomit and are scared to admit it lest the throngs of Greek yogurt devotees come and flog you with the un-cool stick. Yeah, yeah, I just said “baby vomit” on a food blog. It’s gonna be one of those posts.
What Greek Yogurt Is:
- Before the Greek yogurt purists hit the comment button and furiously tell me that I am wrong and that TRUE Greek yogurt is made from full-fat milk and the stuff we eat from the grocery stores here in the US is not fit for dogs and we are stupid, stupid idiots for eating “Greek” yogurt, yeah, I get it, whatever. This post is about Greek yogurt purchased in major US grocery stores.
- True Greek yogurt has been strained twice, so it has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Most Greek yogurt sold in the US is low-fat or fat-free, which does make it a great addition to a healthy diet–it’s a good source of lean protein and has all sorts of other dietary goodies like calcium and Vitamin D.
- Pretend Greek yogurt (more officially known as “Greek-Style Yogurt”) is thickened with pectin and doesn’t have the protein of double-strained yogurt.
- Greek yogurt is thicker, tangier, and generally not as heavily sweetened as yogurt you might be used to eating. I like the tangy flavor and the thickness makes it feel like I’m eating a treat, but some people compare it to eating plain sour cream.
- Speaking of sour cream, it’s a great substitute for sour cream and other fatty, creamy ingredients like full-fat buttermilk and mayonnaise. Check out this chart from Chobani that tells you how to substitute Greek yogurt in the kitchen:
- It may be more expensive than yogurt you might have bought in the past.
- It pretty much always contains live active cultures. You know, all that good bacteria.
What Greek Yogurt Isn’t:
- It isn’t going to negate all the other bad things you eat all day or make you magically lose 7 pounds by hanging out in your fridge.
- It is not a sure-shot with husbands. Mine looked at me like I gave him a sealed plastic container full of peach-flavored something horrible when I handed it to him.
If you go to the grocery store, you might feel overwhelmed with the Greek yogurt selections. Seriously, 3-4 years ago, I couldn’t find it anywhere and now it’s kind of taken over the dairy department. Which is awesome. But Greek yogurt can be really really good and it can be really, really bad–don’t judge all Greek yogurt on one or two bad brands.
I couldn’t possibly test all the flavors of all the brands in all the grocery stores in all the land, but I did try to track down all the brands I find at grocery stores where I usually shop. Because I’m not a total glutton (or glutton for punishment), I didn’t get every single flavor. I can tell you that even within my favorite brands, there are flavors I love (Chobani pineapple!) and others that I can’t stand (Chobani Strawberry!) I tried to stick with vanilla or honey if possible because they’re smooth and mild, but I got Fage peach because that was the mildest flavor I could find. Also, all the yogurt here was purchased with my very own money for testing purposes. I’m not being compensated in any way by any yogurt company, so I promise, everything I’m telling you is totally my own opinion.
First up: Chobani Honey!
Serving Size: 6 ounces
Fat: 0 grams
Weight Watchers Points +: 4
This yogurt was delicious and creamy, not too sweet, with a slight, pleasantly sour aftertaste. Grade: A.
Next…Dannon Light & Fit Greek Vanilla.
Serving Size: 5.3 ounces
Fat: 0 grams
Carbs: 9 grams
Protein: 12 grams
Weight Watchers Points+: 2
This yogurt had a nice texture, but it tasted like a cup full of chemicals. The vanilla tasted like a vanilla candle, the yogurt was overly sweet, and it had an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Grade: C-.
