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My Yogurt Dilemma

I recently was put on a rather bland diet for medical reasons and I purchased some Fage 0% Yogurt. I ate half of it with some fruit, but really couldn't get past the bitterness. Sadly, it's probably the best yogurt I've tasted. So I'm sitting with half a small container left and didn't want to throw it out, but wasn't sure what to do. I didn't feel like going for a shop and didn't have many items. So I decided to make a quac-yogurt dip. Out the yogurt in a bowl with one very ripe avocado and some Sriracha. I mixed it into a thick paste and gave it a taste. Still a little bitter. I was making some grilled chicken and wanted to use it as a spread for a grilled chicken sandwich. I decided to add one tablespoon of mayo to the mix and while the health aspect somewhat went out the window, it ended up being a nice compliment to the chicken, which I had seasoned with S&P, garlic powder and smoked paprika.

Any other thoughts other than Tzatziki sauce on how I can incorporate yogurt into my meals without having to "enjoy" the bitterness?

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    1. As Tzurriz said, honey works wonders. I usually have Fage with honey, crushed walnuts, and sliced banana for breakfast. I do have to use a fair amount with the 0% Fage product, much less than I do when I buy the stuff that's made on site from a local market. I do think that the 2% Fage is a little better in taste and texture, if the increase in fat isn't a concern for you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: onceadaylily

        And as I was looking up Thew's oven-baked polenta for tonight, I stumbled across this at the bottom of the thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4546...

        1. re: onceadaylily

          Not a huge honey fan to be honest. The Polenta thing sounds interesting

        2. I'm not sure I get the bitter flavor, but I use whole milk yogurt nearly daily and usually in savory preparations. Strained yogurt (which usually goes by the rather ethnocentric name "Greek" yogurt) is often the spread I use on bread, either in place of mayo, or topped with za'atar or other herbs. It's my basic binder for macaroni salads (with a touch of vinegar and sugar). With crushed garlic and herbs (usually mint or dill) it's a sauce for pasta or eggs or I can otherwise simply add some pecorino and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg for a delicious "alfredo" sauce that works well with vegetables. Mixed with water (sparkling or still) and mint or salt, I drink it. Mixed with milk and sugar (and rose syrup if I'm lucky), I make it into lassi. If you can eat roast chicken, shredding it and tossing it with chickpeas, pita chips, yogurt, garlic, paprika, lemon juice and tahini will give you a very popular supper.

          There are many varieties of yogurt soups popular throughout the Middle East that are not spicy such as Yayla Çorbası or Ash e Mast. Rice cooked with yogurt and a few spices is comfort food in South India. Hummus-like dips also abound with yogurt. I make one with swiss chard stems and another with beets.

          Depending on what's in you cupboard, I think CH can figure out quite a few ways to hack a delicious Fage-based dish.

          6 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            I appreciate all the ideas, but I think you missed the fact I'm not a huge yogurt fan. This is the Greek variety, as I can not even stomach regular yogurt. I do love hummus of all types and might try a combo of that as a dip, although I tend to like hummus on it's own or with veggies. I also like the idea of adding pecorino to make a healthier alfredo sauce. Thanks

            1. re: jhopp217

              I thought perhaps you didn't like non-fat yogurt which may have a bitter taste with which I'm not familiar. I have a friend who also claims to hate yogurt, but he seems to love it whenever its enriching and thickening properties are used to boost a dressing, sauce, dip or soup. Maybe you'd enjoy having it used that way also.

              1. re: JungMann

                I'm sure I would. While I don't associate the tastes as even remotely similar, I love the creaminess that sour cream adds to just about anything.

              2. re: jhopp217

                Try the full fat, or the 2%. I've never tasted a hint of bitterness, but I also scrupulously avoid anything fat free. I love it with a couple of drops of sweetener, vanilla extract and some chopped walnuts. Or just with vanilla and sweetener with blueberries.

                1. re: mcf

                  HAHA, ironically I can't have nuts or berries. Believe me, there would be 20 strawberries in it if I could. Will try the 2% next and report back

                  1. re: jhopp217

                    Well, it's darned good with just high quality vanilla extract and some sweetener, too.

            2. I really dislike fat free yogurt, FWIW -- often gritty, usually flavorless, and if it does have a flavor, it's an unpleasant one, IMO. Whole milk or at least 2% yogurt is the way to go. It's a reasonably healthy fat, and everything I've read and heard seems to indicate that the fat actually helps you absorb the nutrients in the product. So take that however you like... ;)

              But yes, honey. I happen to enjoy unsweetened yogurt, but it's an acquired taste and a very minority one at that! A spoonful of your favorite jam would work as well if you're allowed. Growing up my mother made all our yogurt and we'd eat it with a drop of vanilla and a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Still a favorite.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LauraGrace

                Yes, a little bit of vanilla extract does wonders to counteract the tartness.

              2. yogurt shouldn't be bitter. do you mean "tart"? it is a fermented product. you can sub it almost anyplace you'd use sour cream, buttermilk or even heavy cream (just thin with some water.)

                it will work well mixed with eggs and pumpkin and baked into a savory custard. (seasoned to your preference -ginger, allspice, nutmeg, etc.)

                if you're using it for savory applications, a little squeeze of citrus often helps for balance. like a squish of lime juice in your guac mix.


                  1. I also dislike yoghurt by itself (it tastes like spoiled milk to me - I have to get my husband to taste it when I make it, to make sure the batch worked, because I can't tell). But I like it as an ingredient in lots of things.

