People food for thought Part XXIII;Benefits of yogurt and D.I.Y. Yogurt

 When you hear the word “Yogurt”, you would imagine that yogurt is one of healthy food products you can get at the grocery store.

When you watch TV, you would see a couple of different kinds of yogurt commercials from flavored yogurt to yogurt that claims to contains many strains of friendly gut bacteria in them.

Our stumpy little dog “Palette” loves frozen yogurt treats I make for her, she thinks that the yogurt is super yummy food in the world.

You can see frozen yogurt cool down treats recipes with Palette’s treat diary series here.

There are commercially made frozen dog treats for dogs or ready to freeze smoothie yogurt cups.

Dogs may like them but have you looked at the ingredients in them?

For example, commercially made frozen dog treats you can get at grocery store contains…

“Water, Whey, Soy Flour, Coconut Oil, Dried Whey Product, Whey Protein,
Soy Lecithin, Polysorbate 60, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride,
Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Microcrystalline
Cellulose, Magnesium Oxide, Silicon Dioxide, Mono And Diglycerides,
Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Cellulose Gum, Niacin
Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Polysorbate 80, Calcium Pantothenate,
Riboflavin Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin
D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.

There are 31 ingredients to make one!

Ready to make smoothie cup has shorter ingredients list but, ingredients are either “Apple puree, banana puree, water, pear puree, natural peppermint extract, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)” or “Apple puree, banana puree, water, natural peanut butter flavor, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)”.

Compared to the frozen dog treats,ingredients are more recognizable items and shorter and it is better but, I would prefer to see “Peanut butter” for the peanut butter flavored smoothie treats rather than “peanut butter flavor“.

And I would prefer just fruits and water and nothing else if I were to make smoothie treats using only ingredients used for the actual smoothie treats.

I see many people add honey, peanut butter etc.. for homemade frozen yogurt treats for dogs and some people use yogurt with vanilla flavored one but,I personally prefer to use the plain unsweetened yogurt and, I don’t see the point to sweeten up the yogurt with honey or peanut butter because whatever you will be putting them has enough flavor dogs like.

I also have seen the frozen yogurt recipe that has banana,peanut butter,honey and yogurt.Peanut butter has sugar in them and honey is sweetener and banana by itself is sweet enough and I have to wonder how much more they want to sweet things up for their dogs?

One particular recipe I came across using honey,peanut butter,banana,and yogurt came out to 782kcal with entire recipe and recipe instructs you to pour these into 4 oz disposable cup,which means probably comes out to about 8-10 cups.

If it was for 10 cups worth recipe, one cup (one treat cup) is about 78 kcal! Even if you pour them into ice cube tray and make them into smaller cubes,it probably better when it comes to kcal consumed but it runs around 24 kcal per ice cube size treats.

My version of frozen yogurt treats you can find at Palette’s diary series has less sugary ingredients and much lower kcal per ice cube size treats.

For them, all food they consume does not have to be sweetened up,or flavored up.

That being said,if you make your own cool down treats, they are much cheaper,not fortified with any vitamins/minerals,and you can be creative with what flavor you will make for your dogs and, it will be fun.

Also,since they are made from fresh food,ingredients list will be much shorter and simpler treats,and they will be much more nutritious, much more low in calories although it depends on what ingredients were used to make them.

Those are what Palette will be looking forward to getting after daily walk and bathing time. She literally drool over the treats and enjoys every bite of it.

I love to try all kinds of new fruits or food and, recently, I tried out star fruits and, I liked it. It tasted like apple/pear all in one bite and, I let Palette taste it and she liked it so, I let her enjoy some of star fruits in the form of frozen yogurt treats

YUM!! I love frozen star fruits celery yogurt treats!

Now, you find all kinds of yogurt at grocery stores, and they are good for you but only if you choose the right one.

You maybe tempted to reach out to fruits flavored yogurt or yogurt that has chocolates pack comes with them or maybe jam on bottom.

However, as you have read in the previous entry titled “People food for thought Part II:Hidden sugars in food“,yogurt has natural
sugar “Lactose”, and plain yogurt has natural sugar around 12 grams.
Flavored yogurt can have 35 grams of sugar in the label.

Therefore, you may reach out to the flavored yogurt and thinking it is good for you but, if you look closer to the label, it is actually very sugary snack of the day.

Back to the dog treats topic, if you used french vanilla yogurt for example, 1 Cup of French vanilla flavored yogurt contains 29 grams of sugar, and if you use plain yogurt, one cup contains only 12 grams of sugar in them.

You can see the flavored yogurt like French vanilla yogurt has almost 2.5 times more sugar and,if you were adding extra sweetener such as peanut butter, honey etc.., then,the yogurt treats will be quite sugary.

Of course, dogs would love sugary yogurt treats made with flavored yogurt but, just because they like the treats does not necessary means they are good one to give them.

Recently, I came across interesting newspaper article on yogurt written by Jennifer Motl and, I thought I would share it with you.

