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Jun 24, 2007 01:06 AM

What is the best brand of plain nonfat yogurt?

Okay, I have decided to kick the sugar habit. No more flavored yogurt for me. I have been told to lower cholesterol, no more full fat yogurt for me.

Is there a brand of nonfat unflavored yogurt out there that is particularly good?

Also, any of you out there just eat the stuff plain? I have never enjoyed plain undoctored yogurt, but I'm not big on artificial sweetners either. Can I learn to love it plain?

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  1. For me, the easiest brand to stomach plain is Fage.

    After you're used to that, try the Trader Joe's Greek Style (blue tub).

    They're easier to eat with a little honey, or tangy fruit like berries or peaches. For example, I wouldn't do it with bananas to start because it'll really showcase the yogurt's tanginess.

    The others are all a lot more tangy to me, which is harder to eat alone. But lately I've really enjoyed muesli or Special K Red Berries cereal with Strauss nonfat, which is pretty watery and almost a milk substitute for me. Stonyfield is pretty good too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pei

      fage 0% - tastes like whole milk yogurt

    2. ah, yogurt.... I could write a book on it.

      current day yogurts have morfed into some pretty strange stuff.
      In the good old days, yogurt was simply milk with live/active culture.

      Now adays, most brands have skimped on the cultures, and simply add some thickeners ie starch, tapiaco, etc.

      Then to add insult to injury, they've added artificial sweetners and flavorings.

      Then they add gobs of gummy so called "fruit" that is mostly corn syrup and possibly some artificial flavorings.

      THEN, they try to promote yogurt as 'healthy'. With all this extra stuff added, you might as well drink a shot of milk, but then add a few tablespoons of sugar and starch and artificial stuff. gee that sounds healthy!

      ok, enough of my ranting. now to your question:

      I like Pavel's LowFat Russian yogurt ( I sneak into Safeway, incognito, just for this one item)

      No thickeners, no sugar. no sweetners nothing artificial.
      Simply: MiIk, Living Cultures, vitamin a, vitamin d. that's it :)

      They have regular, lo-fat, and lo-fat vanilla.
      Not sure if they have nonfat.

      I eat it plain. But you could always add your own fresh fruit or a bit of jam/preserves. That way you control the amount of fruit and/or. (Most yogurt brands that have so called 'fruit' actually have more sugar than they do fruit.)

      As you get use to it, you can always decrease the amount of fruit/jam.

      Happy tastings.

      9 Replies
      1. re: LauraB706

        Thanks. I will pick up some Pavel's. Were you always able to eat it plain, or did you have to acquire a taste for it. I like yogurt (not put off by the sourness like some), but plain is going to take some acquiring of a taste.

        1. re: omotosando

          I found plain yogurt to be a rapidly acquired taste -- but still, an acquired one. Say, eaten over fresh cherries and granola...
          Fage is great, but if you like a thinner yogurt I'd look to local organics. On the east coast, that would be Seven Stars (for really thin, very delicious) or Hawthorne Valley or Butterworks if you like the cream top version.

          1. re: omotosando

            Pavel's is great and can be used on bake potato too
            once you go to plain it's hard to go back.

            Depending on where you live I don't know if this is available outside of Calif.
            any of the Straus products are great!

            I love Redwood Hills Farm, made from goats milk. the vanilla is good too

          2. re: LauraB706

            I also love Pavel's - the lo-fat vanilla is great. No sugar (I think), just vanilla for a soft, mellow yumminess. My Whole Foods used to carry it and doesn't anymore. Sadness.

            1. re: LauraB706

              I'll second or third the recco for Pavel's low-fat, it's really good. I like Fage but Trader Joe's is not always convenient for me, but I can find Pavel's at most of the other stores in which I shop. Plus it's more economical than Fage, which can get pretty pricey if you eat yogurt every day, like I do.

              I can not abide by non-fat yogurt, it always seems to leave a metallic aftertaste in my mouth. Even the non-fat Fage did, but it was the least offensive of all the non-fat's I've tried. Fage is without a doubt the smoothest, creamiest and thickest yogurt and well worth trying, but I always seem to gravitate back to Pavel's after a couple weeks of Fage. I like Pavel's low-fat because it is not as mouth puckeringly tart as many other yogurts and it has no additives.

              I can eat plain yogurt straight, although I usually have it with fruit, or use it with fruit and cereal instead of milk. A lot of people like to drizzle honey on yogurt, it does seem to be a match made in dairy heaven. An interesting and tasty alternative to honey that I've been using lately is blue agave nectar. It's a liquid sweetener that is extracted from the heart of the blue agave plant, the same plant that is used to make tequila. Agave nectar has a very low Glycemic Index rating, 19, and only 4 gms of carb in a 1 teaspoon serving. I'm using a brand called Sweet Cactus Farms and I've been very happy with it. . A teaspoon or so on plain yogurt is probably about all you'd need to perk it up. Try the Pavel's, I don't think you'll be disappointed, it's a good product.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                Just picked up some Pavel's Non-Fat at Whole Foods. And some Fage 0%, since there does seem to be an overwhelming consensus on Fage. The yogurt experiment will start.

                Thanks for the tip about agave nectar. Wonder where it is sold? I wanted to order online, but the minimum order is a case of 12 for $58!

                1. re: omotosando

                  Hi, omotosando!
                  Regarding the agave nectar -- perhaps this is something that Whole Foods might order for you, or maybe they already carry it? If they order it, then you might be able to purchase just one small container. Or, if you are near another health food store, they might have it.

                  If you are ever near Erewhon Natural Foods Market in L.A., they would probably carry it:

                  7660 Beverly Boulevard
                  Los Angeles #323.937-0777

                  1. re: omotosando

                    I'm in San Diego and I got my agave nectar at a locally owned store called Windmill Farms which is kind of a downscale Whole Foods or Wild Oats. In addition to the usual food stuff, they also have a wide range of health/beauty aids and supplements, both alternative and traditional. If Whole Foods or Wild Oats doesn't carry it try markets specializing in health food products. The brand I recommended wasn't the only brand on the shelves. If worst comes to worst you could probably Google agave nectar and come up with some other options. I think I paid around $4 for my bottle.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      Any whole foods would carry this...or health food store for that matter.

                2. I also love Fage. It's a Greek yogurt, so thick and creamy. A little on the expensive side for yogurt, but really a treat. I think Stoneyfield is the best "regular" yogurt. Stay away from store brands, they are usually nasty!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Densell

                    Another vote here for Fage. While the non-fat is very good, I personally prefer the 2% -- and the whole milk is so rich it is almost liking eating dessert. Who knew plain yogurt could be so good!

                    1. re: mshpook

                      And still another vote for Fage 0%, that stuff is magical! A little expensive, though; others on these boards have said draining Dannon Plain Non-Fat Yogurt in a sieve or cheesecloth for a few hours yields a very creamy product also. Have not tried that method, though.

                  2. Make that three votes for Fage. This stuff is so good that I happily eat every type from the non-fat version all the way to the whole milk version.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Indy 67

                      Another vote for Fage. A few slices of strawberries, or whatever fruit you have on hand, some honey, some granola... that's breakfast for me every day.

                    2. Gotta jump in the Fage bandwagon. So thick and creamy. Great for breakfast. Had some this am with fresh raspberries and honey. So good. Also great as a base for a marinade- Can't go wrong. Always first item on my list at Trader Joe's.