The Cheater's Guide to Healthy Yogurt

February 28, 2011   38 Comments

Is it possible to find a yogurt that tastes great and doesn't inflate your waist? Yes! Does yogurt have to have Sucralose or other artificial sweeteners to be low calorie? No!

The Cheater's Guide to Healthy Yogurt

You can cheat Yoplait, Chobani, Fage, or any other yogurt manufacturer by creating your own packaged yogurt (and save some money, too).

You do have to do a little work - but it is worth it. All you have to do is mix your favorite brand of PLAIN yogurt (no-fat, greek, low-fat, all the fat) with your favorite jam (fruit, sugar, no sugar), in a small REUSABLE container.

Think of how great you will feel as you save the environment by keeping and washing your yogurt container!

The containers photographed here are from Glad, they are BPA free, and approved for your dish washer (top rack). They retail for about $2.00 for 8 containers.

And they contain only 60 calories! I added 4 ounces of non-fat yogurt (50) and 1 teaspoon or so of jam (10). This may not be enough sugar for some of you - but you can add more and then get used to having less.

Or you can add Stevia or another sweetener. IT IS UP TO YOU. You don't have to worry about added stuff that you didn't want in your yogurt in the first place - for example So What's Inside Yoplait Yogurt Anyway? (there are a bunch of other brands that add yucky stuff too).

As for the cash you will save, a large container of yogurt might cost you $3 for 32 ounces (8 servings) and lets say $3 for the jam. That is $6 for 8 servings and you can usually get Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt (on sale) for 4 for $5.

So, it will cost you (without the cost of the containers) $6 versus $10 for your yogurt. A savings of 40%!

Of course, this is going to vary based on your part of the country and what you choose to buy - but it is, on average, cheaper to mix your yogurt yourself.

What do you mix in your yogurt?

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I ♥ Fage fat-free greek yogurt with only a small handful of walnuts mixed in! Mmmm....

I do this all the time for my kids and myself. I have a bunch of different pure fruit jams and I mix them with my fat free organic greek yogurt. It is so easy and cheap!!


I completely agree with this and in fact do it all the time. When I realized how much sugar there was in blended yogurts when my littles were starting to eat yogurt, I also started buying two 32-oz containers of yogurt - one plain, one flavored, and started mixing half and half so my kids would still enjoy a bit of the flavor but with 1/2 the sugar. Probably not as healthy as your suggestion, but just another healthish idea!

Sometimes I think you live in my kitchen because you do the same things I do to avoid sugar and processed foods! My only additional suggestion is to add a tablespoon of walnuts or almonds for extra crunch and nutrition. The calories are worth it.

I do this, but I put in fresh blueberries(or thawed frozen blueberries, Marionberries and raspberries) with a little bit of pure maple syrup, soooo yummy!

I do this already! lol! I love to buy Fage and some Polaner Strawberry spread and I mix them up! My daughter loves it too, great snack!

Are there any particular brands of plain yogurt that you recommend?

I don't do enough of this! Shared on my fan page

But need an option for my daughter who only likes vanilla. Thoughts?

I do have some strawberry chocolate jam that seems like I should try in the plain yogurt -- YUM!

Yvonne Hall

I take low-fat plain yogurt and drain in a seive lined with coffee filters overnight. You'd be surprised how much liquid is in the bottom of the bowl in the morning! I then mix in splenda, or sugar-free instant puddings, or what ever I fancy for the day. Add fresh fruit and I have the equivant of greek yogurt at a fraction of the cost. 32oz plain yogurt at Shoprite $2.19. Greek yogurt is $1.25 for 6oz cup.

I take plain or greek yogurt and add a teaspoon or 2 of sugar free lemon pudding dry mix and a little skim or almond milk and stir them in together and you get lemon yogurt. you can try other pudding flavors too! delicious!

I do this all the time. To avoid fake sweeteners. Why on earth would someone take the time to do this and then add fake sweeteners??? Or pudding mix?? I do this because I want to know what's in my food and keep control. Add powders isn't any different than just eating yogurt that's already pre flavored, right?

what are some good just plain brand yogurts you would recommend?

@Matt & @Kristyn - My favorite plain yogurts are Fage, Chobani and Stonyfield. I also like store brands - Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have great plain yogurt - my Stop & Shop brand is a little watery - but still good.

I look at the list of ingredients and just make sure it is milk and yogurt cultures. I hope this is helpful!

@Yvonne - I would try vanilla extract and a little maple syrup - or you could get the Torani Vanilla syrup (used for adding to coffee or sparkling water) - I actually saw this stuff in Walmart.

