Monday, November 4, 2013

My yogurt evolution

John here ...

I still remember the day, roughly 33 years ago, when I was watching the nightly news on TV (I was that evolved at age 8) and heard that the key to living to one hundred years of age was eating yogurt. This isn't the case of a fuzzy memory all these years later; I distinctly remember hearing those exact words and the effect it had on me. I was terrified of the concept of "death" at that age so the idea of living to three digits was one I took very seriously.

But I had a big problem ... the idea of yogurt disgusted me, like big time.

I could not watch someone mix the "fruit on the bottom" without dry heaving:
It looked so lumpy and curdled and that smell .... oh lord that smell ... it was like a combination of baby puke and spoiled milk. I could not imagine taking even one bite without vomiting all over the walls.

I had to accept that I would die way too young.

Fast forward 24 years and I was ready to embrace the idea of yogurt again. Healthy eating was finally on my radar and I was mature enough to give yogurt another whirl. I started with Dannon blueberry (the only one I was willing to try) and meticulously mixed the fruit and yogurt to the best consistency possible.

It wasn't too awful, but I didn't like it by any means. I fought on, determined to make myself enjoy it and its numerous benefits. Truth was though, this wasn't going to last. I was going to have to seek out my nutritional benefits elsewhere until ... I discovered "pre-mixed" yogurts, specifically:

The texture was perfectly smooth, that nightmare smell was eliminated and the taste was, well, bearable. But bearable was good. I was back on my path to living until the big century mark.

So now let's jump ahead a few more years, and I'm back to blowing off yogurt again. It just wasn't tasty enough to keep my interest but dammit, I knew that yogurt was too damn good to simply disregard.

And with that, we welcomed in the era of "greek yogurt". When comparing to your "traditional" yogurt, there was no comparison: 

Thicker consistency - check
Double the protein - check
Fewer carbs - check

I was all in and ready to make it a permanent part of my morning dining routine.

So I jumped right on the Chobani bandwagon.

Vanilla was my flavor of choice and I added fresh blueberries, homemade granola and whatever else fit my fancy. I swear to you I physically felt a difference. It was as if the bacteria was eating the badness out of my intestines. For the next year or so, I probably had yogurt 5 out of every 7 mornings and as a snack 1 or 2 additional days.

But best of all, it tasted phenomenal. Home boy was hooked.

But we're not finished there. No, it gets even better.

One day, a few months ago, my wife was eating this yogurt with a bunch of greek symbols on the container. The packaging looked odd to me but she insisted it was "to die for". I inspected these little cups and was intrigued by the separate compartment that held the fruit/mix-in. Was I up for the process of mixing in again? I was still damaged by this concept from my childhood.

My wife insisted that once I tried this yogurt, I would be hooked. She even referred to it as "tasting like a dessert". How could I not try it? She has never once steered me wrong (Steel Magnolias being the exception).

I tried one with "honey" and mixed it in as well as I possibly could. After one bite, I knew this was the real deal. Holy thickness, smoothness and creaminess. This stuff was killer. But we're not done yet (bet you never knew yogurt could be this dramatic?).

I tried a few other varieties of my new favorite greek yogurt but one was emerged as the victor:                                    

Fage blueberry yogurt. Holy deliciousness.

As I mentioned before, the blueberry mix is in its own attached compartment: 

I mixed it in with ease and was a happy camper. But guess what? You guessed it, yet even more yogurt excitement. 

Turns out, you aren't supposed to mix in/blend the blueberries into the yogurt. Nope, if you look carefully, the label on the container indicates one should take a dab of the blueberries and then dip it in the yogurt:

Dude, this is magical stuff. Perfection.

I have it EVERY morning and I would pay $10 a pop for these beauties. No lie.

I have found my yogurt and there ain't no going back.

See you in 2072.


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