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. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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 🙂

  5. First of all, I totally love the comment numbers when you reply!

    I love the Greek Gods honey vanilla. It is often my dessert. 🙂

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

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