Last week, I received the following facebook message from a friend:
"So, I get bored and look up nutrition facts sometimes and wish I could come to your class...because I am confused! Does a Chobani Greek yogurt really have the same amount of sugar as a donut? There's no way!" My initial reaction was the same, no way! But as I sat there for a moment and did the math, yup, she was right. Even without the 4 grams of naturally occurring sugar, the supposedly healthy Greek yogurt manages to pack as much sugar as a glazed donut in a tiny 5 ounce container. Check it out:
Krispy Kreme original glazed donut = 11 grams of sugar (1 tablespoon) Chobani key lime yogurt = 12 grams added sugar Chobani lemon yogurt = 11 grams added sugar Chobani pink grapefruit = 13 grams added sugar
And the grand prize goes to the vanilla chocolate chunk, with a whopping 23 grams of sugar! That's 2 tablespoons! Can you imagine how many people eat it, thinking it's a healthy way to indulge a sweet tooth?
Greek yogurt has managed to market itself as a healthy snack option, but most are packed with sugar and artificial sweeteners. In fact, many aren't real Greek yogurt, which is made by straining regular yogurt to remove whey, not by adding gums and thickeners.
I get the need for sugar in yogurt. If you've tried plain Greek yogurt, you know it tastes kinda like sour cream. I dig it with only fruit for sweetness, but most people need to add a little sweetener. But even my clients who battle a serious sweet tooth tell me they enjoy plain yogurt sweetened with just a teaspoon of honey, so why add three times that amount?
For those of you who want to enjoy a cup of flavored yogurt without any added sugar, you'll love this simple trick. Cooking fruit to concentrate it's sugars forms a jam that perfectly sweetens plain yogurt. All you need is a little lemon juice to bring out the flavor. I make a big batch and store them in mini mason jars for a grab and go snack. I used figs since I had a few frozen ones leftover from my mom's fig tree, but feel free to experiment. I love blueberries and walnuts with a little cinnamon and pineapple with macadamia nuts makes a great tropical mix.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh figs
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 3 cups plain organic Greek yogurt (I like 2%, whole, or homemade)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- In a small pot, heat the figs and lemon juice over medium heat. Smash the figs with the back of a spoon to release some of the liquids. Cook 10-15 minutes until thickened and syrupy. Once at desired consistency, set aside to cool.
- Mix the yogurt and vanilla extract together.
- When cooled, spoon the fig mixture in the bottom of six small mason jars. Top each with 1/2 cup yogurt and hazelnuts. Refrigerate until ready to eat.