Serving Size: 5.3 ounces
Fat: 0 grams
Carbs: 17 grams
Protein: 13 grams
Weight Watchers Points +: 3
This yogurt was thick, creamy, and didn’t taste fat free. The texture was smooth and silky, the yogurt was tangy with no weird aftertaste,and the peach wasn’t gummy or over-processed like a lot of fruit flavors in yogurts. Also, the fruit comes in a separate compartment,
so you can add as much or as little as you like. A+
Greek Gods Vanilla Honey
Serving Size: 8 ounces
Weight Watchers Points +: 8
Tangy, creamy, multidimensional, distinct, clean honey and vanilla flavors that didn’t taste fake in any way and were well-balanced. This was probably the best-tasting of all of them (um…duh–it has 14 times as much fat as any of the others). I took a peek at the ingredients list and it had whole milk, sugar, honey, vanilla, and whey and pectin. So a lot more natural than some of the other options and you could taste it. That said…take a look at the serving size and the protein content. This isn’t actually Greek yogurt, it’s Greek-style yogurt (notice the pectin?) It’s also probably not something you want to eat every day if you’re trying to lose weight. But it’s a delicious, creamy treat–I’m giving it an A-, just because it’s misleading and more like ice cream than a healthy breakfast alternative… 🙂
Serving Size: 5.3 ounces
Weight Watchers Points +: 3
This was creamy and smooth with a slightly gritty after-feel. This had a strong artificial vanilla flavor that I wasn’t too keen on. Grade: B.
Voskos Vanilla Bean
Serving Size: 5.3 oz.
Weight Watchers Points +: 3
This was hands-down my least favorite. It was grainy with an artificial vanilla taste and a weird, unpleasantly sour aftertaste. In fact, I checked the expiration date a few times to make sure it wasn’t spoiled, but the expiration date was a few weeks off. I couldn’t eat more than a few tastes. Grade: D-. And that’s because I’d feel like a jerkface for giving it an F.
Yoplait Greek 100 Vanilla
WW Points: 2
The yogurt was thin and had an artificial flavor and chemical aftertaste. It didn’t taste a whole lot different from non-Greek diet yogurt. Grade: C-
I know that’s a lot of info, so here’s a little chart of how the different brands of yogurt stack up nutritionally. Happy Monday to you!
and here’s the chart from Chobani so you can print it out and hang it on your pantry door:
I’m ashamed to say I wanted to try Greek yogurt, but I didn’t really have money so I got the super cheap store-brand. And the flavor I ended up with was strawberry-mint. Seriously? I’m cringing as I write it. I’ll have to give one of the yummy ones a try, since we don’t eat that much yogurt anyway.
Love, love, love Fage! Nothing compares, in my opinion.
Yum! I love Fage. I love the honey as well. Def worth the extra bit in price.
So I have tried a lot of greek yogurts. I used it mainly as a substitute for sour cream for a while. Until I tried Zoi greek yogurt with honey. It’s most comparable to Greek Gods but in my opinion much much better! It’s smoother and doesn’t have quite the same texture as other greek yogurt. It’s the only one I’ll eat plain. I have only found it at Winco here in UT but I am seriously addicted to it. I love opening up a fresh container and dipping into it for the first time. It’s like the joy I feel when I get to open a fresh jar of pb and get to be the first one to dip into it. Heaven. It kind of reminds me of like a healthy version of a cheesecake filling. I crave it more than I crave ice cream. It’s so good. I’m pretty sure I’ll die if Winco ever stops carrying this brand.
I also love that zoi honey Greek yogurt, but I only let myself eat it when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding and need extra calories. Otherwise I can’t justify the fat/calories, but the flavor and creamy texture are amazing!
I totally agree with Audrey. ZOI is hands down my favorite brand, and my husband’s too. He absolutely loves the honey one, and he HATES yogurt — has never liked it. I love the Strawberry Cream — it’s an amazing treat that reminds me of an incredibly rich strawberry cheesecake, so I only eat it when I’m craving ice cream.
Fage honey is my favorite! A few years ago when they introduced it it was $1 and they had a $1 off coupon you could print. I was like a crazy person trying to collect those from my friends and family so I could stock up on this tasty treat. Now I buy a big huge tub and keep some honey in the fridge. I love the extra thick honey!
