Yogurt is the perfect replacement for many high-fat ingredients like milk, mayonnaise, cream cheese, butter, oil, and buttermilk.
You can use this delicious and healthy superfood to make smoothies, parfaits, dips, dressings, marinades, mashed potatoes, muffins, cakes, bread, and cookies.
Yogurt can also be used for making comfort foods like pancakes, egg salads, pizzas, brownies, pasta, and so on.
It is ideal for people with lactose intolerance as it is a lot easier to digest compared to milk. Yogurt also contains calcium and protein that strengthens the bones and teeth in growing kids.
However, store-bought yogurt is often tart, tangy, and sour and many people do not like its taste.
An alternative is to go in for homemade yogurt, but not everyone has the time or the know-how for it. So let me show some great ways to flavor yogurt.
These simple tips will help enhance the flavor and taste of plain yogurt and take it to a whole different level. The best part: you won’t have to go out of your way to find these ingredients as many of them will already be present in your pantry.
So, without further adieu, here is how to flavor plain yogurt.
Things to add to plain yogurt to enhance its taste
The best way to eat yogurt is to add honey or molasses to it. Add a little water to this and whisk until creamy.
Many ancient Indians ate this first thing in the morning. This first meal of the day kept their bowels clear, prevented constipation, and also provided them with energy. You can use local organic honey or go for the fancier variants like Manuka honey as well.
Make it Greek-style
If your yogurt has gone too sour, simply dump it in cheesecloth or a muslin cloth, tie up the ends, and hang it up with a bowl underneath to collect the whey.
All the sourness will vanish with the water and you will be left with thick, creamy yogurt. Eat this as is or sweeten it with honey. You can also use this Greek yogurt to thicken sauces and curries. Check out my guide on making Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt tastes great with some spices and herbs on toast in place of those unhealthy spreads.
This one is a classic. Add a drop or two of vanilla extract to your plain yogurt and sweeten it with a bit of jam, jelly, preserves, chocolate syrup, honey, agave nectar, molasses, or maple syrup. This is a great replacement for ice-creams and sugary frozen treats.
For great tasting homemade, fruit-flavored yogurt, the easiest thing to do is add fresh fruit right before eating it. If fresh fruit is not an option, add frozen fruits. You can also add preserves, jams, apple sauce, and/or jellies. Some of the best fruits to add to plain yogurt are:
- Orange slices
Chocolate/white chocolate/dark chocolate/coffee
Usually chocolate or coffee don’t go very well with plain yogurt. So use vanilla flavored yogurt and add some chocolate shavings on top. Enjoy chilled in place of chocolate ice cream!
Nutella has a creamy, chocolaty texture that compliments vanilla-flavored yogurt. Whisk together for a sweet treat! Get creative with this recipe.
With peanut butter
Whisk yogurt with peanut butter in a blender along with fruits like banana, mangos, or berries to make a satisfying protein shake.
Yogurt and coconut oil
Coconut oil has a number of benefits. If you hate the taste of coconut oil, simply warm it up (do not heat it) and add to plain yogurt. Sweeten the mixture with some Stevia and whisk the mixture. This is a great way to consume coconut oil. You can also add toasted coconut shavings to it.
Sugar, spice and all things nice
Some of the best ways to flavor plain old yogurt is with following herbs and spices. (You may want to also sweeten this up with honey, agave nectar, molasses, sugar, or maple syrup).
- Green tea/Matcha tea
I don’t recommend sugar or many sweet things in general but from time to time and in moderation it’s good to treat ourselves with something different.
Savory, herbaceous dips
For savory dips, go for following spices and herbs to enhance the taste of plain yogurt. These make excellent marinades that go well with eggs, chicken, meat, or fish.
- Cayenne pepper
- Hot sauce or green/red chili sauce
- Mint (dried or fresh)
- Olive oil
With nuts and seeds
There is no doubt that nuts and seeds are great for health. They are full of zinc, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Add chopped roasted nuts to the yogurt and enjoy it as a smoothie or over your morning cereal for breakfast. Alternatively, consume as a low-fat, mid-morning snack. Following nuts are great with yogurt:
- Cashew nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Sesame seeds
- Pine nuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
Mix the nuts with fresh or dried fruit, yogurt, whey or protein powder, and blend for a power-packed, post-workout smoothie.
Raita is a traditional Indian dip served with spicy Indian meals such as kebabs, biryani or pilaf rice to tone down the heat. This cooling raita is perfect for hot summers meals, BBQs, or dinners and can be served alongside burgers, wraps, sandwiches, or rice dishes.
Chop or grate cucumbers and squeeze out excess water. Mix the cucumber with thick yogurt, chopped mint leaves, crushed cumin powder, chilies, salt, pepper, and a hint of sugar. Whisk the dip until creamy. Chill before serving.
There is little doubt that probiotics or fermented foods like yogurt are great for your gut health. If you have an issue with the tart, sour and tangy taste of plain or regular yogurt, try the above combinations to enhance its flavor. I am sure you will come up with your own delicious recipes! Happy experimenting!