How to make yogurt not taste like yogurt
July 25, 2007 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I need yogurt recipes! My doctor says I need to eat yogurt, but the smell and taste of it turns my stomach. Is there anything I can do with it to disguise the taste without killing the bacteria?

I have really bad allergies, but whenever I try using a steroid nasal spray, I get thrush in my throat. My doctor says I need to eat yogurt. I hate yogurt. I tried to treat it like medicine--hold my nose, and take a spoonful, but I couldn't make myself do it. As soon as I opened it, the smell of it hit me.

Is there anything that can make it not taste like yoghurt?
posted by happyturtle to Food & Drink (54 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
fruit smoothies?
posted by wayward vagabond at 11:31 AM on July 25, 2007

Did he specify why you need to eat yogurt? I assume because of the beneficial bacteria. If that's the case, have you considered a probiotic in pill form? It'll serve the same function without the taste.
posted by Durin's Bane at 11:32 AM on July 25, 2007

Put it in a smoothie? Yogurt, fruit of your choice, a few ice cubes, blend and drink.

When I've had to consume something I can't abide the taste of noseclips do the job. (Yes, the kind people use for swimming.) Put noseclips on, eat your yogurt (or drink your smoothie), then RINSE out your mouth with water (or something with a flavor you like.) Waiting 5 or 10 minutes before taking the noseclips off helps too, but I can't tolerate them for more time than that myself.
posted by ambrosia at 11:32 AM on July 25, 2007

If all that you need are the active cultures, you should be able to buy the cultures in tablet form at your local health food store (look for acidophilus or probiotics, they'll be refrigerated).

On preview, what Durin's Bane said.
posted by mezzanayne at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2007

Maybe there's another way for you to get your probiotics. Most natural food stores have lots of options, although you should consult your doctor to find out if there's some specific thing about yogurt as opposed to a probiotic supplement. Your doctor might have just suggested yogurt because it's easy and cheap for most people to work that into their diet.
posted by Skwirl at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2007

Get plain, live yogurt.
Line a colander with cheese cloth and place that over a bowl.
Pour in a quart of yogurt and fold cloth over the yogurt.
Place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning you will have something the consistency of cream cheese. Flavor this strongly.

Savory - salt, pepper, fresh herbs, garlic and finely minced sundried tomatoes.

Sweet - Honey and small nut bits.

Use as you would cream cheese spreads (on bread, sandwiches, bagels or crackers). The goal for you will be to flavor it so well that you can't taste the offensive bit.

The plus side is that you cut the volume in half.
posted by Seamus at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2007 [4 favorites]

Are you sure you need to eat yogurt? Perhaps you could take probiotic tablets instead with the same beneficial bacteria.

Barring that, I enjoy yogurt blended in a smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit, ice, and milk or sweetener if necessary.
posted by robinpME at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2007

tzaziki sauce, if you like garlic.

I like to mix granola with yogurt, cinnamon, maple syrup, blueberries and hemp protein for a yummy breakfast.
posted by solongxenon at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2007

See if you have a source of Greek yogurt, which is the consistency of thick whipped cream and roughly the flavor of cheesecake (when sweetened with something). Drizzling honey over it is traditional, some brands come in honey flavor as well as pomegranate, blueberry, fig, etc, and it's very good with fresh fruit. Putting it on pound cake, or probably any cake at all, with a bit of fresh fruit makes it further not taste like yogurt, and is totally allowed because you're sick and of course cake makes you better.

I think American grocery store yogurt is plasticky tasting with a gruesome preservative-slick mouthfeel. I don't know if the yogurt in England is similar; I am fairly sure it is unstrained (straining is what makes the Greek yogurt quite dry), though, which is part of what I find nasty.

Granola will also vastly improve even mediocre yogurt, but does little for the smell.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:37 AM on July 25, 2007

Seconding smoothies. We buy Naked Juice and other good stuff (pomegranate, etc) whenever it's on sale, freeze it into ice cubes, and keep them in bags in the fridge. A morning smoothie is a few cubes from each bag, some frozen blueberries, a banana, juice, and milk or yogurt. They rock. Also, what about frozen yogurt? Does that kill the bacteria?
posted by monkeymadness at 11:38 AM on July 25, 2007 [3 favorites]

Similar to tzatziki sauce, I'd recommend using it when you'd otherwise use mayo or sour cream for salads (or do half-and-half). Use with tuna fish sandwiches, or your potato salad, whatever. Also healthier that way, eh?

