Are you looking for a healthy, delicious yogurt? Have you been eating yogurt with the fat removed and sugar or artificial sweeteners added? Ackk! These are the types of yogurt I ate for years in the pre-vegan days 0f my early and mid twenties. I wasn’t choosing yogurt based on taste or health benefits– noooo, I went for the lowest calorie and for what I thought was the best way to eat (fat-free!).
After not eating ANY dairy products for over 14 years (…and no my bones have not disintegrated thank you 🙂 ) I have recently begun to incorporate small amounts of butter, cheese and yogurt into my diet. Like everything else I eat, I truly believe that quality counts and so I look for whole-food dairy from grass-fed cows. This means none of that overly processed fat-free, low-fat, sugar-filled, or artificially sweetened yogurt. Yes, the source of your dairy really does matter. Go for the REAL stuff!
This yogurt is from Maple Hill Creamery in New York. I bought mine at Whole Foods but according to their website, it is also available at Stop and Shop– not sure which locations yet but I plan to check mine next time I go.
A few main points that I love about them:
- Taste– AMAZING! Creamy, rich, tangy and totally satisfying. Have it with blackberries or stir in a spoonful of crunchy almond butter…both tested and approved!
- The cows are chowing down on 100% grass. Grass is what they are naturally designed to eat– not grains, soy products (typically containing herbicides and pesticides) and heaven knows what else. No pesticide residue or GMOs in this dairy.
- The cows naturally fertilize the land they roam. In conventional dairy feedlots cow manure piles up and results in disastrous runoff which pollutes the environment.
- Grass-fed cows produce dairy that has a healthier omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio than grain-fed cows. Omega 3 and omega 6 are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that we need to obtain from our diet. The problem is, most people consume far too many omega 6 fats in relation to omega 3 which can result in inflammation and contribute to many of our modern-day health problems. (PubMed) So, in addition to choosing grass-fed meat and dairy, please avoid most vegetables oils which are likely the leading source of too much omega 6 for most Americans.
- They don’t believe in masking the unique beautiful taste of yogurt with too much sweetness, yet they offer flavors for folks who want something other than plain. They use conservative amounts of real maple syrup, real organic blueberries, organic sugar and organic extracts instead of artificial or “natural” flavorings and definitely no fake sweeteners or colorings. The amount of maple syrup or organic sugar added to each flavor is equivalent to 1.75 teaspoons– I can deal with this! Check your yogurt– it likely has much more.
Nice, clean ingredient list.
One more thing– their price is lower than the other brands of similar (or even lower) quality yogurts: I want to say $1.69 but can’t find the receipt at the moment so don’t quote me on that. Plus, prices may vary between stores. I also paid $2.39 for a goat milk yogurt. Can you believe there are yogurts that sell for even more than that? Like pretty fancy yogurts in cute miniature glass jars? You do pay for quality and better farming practices so I am good with that, but it kind of makes you think it could be worthwhile to buy your own cow or goat. 🙂
1/20/15 Update: Recently went shopping at Whole Foods. These yogurts are $1.49 which I think is totally reasonable. Even better, they were on sale for 4/$5 so I stocked up on several. Looked at my Stop and Shop and didn’t see them there.