                    You can make it into dips or salad dressings (taziki is a good start, middle eastern or Indian spices work well, particularly with lemon or lime juice and garlic). With enough other seasonings, the yoghurt flavour is pretty muted.

                    You can use it as a base for various Indian curries, both meat and veggie based. You can also use it in raitas - one of my favourites uses grated cucumber and onion, lemon juice and lots of chopped fresh mint. Tandoori chicken uses a yoghurt based marinade, too, and is delicious. For curries, you can't easily tell that there's yoghurt in it.

                    You can use it in soups - try a cold cucumber soup for summer. A small amount adds some creaminess and a bit of tartness, but the yoghurt flavour isn't overwhelming.

                    1. There is a huge difference in taste between the Fage 0% and the 2%. Get the 2% unless you're restricted.

                      I'd look to salty preparations, too. I love it mashed into a baked potato and then spread on the skins. And tztatziki for sure. My husband can't stand yogurt in any form, but he'll eat tzatziki made with Fage as fast as I can grate the cukes.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Amy Mintzer

                        I could live off tzatziki haha. I did actually read in a taste test that 2% was the best tasting you can get in a supermarket, but they were out and 0% was actually the runner up.

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          I really noticed the difference in flavor just in the past week (and I've been eating this stuff for years): We have a bunch of the individual fruit-on-the-side ones, which I've never bought before. A mix of the 0% and 2%. Serving one to my son, I licked the foil top--yum! Amazing how good this is plain. Did it again at with my own 2 days later--yuck! Why did I think this was good plain! Then I figured it out.

                      2. Your blender is your best friend!
                        Mix with raw or lightly cooked vegetables and stock to make chilled blended soups. I love a cucumber soup like this, with a little paprika or chilli, or cilantro, or chives, or whatever I have around. You can do red peppers, squash whatever you have.

                        1. I was a very late comer to greek yogurt; and I like it plain (of all things) with just a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips. However, I now cut everything that I use mayonnaise for in half with the Fage.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: laliz

                            That is actually what I'm trying to do, as I love mayo, but ironically I added mayo to my concoction to add a little sweetness to it. I'll have to try a half and half mix on my next sandwich (most of my sandwiches eaten at home are veggie only or maybe a little grilled chicken.

                          2. I would like to thank everyone. I will definitely be trying a little fattier greek yogurt next time out and will try your suggestions. Thanks

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: jhopp217

                              The full fat, cream based Fage is To. Die. For. IMO. I almost need a moment alone when I dig into it.

                              1. re: mcf

                                lol. i mixed a bit of coconut milk into mine this morning and WOW was that delicious.

                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  YUM. I used a half can of coconut milk and heavy cream to make low carb key lime pie with an almond meal crust recently. I wonder how lime juice, sweetener and coconut milk would be in Fage yogurt?

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    add some coconut flakes for texture!

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      I actually have wide coconut shreds, unsweetened.... good idea.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        i love them in yogurt. :) i get the bob's mill unsweetened.

                            2. Greek yoghurt is very sour and tangy, but I wouldn't say it was bitter (I HATE 'bitter'!) I can't eat it au natural unless it's made into tatziki or something similar. But if you sweeten it up with whatever sweetener is permitted on your diet it's delicious.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kajikit

                                Some may be sour and tangy, but Fage is very mild and without sourness.

                              2. I just got off of a spate of Indian-inspired meals, and I found a lot of salad-y sides made with yogurt: i.e., cucumber raita and also a recipe where grilled eggplant flesh is mixed with yogurt. They do contain spices (not sure if "bland" means you can't have cumin, for example).

                                1. A very long time ago (mid 1990s) someone gave me a copy of a recipe that we've modified (below). We enjoy it with rice and peas. It's also good as a leftover. Enjoy.

                                  Parmesan Yogurt Chicken

                                  Modified version from The New American Diet cookbook.

                                  1 chicken, boned, cut in pieces and skinned
                                  2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
                                  Cayenne pepper
                                  1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

                                  4 tablespoons flour
                                  2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
                                  ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
                                  ½ teaspoon thyme leaves

                                  ¼ cup minced green onions

                                  2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

                                  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken in lightly oiled baking dish. Drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper.

                                  In small bowl mix yogurt and flour and add mustard, Worcestershire and thyme. Spread over chicken. Top with green onions and sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes (check the chicken); it usually takes closer to 30 minutes, but sometimes it has been overcooked at 25 minutes. Mix the juices into the sauce. Cook until almost done. Sprinkle parmesan on and broil 6 inches from heat until cheese is slightly brown.

                                  Notes: The original version of this recipe used a combination of mayonnaise and yogurt.

                                  1. I mix yogurt with a goodly amount of Dijon mustard and use it to dress julienned celery root or other veggies, or make a tuna or chicken salad. Capers are a great addition. Or spoon the yogurt mustard mix over a chicken breast or pork tenderloin and bake, covered, until done -- yum! Add herbs to change it up.

                                    Yogurt mixed with crumbled blue cheese and a dash of Tabasco makes a great dressing. Use it on thinly sliced celery for a 'Buffalo wings without the wings' effect (learned that one from Melissa Clark).

                                    1. Two ways I like to use Greek yogurt -
                                      Blend it with tahini, a little lemon and a bit of olive oil. Use for a sauce, salad dressing, whatever. I like it on gyros or kebabs.

                                      Puree with a big handful of cilantro and drizzle over anything Mexican, or use as a dip for tortilla chips. I use jalapeno in mine, too, but your bland diet probably doesn't include jalapeno!