A lot of Indian and Middle Eastern recipes for tasty salads use yogurt, and you wouldn't know you were eating yogurt with all the fresh vegetables, parsley, cilantro, lime, or whatever.
posted by artifarce at 11:40 AM on July 25, 2007

re Durin's Bane and Mezzanayne: She said yogurt or probiotic drinks. I think the drinks are disgusting too, so went with yogurt as the cheaper of two evils. I assumed (I could be completely mistaken) that the idea is that with yogurt or a probiotic drink it would be hitting my throat, where the thrush is, rather than a pill going to my gut.

I tried making a strawberry smoothie last night. Strawberries, milk, and a large spoonful of yogurt. It was vile. I guess maybe what I really need to know is how small a dab of yogurt I can put in and still get any good out of it. Or if some fruits are strong enough to mask the yogurt flavor, since strawberry doesn't appear to be.
posted by happyturtle at 11:41 AM on July 25, 2007

You can also try it mixed with cereal (I've mixed it with raisin bran and generic honey bunches of oats). You can either use yogurt alone or mix with milk.
posted by boreddusty at 11:42 AM on July 25, 2007

Happyturtle, in my experience you need something sweet and something cold, which is where my juice cubes come in. Lots of people use honey, but I don't like the taste in a smoothie. A banana also masks the taste slightly.
posted by monkeymadness at 11:44 AM on July 25, 2007

There are chewable probiotic tablets which would ostensibly hit your throat, too. My favorites, obtained at CVS, have a strawberry flavor.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:44 AM on July 25, 2007

What kind of yogurt are you eating? If it's that ultra-low-fat, gelatin'-ed-and-cornstarched puke, well, yeah, of course it's gross.

Get a good yoghourt with a decent amount of fat. Add your favourite jam to the plain variety (which is often all you can find for what I mean by "good" yogurt; see esp. "Greek" yogurt).

Freeze it in popsicle moulds? Make tzatziki?

Nthing probiotic pills, too, but there's no reason for yogurt to be so gross unless it's, well, the gross kind.

On preview: ...just open a capsule of the powdered probiotics (I've seen the powder loose in jars rather than in gelatin capsules, too) and dump it into something you actually like?
posted by kmennie at 11:45 AM on July 25, 2007

Oh, also, since the problem is thrush, have you considered vinegar? I used to swab my nipples with vinegar when I was nursing my son and we were passing thrush back and forth. I'd dilute it and gargle.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:46 AM on July 25, 2007

Very happy you asked this. My kids love yogurt, but the smell makes me want to throw up on them. I'll be taking some of this advice.
posted by davejay at 11:46 AM on July 25, 2007

happyturtle - try again with a better smoothie recipe. Essentially, all yours was was watered (err, milked) down strawberry yogurt. Ice and juice are key. There are millions of actual smoothie recipes on the net; give some of the better reviewed ones a try.
posted by cgg at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2007

Try banana or vanilla or coconut yogurt. It tastes more like pudding, really. I used to hate yogurt til I tried those flavors. The berry flavors tend to emphasize the sourness, IMHO. And, I know people like to wax rhapsodically about Stonyfield but I find it to be extremely runny.
posted by contessa at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2007

Maybe you haven't had the right yogurt. I thought I had I hated yogurt until I had Greek yogurt and, among the American brands, Stonyfield Farms. Try the vanilla flavor.
posted by invitapriore at 11:54 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fresh, ripe peach halves in a bowl. cover with a dollop or two of yogurt. Drizzle with honey. Wonderful breakfast.
sprinkle with a bit of granola, too, if you wish.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:54 AM on July 25, 2007

There are some yogurts that taste more like a pudding or custard to me, so if those items sound tolerable to you, try looking for a flavored yogurt with the word "creme" (comes in other flavors) or "mousse" in it. This chocolate mousse one, for example, is not so wonderful for chocolate lovers (or yogurt enthsiasts), but might do the trick for a yogurt-hater.

If it's the sourness you don't like so much, give peach or banana-flavored yogurt a try. They mask sourness better than berries, I believe.

