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Ideas for Jazzing Up Plain Fat Free Yogurt

In the same vein as the earlier post about jazzing up cottage cheese, I would love some ideas about jazzing up my fat free plain yogurt.
I'm interested in sugar free, fat free suggestions. I'd particularly like some vegetable, and savory seasoning suggestions, but would also be happy with (artificially) sweet suggestions in addition to the ideas that I'll share below.
So far, these are the ideas that I've come up with that I really enjoy. I eat them for breakfast, or for a mid-day or evening snack.
I mix my yogurt with artificial sweetener (Equal) and a cut up fruit, and add a compatible flavoring - cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, lime juice....
I find that mixing the plain yogurt with fresh fruits is much more satisfying than using the store-bought fruit flavored yogurts.
I usually mix 3/4 of a cup of the yogurt with the sweetener, and my flavoring of choice. I eat 1/4 cup of this without the fruit, and then add the cut up fruit (in the amounts below), to the remaining 1/2 cup of yogurt. This may sound wierd, but for me, this is the perfect ratio of yogurt to fruit (just the right amount of cream in relation to fruit.)

Some good fruits and combinations are:
4 oz. apple with cinnamon and vanilla extract
" " apple with almond extract
" " blueberries with either vanilla or almond
6 oz. clementines
6 oz. strawberries
4 oz. kiwi
6 oz. peaches
12 large cherries
2 slices canned pineapple in juice, (drained), cut in chunks
20 small, or 12 large grapes

Some of these fruits are great to mix in frozen, especially halved frozen grapes.
The yogurt freezes around the frozen pieces of fruit, and it's a very refreshing and delicious treat.
The yogurt is also very tasty just mixed with any one of the flavorings, without the fruit.
I particulary enjoy the plain yogurt with artificial sweetener and lime juice to taste.

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  1. i use plain yogurt in savory things instead of sour cream. recently i roasted a spaghetti squash, pulled out all the flesh and ate it with salsa and yogurt. simple, easy, very low-cal. i spoon some into scrambled eggs or tofu, put a dollop on top of any beans or lentils, or mash potatoes with it.

    if i'm going sweet, i like frozen raspberries. take a cup out and let them sit. when thawed, they have a little juice in the bowl which loosens the yogurt a bit.

    1. Curry! Caramelize onions in a touch of olive or canola oil, add steamed potatoes, cauliflower and maybe some chickpeas. Saute this a bit more and stir in the yougurt at a low heat. Add the curry to this (or add it to the yougurt first). Dinner! Firm tofu works well too.

      Does honey count as sugar?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Stek

        I also used to just mix curry powder into yogurt and use it as a vegetable dip. Better the next day.

      2. I like a dab of really good home-made jam (esp. blueberry) when I'm in a rush. A dash of raw honey and some good granola or muesli is also great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jcanncuk

          +1 On the home-made jam. That's pretty much the only reason why I put up jams any more. That and honey alone. Heavenly!

        2. I like a good fruit sweetened jam and granola...mmmm

          1. Fresh pineapple with a little maple syrup-not technically sugar free. Also frozen berries plus granola.

            Cucumbers with dill or with garlic, sesame seeds and a dash of sesame oil or even, I did this week, some citurs/champagne vinegar.

            You can splash plain yogurt on the strawberries with balsamic vinegar thing, too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SusanSDG

              Thanks for the strawberry and balsamic vinegar idea, I had it this morning and am planning on having it again tomorrow!!

            2. We make a dip for over roasted yam fries out of yogurt and and and a dab of chipotle sauce.

              1. Just cucumber, diced and mixed in, with lentil curry or something like that. But it's fine just plain with that kind of dish, too.

                1. We only eat jazzed up plain yogurt so I can control the sugar. My kids' favorite (and admittedly mine too often), is to mix it with a good cocoa, a bit of sugar and almond extract. My kids add nuts to it and oatmeal for breakfast. "Cocoa yogurt" every morning - what kid wouldn't want that, and it is pretty good overall for you. My kids like it super dark (they were raised on very dark chocolate), but you can make it lighter too. Also sometimes add fruit to it.

                  I also use it as a dip or as a salad dressing too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jsaimd

                    This sounds positively yummy and brilliant! Perhaps my son will like this as well. He is not a nut boy but chocolate gets him interested. I want to wean him off the "gogurt"stuff- way too much sugar.

                    For me, yoghurt and low fat granola are a favorite in the morning. I also like adding kiwi, mango or papaya.

                  2. Strain the yogurt in a fine sieve or cheesecloth for an hour and you've got the consistency of sour cream. Strain it even longer, and you can get it to the consistency of cream cheese.

