When I’m doing my grocery shopping and head over to the refrigerated aisle, I am almost overwhelmed by the vast variety of yogurts available. Greek yogurt certainly dominates the shelf, with dizzying arrays of fruited, fat free, low fat and full fat varieties. Then there are dessert yogurt options, with rich and luscious creams and lots of added sugar. At most conventional grocery stores, there are multiple flavors of low fat or “light” yogurt, with whipped varieties, candy toppings and smaller sized containers for your baby or child. You can see where the confusion builds, especially since I recommend including fermented foods, like yogurt in a healing foods meal plan. So with all of these choices out there competing for a spot in your grocery cart- it begs the question…
Which type of yogurt should I buy?
I narrow down the choices immediately by recommending my clients choose a plain, unsweetened type of yogurt. I’ve naturally developed a preference for plain yogurt, but realize it can take some time to get your taste buds used to a tangy not so sweet option. I encourage adding fruit or berries, or small amounts of natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, or even cinnamon to help provide contrasting flavors, textures and nutrient content.
When Greek yogurt became popular, I loved the thick texture and the high protein content really kept me satisfied for quite awhile after eating it. Then I tried the full fat version of Greek yogurt, which tasted better, and kept me equally satiated. I knew I was getting more Vitamin D in the full fat version as well. I even tried making making my own yogurt, I loved the tanginess that came from long slow fermentations. It was much thinner than the Greek yogurt, but I preferred the tart flavor so much more. Then I discovered the local farmer’s market sold raw milk yogurt and it was like hitting the jackpot. The color was more yellow (think- more vitamins) and the flavor was outstanding. Plus, they also captured that super tart tangy zing that I loved!
Then yesterday, at The Fresh Market, I decided to try a new yogurt that had me curious…Bulgarian yogurt. I wondered how it was different from the Greek yogurt and why the store decided to include that one particular brand. It was a full fat version and unsweetened of course, and although I did not purchase the organic variety, the brand does make one. I liked that it came in a glass container- no seeping of plastic endocrine disruptors in my yogurt, thanks. Plus, I could reuse the jar!
It was ultimately love at first bite as I tried it. It had a smooth, silky creaminess to it. Not a pasty mouthful like some of the fat free Greek yogurts have. The flavor was absolutely delicious, the tangiest, most tart yogurt I’ve ever tasted! I couldn’t believe I could buy this in the store and not have to make it myself. I read on the container that they use a slow 24 hour fermentation process to make it so tangy. I found new favorite! I didn’t mix it with anything, just ate it plain out of the jar, but I could imagine making a killer chicken marsala with it.
I read the FAQs on the company website and understood it to be a small operation and family owned, made in small batches. No added ingredients, just milk and cultures. No hormones are used in the milk. However, I would have preferred the milk to come from grass fed cows, but they didn’t indicate this on their website.
So if you’re a yogurt lover, and love the zingy tang of plain, homemade yogurt, I highly recommend you give this one a try the next time you are looking for one to buy at the store. It was a pleasing contrast from the mild tasting and thicker yogurts I’d been used to. Also the fact that White Mountain is a small family owned company producing a quality product that honors old ways of making yogurt is a nice perk too!
What qualities do you like in a yogurt? What’s your favorite way to eat it? Please share your comment below!