I've read quite a bit of buzz on other blogs, such as Eat, Live, Run, over Greek yogurt. Mediterranean-originated yogurts like Fage (pronounced "fa-yeh"), Trader Joe's brand, and Chobani are characterized by a creamier texture, high protein and low fat contents, a big calcium boost, fewer sugars, and less nutrtionless fillers than typical American yogurts. More and more fellow food bloggers are raving rapturously over their Greek yogurts. When I finally saw some small cups of Voskos Greek style yogurt on sale at Safeway this week, I naturally had to try it!
I purchased three 8 ounce cups of plain nonfat Voskos yogurt. Excited about my new-found strained yogurt, complete with a short and simple ingredient list that includes this like cream and milk instead of aspartame and sucralose, I couldn't wait to try it for breakfast. At 140 calories that takes care of nearly 25% of my daily protein needs, not to mention the calcium benefits, I felt sure that the yogurt would be a hit. I couldn't go wrong. Right?
Well, maybe not. For my first try, I didn't top my Voskos with very much, not wanting to miss experiencing what it tastes due to a heavy layer of additives. I sprinkled a little Kashi GoLean Crunch! almond cereal over the top in addition to some farmer's market melon from Dixon, MT -- it's a hybrid of honeydew and cantaloupe melons called "sinful," and it's amazing! -- and ate it alongside a toasted onion bagel with fat-free cream cheese. It tasted . . . plain. The texture was quite enjoyable, just as smooth and thick as I had read in blogland, but rather bland. Not to be defeated without a fight, I finished up the melon and Kashi and threw in some frozen berries. I thought perhaps I just wasn't using the most complementary topping. The berries didn't lend much either, however, so I finished up my bagel feeling rather disappointed.
I still had two more containers of Voskos waiting in the fridge, however, so this morning I tried again. This time around, I made the yogurt my main course. After reading up on toppings suggestions from Greek yogurt fans, I layered the contents of the container of Voskos with banana, honey, cinnamon, and a cup of the Kashi cereal. This tasted more satisfactory than my first attempt. I continued to enjoy the thick texture, but again I felt like the taste was lacking something -- it needed either more of a bitter bite, or more sweetness. Right now it just tastes like nothing, which is rather depressing. I want it to come alive on my tongue, but it doesn't do much for me right now.
Still, my third Voskos awaits! I refuse to give up hope. I've read that stirring in a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter is quite amazing. Other tips include topping Greek yogurt with honey or agave nectar, fruit like figs, kiwi, berries, and peaches, or nuts including hazelnuts and almonds. I have a jar of Nutella hiding in one of my cupboards. I wonder what chocolate hazelnut Voskos would taste like?
What about you -- do you eat yogurt, Greek style or otherwise? If so, what's your favorite brand? How do you eat it? And if you do prefer Greek style yogurt, do you have any advice regarding my dilemma? My favorite way to eat yogurt is stirred up with an extra-crunchy cereal or granola and some fruit, such as banana, frozen berries (which add even more crunch!), or peaches. Yogurt also makes an appearance as a complement to waffles, in savory salads like cinnamon curry tuna salad, baked into muffins and other goodies, or in smoothies. Greek style or not, you can't lose for nutritional health benefits if you eat a quality yogurt. Smooth and versatile and fabulous at any meal, I can't say it enough -- yogurt rules!
*Fun fact -- Γειά σου means "hello" in Greek!