All About Greek Yogurt

CATEGORIES: Informational Posts, Kate



greek yogurt thumbnailSo 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:

chobani 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!
chobani honeyServing Size: 6 ounces
Calories: 150
Fat: 0 grams
Carbs: 21
Protein: 13
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.

IMG_0075

Serving Size: 5.3 ounces

Calories: 80
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-.

Next…Fage Peach

IMG_0067

Serving Size: 5.3 ounces
Calories: 120
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,

IMG_0069

so you can add as much or as little as you like. A+

Greek Gods Vanilla Honey

IMG_0088

Serving Size: 8 ounces
Calories: 280
Fat: 14
Carbs: 33
Protein: 8
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… 🙂

Oikos Vanilla

IMG_0060

Serving Size: 5.3 ounces
Calories: 120
Fat: 0
Carbs: 19
Protein: 12
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

IMG_0064Serving Size: 5.3 oz.
Calories: 130
Fat: 0
Carbs: 21
Protein: 11
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

IMG_0074Calories: 100
Fat: 0
Carbs: 11
Protein: 13
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:

 

113 comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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’

      1. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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:)

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