Vanilla yogurt at the grocery store it contains 5 tsp. to 6 tsp. added sugar per serving, or between 80 to 96 calories without nutritional value. Alternatively, you can purchase vanilla yogurt with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame or sucralose. Still, yogurt's healthy bacteria and protein content mean that it is a popular food with health-conscious consumers. To bypass the extra sugars and unnecessary chemical sweeteners, you can start with plain yogurt and sweeten it on your own. Just add flavor, such as vanilla, by mixing in the ingredients of your choice.
Remove 32 oz. or 4 cups of plain yogurt from container using the spatula. Place it in large bowl.
Add 2 to 3 tbsp. confectioners' sugar to taste, or about 2 to 3 tsp. added sugar per 1 cup serving. This cuts the amount of sugar per serving by about half.
Add five or six drops vanilla extra or half of a scraped vanilla bean to the bowl.
Stir well with the spatula, breaking up clumps of confectioners' sugar as you go. Make sure to distribute the vanilla evenly throughout the yogurt. This takes just one or two minutes.
Use yogurt of any fat content, keeping in mind that whole milk yogurt has the richest flavor.
If you like, substitute the plain yogurt for plain Greek yogurt. Add another minute or 2 to your mixing time to ensure that ingredients distribute evenly.
Substitute for the sugar with 2 to 3 tsp. artificial sweetener. Try 1 or 2 different kinds to see which you like best. Ask your doctor about potential health consequences to make sure your consumption remains at a safe level.
Stir chopped pieces of fresh fruits, dried fruits, cereal or nuts to your yogurt for a nutritious snack. Mix and match these, and use as much or as little as you like.
Freshly scraped vanilla bean is stronger in flavor than vanilla extract. Use sparingly, and just a small bit at a time to taste.
Do not use fruit juice to sweeten your yogurt, as it causes yogurt to curdle.
- Medicinenet.com; Plain Yogurt Never Tasted So Good; Elaine Magee
- "Los Angeles Times"; Plain Yogurt too Boring? Tart it Up; Sheldon Margen and Dale Ogar; December 2001
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Beyond Eating Yogurt Straight from the Carton; Alice Henneman
- Voskos Greek Yogurt: Ten Ways to Naturally Sweeten Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Christina Lee began writing in 2004. Her co-authored essay is included in the edited volume, "Discipline and Punishment in Global Affairs." Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and politics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in global affairs from American University and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Penn State University.