According to the article, there are some studies done on the relationship between yogurt and people health and here are some of the examples that shows yogurt is good for your health.

Benefits of yogurt..

** Women who ate most yogurt had half the risk of diabetes compared to those who avoided yogurt in a study of 82.000 Americans.

** Eating yogurt 6 weeks everyday caused “bad cholesterol LDL” level dropped 7% in Italian study

** Children who ate more yogurt had fewer dental problems in Dutch study

** Those who ate most yogurt had 35% fewer case of colon cancer than those who avoided yogurt

What kinds of yogurt you should pick to eat?

There are many kinds of yogurt at dairy aisle. What kinds of yogurt you should choose? Here are some tips from the newspaper article written by Jennifer Motl.

Greek yogurt has been “Hot item” these days. Greek yogurt is thicker yogurt than regular yogurt and it has almost like cream cheese consistency if you will.

According to Jennifer, these Greek yogurt is milder and less sour because whey is removed. Also, they have twice the protein of regular yogurt; up to 15 grams of protein per cup and it equal to the protein you would consume if you eat 2 eggs.

Yogurt is basically fermented milk products with friendly gut bacteria, and to make Greek yogurt, yogurt is strained to drain sour whey in the regular yogurt.

The reason why Greek yogurt is more expensive than regular yogurt is because it requires more milk to make same amount of yogurt to regular yogurt,and it costs more.

One other thing she has mentioned in her article was about frozen yogurt products for human. She wrote that frozen yogurt products are least healthful and it has more sugar than regular yogurt and some brands have no friendly gut bacteria in them.

Therefore, I had a look at the website of grocery store we often go to and, interesting thing I found is that,there are no plain frozen yogurt products and everything is flavored up.

I have picked vanilla flavored one to look up the sugar amount in them and it was 19 grams of sugar in half cup so, if you make it to 1 cup to compare, frozen yogurt has 38 grams of sugar in one cup!

Not only ingredients are lengthy than unfrozen yogurt,but also frozen yogurt contains lots of sugar in them.

Jennifer recommends to buy a tub of plain yogurt and add fresh/frozen/dried fruits to enjoy your flavor and add a touch of honey if you need to sweetened up.

She writes it is good for cereal and,I agree with that. I eat toast for breakfast but I used to eat plain unflavored cereal top with yogurt mixed with puree strawberry on top.

It was tasty.

If yogurt is the staple food items in your fridge, instead of buying yogurt tub every time it runs out,why not making on your own?

Incidentally, Jennifer’s article was with slow cooker yogurt recipe and, I had to try out to see what it will be like. It looked easy to make and here are recipe you can try on your own.

Since her recipe was big volume, I had to scaled it down to good enough amount to keep one at a time. I also tweaked some instruction after browsing through yogurt making tips.

To read full article written by Jennifer Motl,please click here.

Homemade yogurt recipe..

Homemade Yogurt with strawberry..


4 C Whole Milk

3 tbs Plain whole milk yogurt (for source of friendly bacteria)


1. Pour milk into slow-cooker set to “Low”,and cover with lid

2. Wait for about 3 hours until temperature reach to 185F

** Use thermometer to take temperature of the milk

** Do not open lid frequently since every time you open lid, temperature will drop

** 185F temperature is the temperature you will start seeing froth on milk

3. Unplug the slow-cooker,and cool it to 110F

** Will take about 2 hours to reach the temperature

** 110F is the temperature where yogurt culture being reproduce

4. Skim off the film on top of the milk if any

5. Ladle 1/2C warm milk from slow-cooker into measuring cup and add 3 tbs of plain whole milk yogurt (I like stonyfield organic Plain whole milk yogurt with cream on top)

6. Mix it well

7. Pour the yogurt-milk mixture back into the slow-cooker

8. Take the inner ceramic bowl out from the slow-cooker and wrap them with big towel to keep them warm and set it in the oven with light on (Oven is not on,just light is on),and oven door closed

** It is good idea to put a big note that says “Do not use oven” on top of the oven so family member will know what is going on, and not accidentally turns the oven on

9. Wait for 7 hours

10. Stir well and put it into sealed container and keep the container at back of the shelf in the fridge over night

** Back of the shelf is the coldest area in the fridge and it is best to keep there

11. Next morning, you can enjoy your homemade yogurt

The yogurt I made came out touch thinner than store bought yogurt but good thing is, it was not as tangy as store bought one so I really did not need any sugar to add to enjoy them.

I just pour it over fresh fruits and enjoyed freshly made Yogurt.

Yogurt making is very easy and economical.Try it yourself and see if you like them.

The recipe above makes 2 1/2 C yogurt.

Palette got to taste test freshly made yogurt and she was 7 paws up! She really loved them! Since I knew she liked strawberry, I put sliced strawberry in the yogurt and she licked to clean and came back to the bowl over and over again just to be sure there are no more yummy left out.

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Jan 24, 2012 | 0 | People Health

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