Great Lower Sugar Yogurt Choices

Yogurt, that’s what I like for lunch most weekdays, with a small sandwich and a tangerine. I watch these infomercials about how bad yogurt is for you due to excessive sugar. So, I try to stick to lower sugar varieties. I also buy plain organic Greek or whole yogurt to which I add homemade jam/marmalade for a change of pace and as an excellent way to use my jams. Aldi’s whole milk Greek yogurt is particularly delightful. But I have to confess a weakness for Friendly Farms Zero fat strawberry Greek yogurt in the 5.3-ounce cup. I originally though it would be weird with zero fat and avoided it for like a year but when I finally snagged some, I discovered that it tastes rich and smooth. The FF strawberry flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it isn’t weak either.  It’s super creamy and almost fluffy on my tongue. I never get tired of it. I will say the seasonal Cranberry flavor low-fat Greek yogurt is also excellent. I often get a blueberry or raspberry too. Yummers!

This is only out around Thanksgiving to New Years; delish for sure.

Another choice is Oikos blended Greek yogurt cups; 100 calories and the fruit puree is the third ingredient. 10 grams sugar. I generally buy it on sale; might get down to a buck. The strawberry is tasty.

Looking at the FF ingredients, the first one is nonfat yogurt, then cane sugar, then cream and then fruit. I happen to also enjoy Chobani less sugar Greek yogurt. Reading that label, I was shocked to find the third ingredient is water, then fruit puree. It has 10 less calories than Friendly Farm’s Greek yogurt. Both have five active yogurt cultures. The fat content is very close; 3% or 2.5%.  FF has 13 grams of sugar while the lower sugar Chobani has 9 grams. I guess I should mention that all these yogurts are gluten free. Some yogurts come with add ins in a little plastic container fastened to the top; often they are full of gluten; read those labels very closely.

The best yogurt cup out there, in my humble opinion…

I get the FF yogurt at Aldi’s. It usually is 59 cents. If the Chobani is on sale I might get it for a buck or $1.10. Double the cost. But only when it is on sale. FF is always a bargain.  Both taste great. But that price point is hard to ignore. Occasionally I surrender to buying a couple strawberry mango Dannon or a mango Chobani, but the rest of those sugar filled yogurts, at their inflated prices, do not entice me. Next time you are in Aldi’s pick up a few of the Greek yogurt cups; all the flavors are tasty; love the key lime as well as the toasted coconut one. I am not a big fan of their regular yogurt, but the Greek is head and shoulders cheaper and just as tasty as my beloved Chobani mango yogurt.  If you have jam; get a big container of plain yogurt and jam it up; very tasty, healthy and satisfying to eat homemade jam in yogurt. I feel virtuous as I am not adding any sugar; just my jam I made last year. Sure, yogurt may not be as healthy as we once thought but if you make good choices and go with lower sugar it is healthish and delish! Enjoy!

Strawberry Basil Yogurt, a Great Snack

Greek yogurt is the new power dairy snack, favored by teachers, moms, office workers and many others seeking a portable tasty yet healthy snack.  I eat it too.  But sometimes I want a more basic, yet above average, yogurt.  My secret for great yogurt is one brand; Stonyfield Organic.  I buy the large 32 ounce container.  I usually get the plain, one percent low fat yogurt.  Organic milk makes creamy flavorful yogurt, far superior to any made with non-organic milk.  Occasionally I treat myself to Stonyfield’s whole milk yogurt. This is thick, creamy and oh so delicious.  The top layer is like cream yogurt; crazy yummy!  I eat a dish of this yogurt with fresh jam, all that jam that I don’t eat on toast anymore.  I know, whole milk! But sometimes you have to enjoy the best that life can give you and frankly experts say that non-fat yogurt is less healthy than yogurt with some fat.  Go on, live wild and try this fabulous organic yogurt.

Update; 11/21/14: a new article about the dangers of highly sweetened and additive filled yogurts specifically says the best choices are organic whole milk yogurts:  I was right on the money with my recommendation of Stonyfields yogurt and my use of homemade jams and granola to flavor it up.  Much better for you and your kids!  Tastier too actually.

strawberry and stonyfield yogurt

You can also enjoy this yogurt with honey drizzled on top.  Sprinkled with my homemade granola it is very healthy, filling, and delightful tasting.

Late this past June I made some strawberry basil jam.  The other day I got the excellent idea to put it on top of my organic yogurt.  It was amazing tasting, the creamy mild yogurt stirred together with that fragrant fruity jam. Oh my goodness, a whole world away from commercially flavored fruit yogurts.

yogurt and strawberry basil jam

So here is my strawberry basil freezer jam recipe.  My friend Josh had purchased some and raved about the flavor.  I decided to make my own.  Well, it is great on toast and extremely yummy on your yogurt! It is not too much basil flavor, the strawberry predominates but you do get a taste of it when ever you encounter a bit of basil leaf.  I actually only made half a jam recipe as that was all the strawberries I had available that day.  I used the liquid Surejell, half the package.

strawberry basil jam 1

Strawberry Basil Freezer Jam 

yield: 5 cups


about 1 pound of fresh ripe strawberries (2 cups crushed strawberries)

4 cups granulated sugar

one 1.75 ounce package of fruit pectin (I used liquid Sure Jell)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves, really fine!


In a large bowl, mash strawberries using a potato masher. Measure out two cups and return to bowl. If there are extras, you can eat those. But you want to pretty exact with this recipe.

To the 2 cups of mashed strawberries, stir in 4 cups of granulated sugar. Mix well to combine and moisten all the sugar and then let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine fruit pectin and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. When it boils, set a timer for one minute. Continue to stir constantly and then remove from heat when it has boiled for one minute.

Stir pectin and water mixture into the fruit and sugar mixture. Stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is no longer grainy.

Pour mixture into freezer containers with tight fitting lids (jars work great). Let jam stand at room temperature for 8 hours before moving to the fridge or freezer. If you freeze it, thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready to use.