Saturday, October 26, 2013

How to make plain yogurt taste good... It's possible!

I'm now on day 26 of my candida diet and am feeling pretty awesome. My digestion has improved immensely, my skin has cleared up, I'm feeling more energetic, and having less brain-fog (to my knowledge anyway haha). I've introduced greek yogurt back into my diet as of 2 days ago, and haven't had any bad reaction or digestive upset... Yay! 

Greek yogurt is allowed on the candida diet (although it's dairy), because it has probiotics in it, and probiotics helps replace the gut with healthy bacteria. This kills off the yeasty beasties (a.k.a Candida). I've chosen a low sugar brand with only 5g of sugar, and 18g of protein per 3/4 C serving. I would have liked to have even LOWER sugar content, but this seemed to be about as low as it comes. 

But here's my problem: Plain yogurt sucks.
It tastes like sour cream. Who wants to eat straight up sour cream? Not I, that's for sure.

I've always struggled with the feeling of wanting to like plain yogurt for its low sugar content, but my love for strawberry yogurt always got in the way of my decision making, and I always went for the flavoured options.

The reason that flavoured yogurt isn't necessarily a good choice is because there's SO much sugar in it!! It's very deceiving, as most people think of yogurt when they think of a healthy snack, right? Well it's not at all if it's loaded with 15-20g of sugar in it per 1/2 C serving. Especially when fruit is added, you're probably looking at around 30g of sugar in a small bowl of yogurt that is considered a "healthy" snack. 

On the candida diet, there's NO sugar allowed. Nothing. No fruit. No chocolate. Not even beets...
So I was forced to find an alternative to flavoured and/or sweetened foods, and a way to make myself enjoy eating plain yogurt... That's when I got creative :)

I added cocao nibs, a little bit of almond extract, and some stevia drops into my bowl, and to my surprise, I actually liked it! It didn't taste like sour cream, it tasted like yogurt. Sweet, heavenly, candida-friendly yogurt. I'm happy with that!

Here are some ideas to make plain yogurt yummy:
  1. Depending on how much yogurt you are dealing with, add some raw cacao nibs, a few drops of almond extract, and some stevia powder (or drops) into the yogurt. Mix it all up. Feel free to add a little more, and adjust to your desired sweetness.
  2. Chop up some strawberries, and add some vanilla extract.
  3. Add some cacoa nibs (or small pieces of dark chocolate), some peppermint extract, and some stevia drops. If you want to make this kid friendly, and if you have some on hand, add some liquid chlorophyll to the batch so that it's green! (Please don't use artificial food colouring!) Make sure to only add a liiiiiittle bit so that you don't mess with the peppermint flavour.
  4. If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain: Add some fruit like pineapple, peaches, and some unsweetened coconut flakes! Add into a blender to get the same consistency. 
  5. Hemp, flax, or chia seeds. This doesn't make your plain yogurt sweeter, but it DOES add fiber, protein, and healthy fat. So if you have a little slip and go for the sweetened stuff, make sure to add some seeds!
  6. Raw nuts: Having some slivered almonds is always handy to have around, because lets face it, who doesn't like almonds? Add them on for a little extra protein and fiber. 

This is my PLAIN yogurt with cacoa nibs, almond extract and stevia :)

And just a few quick tips on buying a yogurt:
  • Try to get a yogurt that is organic. Organic dairy is very important so that we can avoid antibiotics and hormones that may be in the dairy.
  • Try to find the lowest sugar option! Stay away from the ones that have more sugar in it then protein.. 
  • Don't buy the "low-fat or no-fat" options ESPECIALLY if you're buying a flavoured yogurt. The fat helps to slow down the rate that the sugar gets digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. 
  • Buy local if available to you.


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am an RHN-Holistic Nutritionist. The health information contained herein is to share my knowledge and recipes. Any information provided is not intended to treat or cure any disease, or to replace any discussions with a health care provider. You, the reader, are personally responsible for ensuring the safe application of anything described herein. Read the Scope of Practice, as well as the Code of Ethics of an RHN-Holistic Nutritionist.

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