Sunday, September 28, 2008

Exciting (and Important) Yogurt News!

While flipping through the coupons that came with today's New York Times, I noticed that Stoneyfield Farm now makes Oikos Greek Yogurt! This is fantastic news because I stopped enjoying the super thick delightfulness of Greek yogurt when I realized that none of the brands sold around me were free of growth hormones like rGBH. (rGBH and the like may cause breast cancer.) Stoneyfield Farm is organic and hormone free, and I know that my local store sells Oikos. Yay!

Speaking of rGBH in yogurt, Breast Cancer Action is asking Yoplait to put a lid on rGBH. Here's why:

Yoplait yogurt is made with milk from cows that have been injected with a synthetic hormone called recombinant bovine growth hormone (called rBGH or rBST). There are numerous health concerns surrounding rBGH, and breast cancer is one of them.

rBGH is unsafe and unnecessary. Mega-corporations like Wal-Mart and Starbucks are already making their dairy products rBGH-free. If these companies can do it, Yoplait can too.

This October, ask the company to do the right thing for women's lives: tell Yoplait to put a lid on rBGH.

Eating yogurt to fund breast cancer research while ingesting hormones that may cause breast cancer is perverse. Say no to rGBH and Yoplait's twisted efforts to make women buy their products by advertising that they are contributing to the fight against breast cancer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Buffalo Milk Yogurt

Yes, it has been months since I last posted on the yogurt blog. I didn't try very many new yogurts this summer. There was an Israeli leben that was so awful that I didn't want to think about it, let alone write it up. It was very runny and tasted like chemicals. (Supposedly, it was strawberry flavored.)

Fortunately, I noticed a buffalo milk yogurt, Bufala di Vermont at Whole Foods* yesterday. It was $1.99, which is a little pricey, but still more than $1 less than Icelandic yogurts and 20 cents cheaper than my favorite sheep milk yogurt, Old Chatham Farms. I figured that I enjoy bufala mozzarella, so why not give it a try? I bought the plain, although it comes in a few different flavors.

This yogurt makes Greek yogurt look like its water. It's so thick it is nearly a solid block, which makes it hard to stir. I found it very tangy, so I added some Equal to sweeten it up. In some ways, the consistency reminded me of ricotta. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely.

There's a decent amount of calcium (25% RDA) and it is very low on carbs (only 6 grams!). As a full fat yogurt, I thought that 8 grams of fat and 120 calories were not bad. (Almost all the calories are from fat, though.) Next time I am at Whole Foods, I'll buy this again.

*Which, incidentally, sells my beloved sheep milk yogurt for 60 cents less per container than Fairway, my bargain neighborhood grocer!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Give Me Liberte, or Give Me... Um, Other Yogurts

People who enjoy very sweet yogurt with texture will love Liberte Goat Fresh Cheese Vanilla. (Yes, something is definitely lost in the French to English translation, as it seems to be yogurt, not cheese. Also, this product is not listed on the Liberte website as of this writing.) Unlike the Redhill Farms goat yogurt that I worship, the Liberte goat yogurt has no goat cheese aftertaste. This is likely because of the overwhelming sweetness.

I like sweet yogurts as much as I like tangy ones, so I enjoyed Liberte Goat Fresh Cheese Vanilla. It has a lot of calcium (30% of the RDA) for a 6 ounce container. Unfortunately, it also has a lot of carbs (20 g) and no fiber. There are 4 grams of fat and 160 calories.

For someone who wants to satisfy a sweet tooth, I think this would make a very healthy alternative to chocolate or a granola bar. The texture felt heavy enough on my tongue, and I felt like it hit the spot. Not sure I would want to eat this with lunch every day, though. I think it is more a treat yogurt. It cost me $1.79 at my local grocery store, Fairway.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pucker Up for Erivan Yogurt

Wow, Erivan Yogurt is the sourest yogurt I have ever ingested. It is also very, very thin. Since I was not paying attention when I bought it, I assumed it was Greek yogurt. Ooops. Totally the opposite of the super thick style. That said, I thought it was really good. I mixed in two heaping teaspoons of fig jam, and th resulting sweet and sour combo was superb.

One thing to be aware of is that this yogurt is made with whole milk that is unhomogenized. The fat supposedly gathers at the top so you can scoop it out for lower fat yogurt, but I didn't notice any cream.

Pros: Mixes well with jam; very high in calcium, acidoplius, and enzymes; comes in an 8 ounce container, unlike most yogurts which are only 6.

