Kids Clean Up! Flavored Yogurt

Flavored Yogurt

It’s time for another installment of Kids Clean Up! This week I have tackled my daughter’s favorite food — yogurt. And specifically, flavored yogurt. She would eat 14 Go-Gurts if I had them and would let her. This actually isn’t all that much, since each Go-Gurt seems to have about a tablespoon of yogurt in that little tube. What a waste.

Anyway… this clean up didn’t call for internet recipe searching, I had a plan. It just needed to be executed and tested. And tested. And retested. And tested some more. And not by my daughter. It turns out that this became our first Grown Up Clean Up, because I could not get enough of these.

Back to the beginning, here is what we are replacing: Flavored Yogurt

sunnyside front sunnyside label

This ingredient list reads: CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A NONFAT MILK AND WHOLE MILK, BOYSENBERRY BASE [SUGAR, WATER, BOYSENBERRIES, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, NATURAL FLAVORS, PECTIN, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE], SUGAR, FOOD STARCH MODIFIED, KOSHER GELATIN.

I guess we can start with the two pluses I see here. One, there is actually at least a speck of boysenberry in this product (though I bet we’d all be astounded by how little it actually is). Two, it does contain live and active cultures which is what makes yogurt a health food. But the rest of this list is full of questions and ingredients that were selected for their cheapness over their quality.

How about this one:

activia front activa label

This ingredient list contains: CULTURED GRADE A NON FAT MILK, SUGAR, BLUEBERRIES, WATER, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, PECTIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, LACTIC ACID, FRUIT JUICE AND VEGETABLE JUICE, CARRAGEENAN, CALCIUM CITRATE, SODIUM CITRATE

Can we take a minute to talk about “NATURAL FLAVORS?” This, the vaguest of terms, means that natural things (essential oils, plants, animals, trees…) are used in laboratories and turned into flavorings. For an over the top (but true) example, there could be castoreum in these products, because it is sometimes used as a flavoring for berries and vanilla. What is it? It’s the secretion from a beaver’s castor sacs, used to mark their territory. So, that’s gross, but more importantly to me, it’s a clear indication that the food industry is willing to put things in processed food and not be transparent about it. Because if BEAVER SAC SECRETIONS was written on the packaging of a yogurt container, many of us would probably skip it.

This yogurt also contains CARRAGEENAN which has been found to be a carcinogen (a substance that may cause cancer).

Let’s not skip this kid favorite:
gogurt front gogurt label

This ingredient list states: Strawberry Splash – Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Kosher Gelatin, Tricalcuim Phosphate, Colored with Vegetable Juice, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D.

I feel I’ve belabored these ingredient lists, so I’ll be brief on this one. There are no strawberries in this yogurt, which is called Strawberry Splash. That seems fraudulent. That’s all.

So here’s my recipe for making your own.

Recipe: FRUIT ON THE BOTTOM YOGURT

Ingredients

  • 2 Cup Frozen Organic Fruit of your choice
  • 2 Cups Organic Whole Milk Yogurt (you could even go crazy and make your own with this HOMEMADE YOGURT RECIPE)
  • 1-3T Local Honey
  • 1/2t Vanilla (optional – goes great with cherries)
  • 4 1-Cup Mason Jars or 8 1/2-Cup Mason Jars (or mix and match!)

Instructions

  1. Heat frozen fruit and 1T of the honey in a small saucepan on medium-low heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer and heat until the fruit is nice and soft and gooey. Add in vanilla if you are using it. My mixed berries took about six minutes to be the consistency I wanted.
  3. Place about 1/4 cup of the mixture in the bottom of each 1-Cup Mason Jar or half that if using 8 1/2-Cup Mason Jars.
  4. Allow the fruit mix to cool a little before layering in yogurt (1/2 cup total per jar) and a few mini drizzles of honey.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 6 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

RESULTS:

I’ll be frank. If my daughter was offered a Go-Gurt or this, she would take the flashy, chemically Go-Gurt. But then she’d be hungry after eating that minuscule amount of food in a tube and would happily eat my hearty version.

I’ll be double frank. The first time I made these (and when I took the photos) she did not like it. I realized later, that was because she didn’t stir it up so she was eating plain tart yogurt. My next batch I added in the extra drizzles of honey and -boom- she was all in.

Since we turned this into a Grown Up Clean Up, I will mention that as a grown-up who was raised on Fruit-On-The-Bottom yogurt (which is no longer the rage, apparently) I was able to stir mine and I inhaled the entire first batch in less than three days. Added some granola for a grab-on-the-go breakfast. Ate one after a grueling work-out. Had one for a late night treat while watching some Game of Thrones from the couch. And the last one while powering through a manic afternoon.

I will make these again and again. And my daughter and I can fight over them. Take that tiny Go-Gurt.

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13 thoughts on “Kids Clean Up! Flavored Yogurt

  1. OMG! Beaver sac secretions???!!! I will never think of “natural flavors” in the same way. How can it be okay to NOT disclose these ingredients food industry??? Gross!

  2. Ok this one I have to try!
    I may try to sneak in some flax seed…I feel like I must always try to sneak in something. It makes me feel like I’m winning at parenting…

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