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Yo’ Gotta Love Yogurt!

Yogurt Sample TastersSome are thick, some thin, and fat content was different in most of them. No, I’m not talking about my DASH for Health colleagues here but rather, yogurt that ranged from fat-free to full-fat versions, both bovine and goat. We tasted them all – multiple times. The DASH for Health team decided to see for ourselves if plain yogurt could really taste good – I mean really. In a blinded taste test (each team member brought in samples and plated them out of sight of the others and relied on a number on the bottom of the plate for identification of our creamy concoctions), we walked around the table and dug in (and yes, since we’ve worked closely together for 8 years, we double-dipped our spoons – wonder if that affected the taste?).

Fat didn’t seem related to taste – or texture. Which seemed curious to us. Some loved the tartness (while others puckered up), others dove into the thick textured versions, and one team member was ecstatic over the ‘cream on the top’ full-fat organic yogurt. For some plates, I can’t even begin to remember how many times we cried out, “Ack!” “Pthu!,” wondering, “Is that cottage cheese?,” or “Why is it so runny?” One of the all-time favs was a locally made yogurt – Sophia’s Greek Pastry (http://www.sophiasgreekpantry.com) made fresh daily with 2% Vermont milk. I’ve tried it in the past and find it simply too rich to eat but some of our tasters vowed to buy their own double-pints on the way home.

My favorite, pre-test, is Fage’s Total 0% fat-free Greek yogurt – with a drizzle of organic maple syrup, whole roasted almonds, blueberries and a spoonful of ground flaxseed. The protein content of a cup of Greek or Icelandic yogurt is like eating 2-2 1/2 cups of regular plain yogurt and the thick, creamy texture is dessert-like.

Yogurt Tasting SamplesBottom line: Plain yogurt tops the chart for our taste testers over those ‘fruit-on-the-bottom’ (or is that jam?), sugar-ladened, whipped and custardized faux yogurts. Once you identify the brand you resonate with, it can be individualized for taste preference with fresh or dried fruit, natural sugar, and nuts for a healthy, protein and calcium-rich breakfast or snack. Hmmmmm, maybe even that late night, after dinner treat!

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