Cons: Lots of fat (2/3 of it is saturated); no fiber.

I purchased my 8 ounces for $1.39 at Fairway, my local grocery store. I think I would buy it again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Proof is in the Echo Farms Pudding

A few days ago at the grocery store, I forgot to pick up more of my usual delicious Kozy Shack Original Rice Pudding before I headed upstairs to the organic floor. It seemed like too much effort to drag my basket downstairs, where the lines for the check out are usually longer anyway, so I figured I'd pick up something new. Echo Farm Pudding's Royal's Rice seemed to do the trick. It was not terribly expensive (under $3 for a 16 oz. vat, which is even cheaper than Kozy Shack if I recall correctly) and the product is Humane Certified. Nice.

Of course, what matters most is how it tastes, and I am pleased to say that it is pretty yummy. The pudding is not nearly as thick and creamy as Kozy Shack Original, but the rice felt good on my tongue anyway. It has the perfect balance of cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg, which is why I think I liked it so much. I would definitely buy this again. It comes in individual servings, too, which makes it good to pack with lunch. I am also very intrigued by the other flavors advertised on the Echo Farms website, which includes Indian Pudding (as in Native American Indians, not Indian Indians) and Coconut Cream. Mmmmm....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

siggi's, Take Two

One of the first "fancy" yogurts I tried was siggi's Icelandic style skyr. I bought the pomegranate flavor at Whole Foods, and I thought it was OK. It didn't rock my world or present me with any revelations about yogurt, but it wasn't bad, either.

Given the price (well over $2), I didn't think that I would bother trying siggi's again. However, when I was at the store two nights ago, I thought that another flavor couldn't hurt. I'm trying to stay away from my beloved Fage because I don't think they use hormone-free milk, and I'm craving a nice, thick yogurt, which skyr promises.

When I opened the blueberry flavor this afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it appeared - a light purple-pink shade that resembled raspberry mousse both in color and consistency. My expectations shot up immediately. I dug in, and found that damn, this yogurt is super thick. It certainly gives Fage a run for its money in terms of thickness.

But how does it taste? It is good, but not great. It is very lightly sweetened with agave, and while I am glad it is not an artificial sweetener, like the pomegranate, it is not sweet enough. There's something about pre-mixed flavors that I don't like. It has a very tart undertaste, which I think I like, but honestly am not sure how I feel about it.

Given its high level of calcium (20% of the RDA), low calorie and carb counts (120 calories and 13 grams of carbs in six ounces), and fat-free-ness, I'd probably try another flavor. It's too expensive ($2.69 at my local grocery store, Fairway) and not special enough to merit the price (unlike the sheep milk yogurt that I get every two weeks for the same amount). I should buy the plain and mix in my own flavoring. It's worth it as a once-in-a-while replacement for Fage.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quick Impressions


Wallaby Yogurt: The least favorite of all the yogurts I have eaten and reviewed thus far, Wallaby is merely OK at best. I tried the organic nonfat Strawberry Guava flavor, which was pre-mixed. It was not too sweet, but oddly gelatinous. In so many ways, it reminded me of Yoplait, from the pre-mixed to the consistency, and maybe even the taste a little bit. There was something weirdly artificial about it, although it is an all-natural yogurt. It is way healthier than Yoplait, though, and I'd definitely select Wallaby over Yoplait, Dannon, or any non-organic yogurt. Maybe my impressions were skewed by the fact that I ate it on a Greyhound bus. I think it is only fair to try another flavor at some point.

Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt: In a previous review, I revealed my love for the apricot mango flavor of Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt, and this time I indulged in cranberry-orange. It was just as delicious, rich, and perfectly sweet as the apricot-mango. Plus it had that undertaste of goat cheese that is weird, but also just right. I wish it more calcium and fiber, though.


Rice to Riches: Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow Live Active Cultures contributor Count Mockula's mom and step-dad in New York City. We went to Rice to Riches, which is a rice pudding restaurant. This place sets the bar high for rice pudding. All rice pudding is made with sushi quality rice, and they come in a variety of wild flavors. I had the marscapone with cherries, Count Mockula's mom had the hazelnut chocolate, and her step-dad had a small portion of chocolate chip. The portions are huge and about $5, and by the time I finished mine, I was a little nauseated. Customers looking for more basic flavors, like chocolate chip or cinnamon raisin, can get smaller portions for about half price. It's amazingly decadent, and I love Rice to Riches.