I do this all the time for health reasons and controlling what I'm eating but don't find it be particularly money saving. The price for a 32-36 oz tub of Greek Yogurt (around $6 where I shop (Target, Costco, Local Grocery Storse) is a good price) is pretty comparable to the price of a similar number of prepackaged Chobani cups which are around $1 @ Costco or on sale.

Love this idea, I actually puree fresh fruit and sometimes add a teaspoon of brown sugar and or vanilla. I pack these in my kids lunch for a health snack at school and at home. Portion size is perfect for my 5 and 8 year old. They love it!

non fat plain Chobani is the best!

I started doing this after you first posted about this maybe a year ago? Or at least my first time seeing you post about this... It is such a great idea! I started adding a little peanut butter to my plain yogurt and I really loved that. Now I take a combo of your apple and peanut butter snack and your yogurt with your own mix ins and our new favorite snack is... Apples with a dip made with peanut butter and plain yogurt. It is delicious!

I so agree with you! There are so many unnecessary ingredients in flavoured yogurts -

I love plain yogurt with a little honey.

Keep up the great work!!

I have plain yogurt almost every day. I mix in some cinammon and then add fruit (raisins or dried cranberries or cut up apple) or cereal (like bran flakes or wheat chex).

I love plain, non-fat yogurt. Fage is amazing, as is Stonyfield. I mix apple pie spice

or pumpkin pie spice in mine; sometimes with

fresh blueberries, which makes ANYTHING taste

terrific. D'lish!

For those of you eating non-fat yogurt. Just know that you need a little fat to absorb the calcium. The low-fat usually doesn't have many more calories.

I get Meijer's own label yoghurt, it is rich and creamy like greek, and just amazing. I get the full fat version, as my son is the one who generally gets the yoghurt. I mix in some mango baby food and half a banana, mushed up. He LOVES it. And so do I... :oP

Try adding a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice-- very tasty, and no sugar- just cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves.

i love adding oat bran into my plain yogurt.

I like adding a touch of Trader Joe's lemon curd to plain yogurt and then sprinkling some of my homemade olive oil granola on top (NYT recipe)

i add plain canned pumpkin to plain yogurt, then cinnamon, crumbled walnuts, and a little maple syrup... i call this my pumpkin good!

My whole family loves yogurt so to make it turn into a snack instead of cookies or ice cream I use low fat vanilla yogurt (use tub instead of store bought individual size) add 2 different fresh fruits (bananas, strawberries, grapes ect) with some chopped nuts and they just love it.

i love plain greek yogurt w/ frozen (blue)berries & slivered almonds!

I have plain 0% yogurt with frozen fruit, usually blueberries. I find they thaw quite quickly in the yogurt, maybe within 10 minutes? I just pour them on, walk away to do something else, come back and eat! Under 100 calories if you stick to the portion sizes, and cheap because you can also use bulk frozen fruit.

I like plain Yogurt mixed With mint then Frozen ^_^


I have just found your blog and love it. I take

some natural probiotic yoghurt, put it into tupperware and add frozen raspberries. My kids take it to school and they love it .The frozen raspberries keep the yoghurt cool till lunchtime. Check out our website I'd love to get some feed back. Regards Elaine

Hack again?!

I place 0% FAGE Greek yogurt in a small dish and 1/4 teaspoon jam in another container and dip a spoonful of yogurt into jam every time and eat. That gives me enough sweetness and reduces sugar amount and other artificial ingredients in what I eat.

I add 1/2 c of crushed pineapple-packed in it's own juice to ff plan Greek Yogurt. Great afternoon snack!

I am a snackaholic. I think I could live on every conceivable snack out there. So, finding actually healthy ones is excellent indeed.

Plain greek yogurt is my #1 go to breakfast. I mix in 1T of nuts (I'm enjoying black walnuts at the moment) and whatever fresh fruit I have on hand. I have added cinnamon, vanilla extract. Best thing about this breakfast is that it keeps me full until lunch. Yay!

Good for type 1 diabetics too.

Also if your really keen can health 1/2 gallon full fat milk to blood temp, tip in a small carton of plain yoghurt, stir and pour back into milk container. Out lid loosely on. And leave at room temp. In a day or 3 you should have a 1/2 gallon yoghurt. Told you had to keen!

Additions could be:
2 Apple slice segments/ dice
2 Orange segments, halved
Other fruit 1 tbspn
Toasted nuts 1 tspn
Tsp jam/ honey
Raisins 1 tspn

I tend to keep the additions to a very small quantity, otherwise it become like a dessert and bit heavy. Unless you want a desert of course.

Great with black coffee in the morning instead of the Frosties.

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