My suggestions would not win you many points with nutritionists. They are just about masking the yogurt taste, as you requested.
posted by PY at 11:55 AM on July 25, 2007

Another vote for probiotics and/or Greek yogurt, which really is much more mild and creamy than "regular" yogurt. Definitely tastes more like a custard or very heavy cream, especially with some honey and fruit on it.
posted by scody at 11:58 AM on July 25, 2007

Seconding/thirding the coconut and vanilla flavor suggestions, for masking the flavor.
posted by PY at 11:58 AM on July 25, 2007

You could try kefir instead. It's sold by number of supermarkets near me, in both plain and flavored (strawberry-banana!) form. I find the taste to be much less yogurty.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:58 AM on July 25, 2007

Freeze it, eat it like ice cream, smother it in chocolate.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:03 PM on July 25, 2007

I love Greek yogurt, but I find the yogurtyness of it much stronger than regular yogurt.

A great dessert/snack that even my yogurt-hating husband likes is to mix equal parts applesauce with vanilla yogurt. Top with some granola or Grape Nuts cereal and cinnamon and it tastes like creamy apple pie.
posted by tastybrains at 12:08 PM on July 25, 2007

Just take a chill pill.
posted by caddis at 12:09 PM on July 25, 2007

The brand is 'Onken Natural Biopot'. I have no idea if that's a good brand or not.
posted by happyturtle at 12:09 PM on July 25, 2007

You could always break open a probiotic capsule and sprinkle the contents onto whatever you wish. Maybe you could mix it into ice cream?
posted by mezzanayne at 12:14 PM on July 25, 2007

Most yogurt, at least here in Canada, is disgusting. You need to pick carefully to get anything that tastes good. The easiest way to do this is to go to the store and buy the yogurt with the highest fat content (6% at the very least) and then use fruit, honey, etc. to disguise the taste of that if you still don't like it.
posted by ssg at 12:14 PM on July 25, 2007

What per cent milk fat is it?
posted by kmennie at 12:14 PM on July 25, 2007

on the not so sweet side, I love to make a bleu cheese dressing using 50/50 plain yogurt and Marie's lite bleu cheese dressing - the yogurt adds some zing and thins out the pretty thick dressing. Everybody wins! yum.
posted by crepeMyrtle at 12:19 PM on July 25, 2007

Seconding the Greek yogurt. The brand FAGE is super good, thick and creamy and a bit sweet, nothing like any other yogurt you've ever had. US yogurt is a sad joke.
posted by lia at 12:21 PM on July 25, 2007

There's an australian yogurt which is high in l.acidophilus (howdy, fellow thrush sufferer!) that is *excellent* -- it's more of a creamy liquid and doesn't taste anything like US yogurt. The above suggestions of greek yogurt are good to, I also like 'Nancy's Organic Whole Milk Yogurt' which is also not like your usual grocery store yogurt.
posted by SpecialK at 12:44 PM on July 25, 2007

Try mango lassi. It tastes more like mangoes than like yoghurt in my opinion. (Link via this thread from yesterday.)
posted by amf at 12:51 PM on July 25, 2007

if its just the throat coating/soothing you need perhaps a fromage frais would do the trick? They're like yoghurt but not gross. I too cant stand yoghurt (even greek yoghart), I don't like the taste, the texture or the smell but I remember liking fromage frais as a kid.
Maybe combine that with a probiotic pill as others have suggested.
posted by missmagenta at 1:04 PM on July 25, 2007

Listen, what you're really looking for here is the active cultures in yogurt. As a lot of the posters above have noted, these are available in pill form (and need to be refrigerated).

The problem is that for the cultures to do any good, you have to take them on as empty a stomach as possible. So eating lots of yogurt or disguising yogurt by mixing it with lots of other foods completely negates the effect of what you're trying to do.

Get the pills and take them just before you go to sleep, well after your last meal. That way you'll get the benefits you're looking for.
posted by widdershins at 1:15 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Trader Joe's pre-stirred lemon yogurt. It doesn't smell like yogurt, it doesn't taste like yogurt. It's like a delicious lemon pudding. I hate that yogurt taste/smell. I've tried many different brands, including several of the other Trader Joe's flavors. It's also pre-stirred, which frees up an extra 1.3 seconds per serving.
posted by user92371 at 1:32 PM on July 25, 2007

You may find this thread useful.
posted by grateful at 1:36 PM on July 25, 2007

As other people have suggested, try the full-fat types; I'd go for Yeo Valley, Rachel's Dairy or SupermarketName Greek-style. Depending on the way your local supermarket's laid out, you may have to try looking for these in an organic ghetto - organic isn't necessary, but full-fat is or it tastes synthetic and icky.