Love greek yogurt – love the protein I get when I eat it. We have a brand here in Canada called Liberte that makes the most incredible flavours and they have a huge 12 pack they sell at Costco which makes me so happy 🙂
First of all, I totally love the comment numbers when you reply!
I love the Greek Gods honey vanilla. It is often my dessert. 🙂
Thanks for this fantastic information!
ok, so I agree with not really liking the taste of it when eating it with a spoon, even if I add fruit and sweetener. So, that’s out of the question. However I have tried to use it when making dips or dressings, substituting it for the buttermilk and mayo. But it became runny by the next day and the only thing different from my original was the greek yogurt substitution. any suggestions?
Voskos is gross. I pretty much like all yogurt, but I threw out the last few containers of it I had after eating my third and hating it. All of the flavors were equally not good.
Am I the only person that is going to request this yogurt thing turn into a two part series? But I would love to know which of the chart substitutions two fabulous cooks like you guys would use!
I have a wonderful biscuit recipe that calls for no butter or shortening…only greek yogurt and I substitute full fat milk for fat free evaporated milk and my hubby says those biscuits are better than his granny’s….just sayin’
I would love to have this biscuit recipe!!
Super simple and healthier too 🙂
2 c. all-purp flour (can also do 1 1/2 c. all purp and 1/2 c. whole wheat)
1 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1- 5.3 oz. container oikos greek yogurt (plain or honey)
1/2 c.- 3/4 c. fat free evaporated milk (enough to bring the dough together)
Mix all dry and incorporate yogurt. (I use my kitchenaide on low w/dough hook or paddle)pour in enough evap. milk just to bring dough together and will be a little sticky. Roll on lightly floured surface and bake at 350 till golden 🙂 Tell me how you like them!
I was enjoying my Greek yogurt when I found this post. I had plain yogurt with honey on the side – this is a treat because it’s 9% m.f.! Not something I eat everyday! Love this blog…am making the spicy honey chicken and salad tonight! Thanks!
Thank you for the Chobani substitution chart, I am excited to have that for reference.
I LOVE this post! Thank you so much! I always want to put Greek Yogurt in place of fat in a lot of things, but I get scared to experiment beyond the simple ones. This will be really helpful!
You must get some funny comments about authentic greek yogurt, lol.
Anyway, writing to tell you that you HAVE to try Liberte greek yogurt. It blows Chobani and Fage out of the water. It is so creamy and smooth and rich. I told my sister about it and she went and bought some and couldn’t get over how awesome it was. I’d rather eat it than icecream, which might be a good thing because it has cream in it and LOTS of calories (I think 280?). Anyway, you absolutely must try the lemon – it’s the only I eat anymore, although the other flavors are good too.
Oh, girl, we get a lot of funny comments about EVERYTHING, haha. There are a lot of super angry people in this world.
I’ll keep my eyes open for Liberte. I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, so we don’t get a lot of cool stuff right away, lol.
Chobani Pineapple is my very favorite! It feels like eating dessert for breakfast and who doesn’t love that?
Fage is by far my favorite brand too! A+ all the way. Also, you can buy the 0% fat free flavors, and only use about a third of the fruit portion.. I spread a thin layer across the top, eat halfway down, and then spread a bit more. This cuts WAY down on the sugar, so the stats are even better!
I can honestly say that I’m a yogurt hater…something about live cultures is a HUGE turn off to me. HOWEVER, I found Chobani pineapple and also their vanilla & chocolate chip yogurts back in the Fall and they are pretty awesome. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m a yogurt-lover, but I’m slowly converting. 🙂
I really wish I could get on the plain Greek yogurt bandwagon and be all virtuous and only eat it with a bit of honey or agave sweetener–but really, I just feel like I’m eating a bowl of sour cream. Blech. I really like the Chobani yogurts with the fruit but I am frustrated at how much sugar they have in them–but honestly, that’s the only way I can stand to even eat it.
I’m so with you! I’ve tried and tried (mostly with Fage too – so it’s not like I’m buying the junky stuff), but I can’t love Greek yogurt either!
