I have tried so hard to switch from yoplait fat free yogurt to plain yogurt multiple times but just can't get myself to do it. I tried fage and found it too chalky. I recently bought the TJ's brand greek yogurt and found it more appealing, but neither yogurt has as smooth of a texture as yoplait's does. I really prefer not to have artificial ingredients in my yogurt, and would like to enjoy plain yogurt. I have tried putting honey or jam in my yogurt, but I find I am not used to the much more more thick texture of greek yogurt and simply don't enjoy it. I tried dannon plain which has the consistency I am used to but is way too sour/tangy.
For those of you who eat plain, how did you convert? Did it take awhile? Any tips? I acutally prefer american in the sense that there is significantly more calcium. Is French yogurt different than greek yogurt- I know France's is supposed to be amazing.
One thing you might do is switch to fat free yogurt in a couple of steps. Switch to low-fat yogurt first, then to fat free...going from full fat to fat free in one step is a bit jarring. Low-fat yogurt is a lot more satisfying, I think, than fat free, so the first step is pretty easy.
Also, you can just experiment with different brands until you find one you like.
I think Skyr (Icelandic style) is technically a cheese and not a yogurt, but Siggi's is wonderful if you can find it. It might appeal to you. http://skyr.com/
The Fage and other "greek" style strained yogurts have a high calcium content and a different texture because the whey is drained off...
Also, you mention you've tried honey and jam...have you tried agave nectar? You might like that. This time of year I like to mix rhubarb "hairy" sauce into my yogurt for a treat.
I know I'm all over the place here, but I hope at least something in my post is helpful to you. Good luck.
Stirring in a touch of brown sugar is yummy and will thin out Greek yogurt. I found this out by accident one day when TJ's was out of the honey-sweetened one.
Try Stonyfield Farm Organic lowfat plain,found at the regular supermarket. Add brown sugar and fresh peaches or whatever fruit you like. It is really delicious. Then gradually decrease the brown sugar until you enjoy/become accustomed to the taste and can phase it out completely. I love the taste now, no sweetener added at all. Now that the allergy season is upon us I sometimes add a small amount of local honey but otherwise add only fruit.
I usually strain it though a coffee filter in a colander but if you don't care for the thicker yogurt then eat it as it comes. I think this might be what you are after, not too thick and not at all chalky.
I love plain yogurt , and I think one of the things that made me that way is that my mom would usually mix a high-quality ice cream with plain nonfat yogurt. I know you're looking for something healthier (and ice cream won't exactly help with that), but I think that goes along with the other advice here to work on it in steps. Also, a quick stir really should help thin out greek yogurt, with or without something added to it.
If you check the ingredients on the yoplait I think you'll see it contains guar gum, pectin, carageenan or some other thickeners. Plain (full-fat) yogurt, that is pure yogurt with just milk and culture as the ingredients will probably never have the mouth-feel of yogurts with added pectins. Even plain low-fat yogurts may have these added thickeners.
Stonyfield Farm plain yogurt (with the cream on top) is one of my favorites, next to Fage total. I only use the full fat version, never low fat (because I too object to added ingredients), and I stir in a bit of sweetener and vanilla extract. If I have any I'll add some fruit -- blueberries, strawberries (or a combination), mangoes, peaches. I don't eat banana so I've never tried it but it would probably be quite tasty. And some granola or just toasted wheat germ on top is also nice.
I switched a long time ago from yoplait fat free to organic yogurt. I don't eat the plain, but you will notice that, calorically, many organic yogurts are lower in calories because they are much less sweetened than the commerical brands. For instance, the Stonyfield Farms lowfat vanilla flavor has 130 calories, as does their lowfat maple vanilla flavor. Cascade Fresh lowfat yogurts have 140 calories, and are delicious. As for texture, both of these brands are smooth and creamy, especially if you give them a good stir before you eat them. You will notice that both are lowfat (as versus fat free) -- with the organics, you can go with the slightly higher fat and still have a lower calorie treat than the commericial brands, because they have less sugar.
If you still want to go to plain, I personally like my plain yogurt with sugar rather than jam or honey (unless it's greek yogurt, in which case, I love it with honey).
Bottom line: check out organic yogurts.
I grew up with plain yogurt - my favorite way to eat it was with honey and chopped dried fruits. YUM. It's also excellent with fresh fruits like banana, papaya, etc. and maybe a little honey. If you like crunch, you can always throw in a bit of granola. If you've tried stirring the yogurt and that's not good enough, have you tried thinning it down a little with milk? Maybe that would work. Or making a smoothie? Also, yogurt isn't that hard to make - maybe try your hand at making your own?
You may want to consider Trader Joe's European Style Yogurt (fat-free); it's creamy, not chalky and definitely worth a try.
I think danone yogurt is the best. It's still 1.5 percent, but much smoother than other yogurts at this percentage of milk fat in my opinion.
If you don't like it don't eat it. You can get your calcium via other means. I like the tang of plain yogurt and often eat it as is. However, I sometimes add fresh fruit or honey or Persian yogurt seasoning, or use it to make tzatziki.