In recent years, yogurt has become a household staple. With an ever-growing interest in healthy choices for meals, snacks and breakfast, the popularity of yogurt has been on the rise. A walk down the dairy aisle offers a vast amount of choices. There are a variety of styles emerging on the market that include yogurts from across the globe, as well as dairy alternatives like lactose free, sheep, goat, plant-based and vegan options.
I was amazed when I took a closer look at the yogurt aisle at FRESH how many different types of yogurt are available. It made me wonder; what does all of it mean and how do all the various styles and alternative options compare in flavor, creaminess and nutritional value?
You could say that yogurt has become the dairy market’s cash cow! So, in honor of National Dairy Month, here is some information that will help you navigate all the choices.
Yogurts from Other Cultures:
Greek: Greek style yogurt is strained, so the protein and fats are concentrated, making it a richer, creamier yogurt. Slightly tangy with twice the protein and fewer carbohydrates. Can be a healthy substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise or butter.
European: Smoother, creamier consistency, often less sugar. Seldom contains thickeners or additives. Contains important nutrients like protein, calcium and potassium.
Icelandic (Skyr): Thick consistency and tangy flavor like Greek yogurt. Low in sugar, high in protein and contains no fat. Made by incubating skim or nonfat milk with live cultures and straining the whey.
Bulgarian: Delicate tart flavor with creamy, loose texture. Retains all the calcium and nutrients from unstrained milk. Up to 90 billion probiotics per serving. Old World, 24-hour fermentation process helps utilize yogurt cultures and milk.
Australian: Creamy, velvety texture with rich flavor. Known for creative and unique flavors. Perfect combination between traditional and Greek yogurt consistency. Usually infused with honey or other ingredients for gourmet yogurt.
Yogurts for Unique Diets:
Goat & Sheep: Naturally thick, creamy texture. Similar nutritional profiles of cow’s milk but lower in sugar. Less lactose makes it easier on the digestive tract. Different fatty acids can vary the flavor profile. Best enjoyed with fruit.
Kefir: Bubbly, with a slightly acidic taste and smooth texture. One of the most probiotic-rich foods full of nutrients. Made from fermented milk that is easily drinkable and digestible. Derived from the Turkish word keyif or “feeling good.”
Organic: Perfectly smooth, thick and rich flavor. Higher level of omega-3 fatty acids. Made without toxic pesticides or GMOs, making it good for you and the planet. Also includes grass-fed. Healthy alternative for recipes that require sour cream, mayonnaise or butter.
Almond, Cashew and Coconut: Rich and creamy with delicate almond, cashew or coconut notes. Cultured alternative for lactose intolerance, dairy allergies and vegans. Heart-healthy fats, fibers and minerals from the milk sources. Helps with building immune system health.
Lactose Free: Slightly sweeter with similar texture as traditional yogurt. Made by breaking down the lactose in cow’s milk to aid those with a lactose intolerance. Offers the same healthy, nutritional benefits of other yogurt.
Aloe Vera Yogurt: Japanese style yogurt made with aloe vera gel pieces and creamy yogurt.