I have never liked ANY yoghurt but now every morning I eat a bowl of the plain greek yoghurt ( Costco brand) but I lightly sprinkle if with granola and a cup + of blueberries. (I get the big bags of frozen ones from Costco, put the blueberries in a plastic cup and cover them with water and microwave them for a minute to thaw them out.) The large amount of fruit and the slight texture of the granola make all the difference to me! I don’t eat a very balanced diet so the large amount of protein is important to me. I’ve also lost 6 pounds since I started eating this about 4 months ago:)
Alas – rural Nova Scotia doesn’t carry many of the brands you recommended. I make do with Oikos (being my favorite) and President’s Choice honey (being my 2nd). Yeah, I agree — I hate those chemical tasting yogurts.
Thanks for the review. If I ever come across Chobani, I will push all other shoppers aside and trample them in an attempt to buy all the honey flavor!
Check and see if they have Liberte there – it is hands down the BEST greek yogurt I have ever had! It is made in Quebec and so delicious, creamy, thick, true greek yogurt. It is divine! They make a line of non-greek yogurts with the most incredible flavours, the lemon tastes like dessert and the coconut is to die for as is the black cherry. It is kind of like eating ice cream – it tastes that good!
Yes! Just had liberate while on vacation in fl. It is unbelievable! But truly a treat as the 2 or 3rd invite is cream! Coconut and vanilla were to die for.
I love chobani! I love that it is all natural with no chemical.
I don’t ever eat anything with artificial sweeteners as they make me really dizzy so lite and fiit are always out 🙁
Thanks for sharing your opinions!
I love this. I posted awhile ago on FB that I couldn’t get on the greek yogurt bandwagon, but it was definitely because I was eating the wrong ones! Hubby and I LOVE Chobani Passion Fruit. We eat it as a treat a couples time a week after the kids are in bed. (The other days we eat cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.) I have liked a lot of Chobani flavors and Fage flavors. Not at all a fan of the Yoplait ones.
Fage is my favorite–and I hate yogurt! But the Fage doesn’t have as much sour after taste as the others so I can actually get through the whole container. And I love that they have the fruit/honey on the side.
My fav is the Oikos – its so creamy – love the honey!
The greek gods one is good also – we used that for my daughter when we were trying to get some extra calories/fat in her – way too much fat for me but she loved it!
I make my OWN greek yogurt in the crock pot! 3 WW pts and it is so much better for you that what you buy… and my blood pressure has dropped 20 pts. since I have been eating it!
I do the same, but I sometimes buy Fage, too. It’s hard to duplicate the same texture at home and I miss that part. I had seen Fage for so long without trying it, and now I know why it has been around for so long. My next stop in the make-your-own yogurt parade is to buy powdered cultures.
I would love to learn how you make yours in a crock pot. My daughter tried it and it was a failure and wasted LOTS of great milk!
I have a tutorial on my blog I wrote up a while ago about how to make yogurt at home. Check it out at http://whatdowormssmelllike.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-make-yogurt-at-home.html. Hope it helps!
I have to admit that I’ve never been a big yogurt fan, I always kinda feel like i have to gag it down. That is, until my brother introduced me to the Chobani Passion Fruit yogurt. I love it! I love the tanginess and creaminess, I always feel like i’m having a treat when I eat it. Yumm!
We are huge Fage fans in our home…we have it always every morning with honey and walnuts. While it is probably the most expensive of all these brands, I find that it’s worth the price given how much protein it packs in!
It’s also interesting to note how the U.S. Greek yogurt trend has really revitalized the dairy business, especially in upstate NY. I believe Chobani and Fage both have operations there. Hopefully this food trend continues to boost the US economy.
Thanks for your input! I concur with a lot of your comments. I LOVE the Fage Greek Yogurt. Try the blueberry. It is yummy!
Fage honey is my favorite. Getting just a little bit of honey every few bites made me feel like I was eating a treat.