At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

How To Make Your Own {Allergy-Friendly and Better For You} Flavored Yogurt

No, I'm not going to ask you to make yogurt from scratch.  I don't even know how to do that!  You are more than welcome to do that, but it's not necessary.  What I am going to talk with you about is how to flavor your yogurt instead of buying already flavored yogurt.

Several years ago, I tried very unsuccessfully to find flavored yogurt that was allergy-friendly, not full of a lot of artificial flavors or refined sugars, not artificially colored, didn't contain things like cornstarch or "natural flavors", etc. that still tasted...well...good.  The only options I was able to find that even remotely fit the bill were plain yogurt (Greek-style or regular) {which taste a bit like sour cream, so they were good for recipes, but normally not so great for eating on their own} and a few select vanilla yogurts (Greek-style or regular) {and most of those were full of refined sugar}, so I pretty much gave up on yogurt as a go-to food when I'd eaten it nearly daily up until that point.  Boo for me. :(

Since then, flavored yogurts have improved quite a bit, and there's more allergy-friendly options, but it can still be pretty expensive to find a good quality flavored yogurt without all the junk.  What's a gal to do to get a yogurt fix and not break the bank?  Make your own custom-flavored yogurt!

It really is very simple, very tasty, and a lot more affordable.

Here's what you'll need:

-Plain, unsweetened yogurt of choice.  
This can be milk-based or dairy-free, Greek or regular.  Use your favorite that fits your allergen needs.  I normally use a milk-based Greek yogurt.  Plain yogurts tend to be limited ingredient (sometimes as little as 1 ingredient), and definitely have less sugar than other types.
Pro Tip: Aldi has very inexpensive, great tasting Greek-style yogurt!  It is normally half the cost of the same type of yogurt at WalMart or Meijer.  They also have low fat options.

-Honey, maple syrup, or liquid sweetener of choice.  
I normally use honey, and I use about a 1/2 Tablespoon per 1/2 Cup of yogurt for myself, and up to 1 Tablespoon per 1/2 Cup for anyone else in my family, but you can use more or less to taste.  Any other sweetener is also according to taste.  I do insist that it be a liquid, though, as it will blend better.
Pro Tip: Check out Costco for a larger quantity of honey or maple syrup!  I find buying my honey this way is much less expensive than buying it elsewhere.

-Toppings of choice that fits your allergen/dietary needs (if desired).  
This can be anything from cinnamon, fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, granola, etc.  You can use any amount that you want in any combo you want!
Pro Tip: You can buy frozen fruit to use in your yogurt, if you wish, which can save you a bundle.  You can even turn your yogurt into a delicious smoothie!  
Here are some smoothie recipes to try: 

-To use extracts to flavor your yogurt, use an extract of choice (vanilla, lemon, etc.), but I would be very careful with this as it would be very easy to add too much flavoring.  I'd start with literally a drop per 1/2 Cup and add more, if desired, a drop at a time.
Pro Tip: If extracts are not your thing, but you still want a citrus or vanilla flavor, you can always use vanilla bean or citrus zest instead.

-To make a chocolate flavor, add cocoa powder with your sweetener.  The amount you use is up to you - the more you use, the more it will taste like dark chocolate.  I recommend starting with a teaspoon per 1/2 Cup, tasting the mixture, and then adding more if you prefer.  You can also add a drop or 2 of vanilla if you want to, but it isn't necessary.

-To make a coffee flavor, add instant coffee or espresso powder.  Like with the cocoa, I'd start with a teaspoon per 1/2 Cup and work your way up from there.

-To make a mocha flavor, add cocoa and instant coffee or espresso powder according to the instructions above.

Pro Tip: Don't be afraid of generic or store brands!  Some of these are just as good or better than the expensive ones!  Aldi also offers a "Twice as Nice" guarantee on most items, so if you don't love it, you can take it back and get TWICE your money back!  Win-win!

It's that easy to make your own flavored yogurt, and so very delicious!  My husband, who is not a fan of most yogurts, actually likes flavored yogurt made this way!  His favorite is the plain Greek yogurt with honey and berries.  So, if you feel like you don't like yogurt or have a family member who doesn't really care for it, give this a try.  You might find yourself changing your mind!

Not sure what combo to try first?
Here are some of our past and present favorite flavor combos:

Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey or Maple Syrup
and Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
{This one is simple and great for autumn.}

Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey
and Berries
(Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, or a Combo)
{This one is perfect for summer or for kiddos.}

Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey or Maple Syrup,
Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Almonds or Pecans
{This one, especially with honey, cinnamon, and almonds, is a regular go-to of mine.}

Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey or Maple Syrup
and Granola (Either Homemade or Store-Bought)
{This is another one that tends to be a hit with the kiddos.}

Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey
and Almonds or Pecans and Fruit of Choice
{This one is great for all ages and tends to check off all the right flavor and texture boxes for everyone.}

Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey or Maple Syrup, 
Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder and Cocoa Powder (With or Without Cinnamon) 
{This one is great for mocha lovers.}

I hope you all enjoy making your own flavored yogurt!
Leave me a comment below containing your favorite go-to flavor combo(s)!