                    1. I mix a package of sugar free vanilla pudding with a quart of ff plain yogurt. Makes a really rich and creamy vanilla yogurt.

                      1. Apple butter.

                        Or I used to LOVE as a kid, the yogurt sweetened with sweetener alongside some applesauce with cinnamon.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Emme

                          I second the apple butter rec. pumpkin butter is good too (Trader Joe's still carries it, I think). I also mix in a spoonful of the canned pureed pumpkin you use to make pumpkin pies (Libby's brand?) and sprinkle some cinnamon and sweetener, maybe a few pumpkin seeds, and ta da! a healthy, filling meal with a good amount of fiber from the pumpkin.

                          1. re: bijoux16

                            this is exaclty what I do too. pumpkin is an aquired taste but i absolutely love it. i put some into my oatmeal too so bulk it up a bit and give me tonnes of fibre

                        2. The middle eastern herb mix Zatar is really good with plain yogurt, you can use pita chips or celery sticks as dippers.

                          1. make a yogurt lassi drink-add ice,yogurt and a splash of rose water and some honey and blend--this is a Great drink

                            1. I like to bake an acorn squash, and then mix it with non-fat plain yogurt and lentil pilaf. Mmm.

                              1. Bzd, if you didn't add the (Equal)sweetner would you miss it? Most add ins, sweet or savory, should provide enuf kick w/out it. Just curious.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  I was thinking the same thing. I wouldn't sweeten yogurt myself. I like to cut up fruit (or use fried fruit) and top with all bran (the only way I will eat all bran) and a drizzle of honey on that, but it's fine without the honey as well. But not everyone likes the somewhat tart taste of unsweetened yogurt.

                                2. Tzatziki - thicken yogurt by draining overnight, add lemon juice, olive oil, grated cucumber (sprinkle with salt and pat dry), freshly ground black pepper and dill (optional). We use this dip with fresh veggies.

                                  I also eat it (thickened) as a dessert with some light honey and berries.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: librarian

                                    Don't forget the chopped fresh garlic - traditional tzatziki is loaded with the stuff! And if you start with Fage yogurt you don't need to drain it.

                                    1. re: BobB

                                      Yes, you are correct, I'd left out the garlic.

                                      I looked up Fage yogurt. We are able to get a Greek-style yogurt here but it has too much flavour (if that makes sense) and it tastes bitter to me.

                                  2. I use plain yogurt in a creamy salsa dip. One of my favorite late night snacks, with Trader Joe's flax seed tortilla chips.

                                    1. I like to put some Sugar Free coffee syrup (like Torani or Moin) in with my plain yogurt. I have Vanilla and Butter Pecan, but there are other flavors available.

                                      1. I make layered dip with fat-free refried beans, salsa and plain yogurt, sprinkled with chopped cilantro. Dip in some fresh veggies and it's lunch.

                                        You can blend with canned pumpkin, cinnamon and Splenda - it tastes like pumpkin pie.

                                        Purée a couple spoonfuls with frozen berries and you'll get frozen yogurt. Sweeten to taste.

                                        1. Diced cucumber, chopped fresh dill, a touch of lemon juice, a little salt and pepper and other seasonings you like - a little cayenne is great. It makes an awesome crudite dip. It is also great on tuna or salmon cakes. I make a healthy version of those too. Top with the yogurt dressing/dip. It's a great meal with a salad and or pureed cauliflower _ low cal, low fat, low carb.

                                          On the sweet side, like you I often use frozen fruit but I put them together with the yogurt in the blender, add splenda and an extract (vanilla or almond), and blend it. It will be thick and you can leave some of the fruit chunky. Then I put the mixture into the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight. It comes out sort of like a soft ice cream/frozen yogurt consistency but 8oz. yogurt and one cup of fruit makes quite a bit.

                                          1. Thanks all, for the great ideas. I can't wait to try them.
                                            As for omitting the sweetener in my yogurt/fruit combos, I guess I'll give it a try; but I have somewhat of a sweet tooth
                                            and don't think that this will do it for me.
                                            Does anyone have more specific instructions for the savory yogurt/cucumber mixes, or the yogurt/salsa mixes(with amounts, and ratios of yogurt to cucumber, or yogurt to salsa)?
                                            I'd prefer recipes with no fat or oil.

