Thursday, December 31, 2009

Non-fat Greek Yogurt Review

Greek yogurt
Today I ate six containers of Greek yogurt. Ok, not really. I tasted six different brands of Greek yogurt. You can probably find Greek yogurt in your local supermarket, its become increasingly available in the United States over the past few years (I've been told it's still a bit hard to find in parts of Canada).

First of all, let me clear something up, the Greek yogurt you find in the US is not yogurt from Greece. All the brands I found were produced domestically. Greek yogurt is strained and some of the whey is removed, so it's thicker than typical yogurt. It's dense and creamy, buttery in flavor and higher in fat. But there are also non-fat and low-fat Greek yogurts. You can use the yogurt in place of sour cream, with granola and/or fruit, drizzled with honey or a dollop of jam or preserves. It's also used in lots of Greek recipes.

The good news is, that all the full fat Greek yogurt I tried was absolutely delicious. You really can't go wrong with the full fat versions when it comes to flavor and texture. Choose something that is organic, or comes from milk from cows not treated with rGBH if you prefer.

The bad news? All Greek yogurt is substantially more expensive than regular yogurt and higher in fat as well. You can make Greek style yogurt by draining conventional yogurt (with live active cultures) with cheesecloth or a yogurt strainer. But perhaps you are wondering, as I was, are the non-fat varieties worth buying? Here are my ratings of the non-fat varieties:

Brown Cow
Almost sour in flavor, the texture is soft, but not very thick or creamy. Flavor is good. Recommended

Chobani
Very thick, unpleasant chalky texture, mild flavor. Not recommended

★★★ Fage
Tangy, very thick, creamy, very slight chalky aftertaste. Recommended

Greek Gods
This yogurt had the funkiest flavor of them all, soft, not terribly thick and a bit sour. Not recommended

★★ Oikos
Creamy texture, mildly tangy and light. Recommended

Voskos
Very tangy, chalky, more like sour cream. Not recommended, my least favorite

Notes:

A tiny bit of honey improved all the non-fat varieties of yogurt balancing some of the acidity.

The yogurt develops a more tangy flavor the longer you keep it.

The percentage of fat and number of calories vary on the full or low fat varieties of Greek yogurt, check the labels.

Greek Gods was my favorite of the full fat varieties. Fage was also outstanding.

Chobani flavored yogurts were very good, I especially liked the pomegranate flavor. Because the flavorings are on bottom, you can mix in as much or as little as you like.

Ready to try?
Coupon available for free sample of Chobani
Coupons available for Oikos, after registering at Stonyfield

Oikos and Chobani were provided to me as product samples, the rest I purchased.