                                            1. Thanks all, for the great ideas. I can't wait to try them.
                                              As for omitting the sweetener from my yogurt/fruit combos, I'll give that a try, but I doubt that it will do for me, as I have somewhat of a sweet tooth.
                                              As for the savory ideas, does anyone have more specific instructions for the yogurt/cucumber, and yogurt/salsa combos (with ingredient amounts, and ratios of yogurt to cucumber, or to salsa)? If possible, I'd prefer fat-free, no oil recipes.
                                              Thanks again, so much!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Bzdhkap

                                                When I do cuke/yogurt, I just peel and cut up half a cuke (for just two of us; if there were more I'd probably do the whole thing) and put in yogurt until it looks like enough. I suppose it would depend on whether you want cukes with dressing or yogurt flavored with cukes.

                                              2. Not the savory that you are looking for, but a great, healthy way to eat yogurt. I first made these smoothies for my kids when they were toddlers and they are still loving them, well into their teens.

                                                1 cup unsweetened yogurt
                                                6 fresh or frozen strawberries
                                                1 tsp sweetener
                                                1/4 cup OJ
                                                Blend until smooth

                                                1. My favorite is dried cranberries w/ honey, little brown sugar & pecans. Mmmmmmm =)

                                                  1. i just have to plug my very favorite yogurt. it is fantastic in the plain version, organic and just seriously the best yogurt ever - stoneyfield yogurt. Honestly it's amazing and no gelatin!

                                                    http://www.stonyfield.com/

                                                    I use mine with frozen berries (no sweetners) and Bear Naked granola (great organic granola)

                                                    http://www.bearnakedgranola.com/

                                                    it comes in flavors too - blueberry and banilla.

                                                    also great as a savory topper.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: lollya

                                                      lolly, you're singing my song-ditto on brand & toppings!

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        it's a good duet then.
                                                        stoneygranola

                                                    2. here's what i just packed up for tomorrow..

                                                      2% Fage Yogurt - very low in sugar and carbs
                                                      vanilla
                                                      cinnamon
                                                      2 packets of splenda

                                                      layer the following
                                                      unsweetened coconut and slivered roasted almonds then yogurt then diced strawberries and i happened to have a jar of peaches that i canned over the summer, so i diced a half peach too....then layer with more yogurt, fruit, nuts and coconut

                                                      heavenly !!!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                        just discovered fage yogurt..heavenly

                                                        1. re: karins

                                                          it's really like no other. sometimes hard to find the 2% but worth the search.

                                                      2. frozen blue berries, or fresh, and grapenuts and a little sweetner. that's all.

                                                        1. Frozen chopped cooked spinach,thawed and severely drained, lipton's onion soup mix or ranch seasoning, diced water chestnuts, optional diced red peppers... simple but so good, esp. w/ lipton's mix... artichoke hearts work well too

                                                          1. Fresh lime juice/pulp, and equal or splenda

                                                            About one large lime for a just under a quart of yoghurt (Trader Joe's cream line with the cream scooped off, one of the only brands that's just milk and cultures).

                                                            Don't overdo the sweetner, you want it tart and fresh tasting.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                              1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                                Surprisingly not. I've done this tons of times with lemon, and never had a problem.

                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                  I added Lime and Coconut to my yogurt yesterday. Not only did it not curdle....it was delicious. Thanks for the citrus tip .....would have never thought of it.

                                                            1. Savory...spinach (frozen is okay!) sauteed with diced sweet onion and seasoned with (gasp!) Salad Supreme. Yes, I know. It's salty, it's ersatz...it works! Stir into plain yogurt. Eat by spoonsful or use as dip.

                                                              1. Trade Joe's brand (for all of these items) Greek Style 2% with honey and a granola, I love fresh strawberries but I really enjoy the texture of unsweetened freeze dried strawberries.
                                                                I love the idea of Balsamic!
                                                                Candied ginger with the frozen pineapple is good too.
                                                                Either way use the Greek yogurt in place of sour cream...
                                                                Hummm. I am hungry now...

                                                                1. Oh I just thought too, in the kitchen we would take a Tazo tea reduction for a crème burlee. I would that would go?

                                                                  1. If you make yogurt at home with fat-free milk and add some powdered fat-free milk, and incubate it just until it's curdled (usually 4-6 hours - the longer it incubates the more tart it gets), it is so infinitely creamy, sweet and delicious that you will eat the entire batch immediately, without anything added at all. At least, I do.

                                                                    1. Mix 1 part plain nonfat yogurt to 37 parts whole milk cream top yogurt. Enjoy!

                                                                      1. my mom used to use IMO and put powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar) together to make a yummy fruit dip. I actually just used Plain Fat-free yogurt and put some confectioner's sugar in it...cut up some strawberries and put it in there. tastes super yummy!

                                                                        1. Leftover enchilada sauce mixed in makes a great dip for veggies. Hrm... I bet sauce from curry would be good, too.