One method that worked to get me to eat yoghurt medicinally was to mix it with brown sugar and grated apple and freeze it; try with any fruit you like, preferably fairly strongly flavoured (so decent apples rather than Golden Delicious). If possible, get someone else to do the mixing? Good luck!
posted by Lebannen at 1:37 PM on July 25, 2007

Seconding Trader Joe's yoghurt. I love the stuff myself (in any brand), but TJ's is by far my favorite.

Also, homemade can be really good--there is such a thing as a yoghurt maker. Then you can add whatever you want to make it taste good, and it won't taste so full of preservatives.

If you want to go for fairly unbastardized but still disguised, I think you could get away with making pudding pops with half plain yoghurt, half prepared instant pudding in flavor of your choice. My mom makes these with whipped cream, but the yoghurt would take the place of that and probably be a lot healthier.
posted by rhoticity at 1:45 PM on July 25, 2007

Trader Joe's chocolate yogurt. I tried the other TJ's flavors but I can only stomach the chocolate.
posted by Joleta at 2:29 PM on July 25, 2007

I second the lassi option. Not only mango, but banana, kiwi, strawberry. If you like indian flavors you'll love it, because the sweet-and-sour quality of the drink and the cardamom spice completely overpower the yogurt, you can't even taste it.

My recipe:

1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups milk
1 mango (you may want to increase or decrease the amount of fruit according to your taste)
1 or 2 cardamom (open them and use only the seeds inside)
2 to 4 spoons of sugar or sweetener
1 pinch of salt
If the milk is not cold, add a couple ice cubes

Just blend everything until smooth. And to treat yourself right, serve in a tall glass, with straws and peppermint leaves on top. Enjoy!
posted by AnyGuelmann at 2:42 PM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

I hate yogurt, except for Yoplait custard style yogurt, strawberry or strawberry banana flavor, which is not runny or sour. It tastes more like strawberry pudding.
posted by decathecting at 3:26 PM on July 25, 2007

Naked Juice makes a nice little probiotic smoothie that doesn't taste yogurty at all.
posted by arianell at 4:15 PM on July 25, 2007

I'm amazed nobody has mentioned raita. Mix the yogurt with grated cucumber, chopped mint and cilantro leaves, cumin and a dash of cayenne, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. It's a great dip or side dish with just about anything spicy.

For that matter, tzatziki — yogurt, cucumber, parsley and dill, and a touch of garlic — is damn good too.

These will be better, I'm sure, with proper full-fat yogurt, but they make even the low-fat supermarket stuff worth eating. It's like cooking with tofu — if it's super-good, you can eat it on its own, but if it's only okay, you can just use it as a vehicle for stronger flavors.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:19 PM on July 25, 2007

Add me to the votes for getting your probiotic in a non-yogurt form. Even if yogurt is the preferred delivery system, it's better to get the benefit in a lesser form than never get it at all because you can't stand yogurt.

It's clear that even the smallest bit of yogurt grosses you out, and I think that is (or has become, because of your aversion) at least as much about the idea of yogurt as the reality.

So trying this type of yogurt or that type of curdystuff or ways of masking the yogurt-iness is probably not going to lessen the gross-out factor because no matter what, you'll still know the yogurt is in there, and that knowledge is likely to make you gag regardless of how the stuff tastes. For instance, the mere idea of someone telling me, "No, really, Fellini, if you just get this special kind of tripe and wrap it in puff pastry, you really won't notice the tripeosity at all!" makes me a little queasy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:10 PM on July 25, 2007

plain yogurt+maple syrup and some fresh fruit= yummy breakfast that tastes entirely like sugar
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 5:36 PM on July 25, 2007

My wife is lactose-intolerant and always thought yoghurt was disgusting, but found that activa yoghurt (which has some different bacteria and is thus lactose-free) is much more palatable.
posted by RecalcitrantYouth at 6:55 PM on July 25, 2007

I eat lots of yogurt. In addition to smoothies, I add it to salty dishes. Basically, you can use it anywhere a recipe usually calls for sour cream, and often (in conjunction with olive oil) where a recipe calls for mayonnaise.

A couple of possibilities:
Add it to hummus / homos / humous
Add it to lentil tuna fish curry:
Half can lintels, one can tuna fish, half cup vegetable juice. Mix those and heat them in the micro. Add three or 4 tablespoons of yogurt, curry powder, hot chili. I also add some crushed linseeds and a bit of whole grain, no sugar musli.
Use it in conjunction with olive oil for a mayonnaise replacement in tuna fish salad.

Smoothies are great, but there are plenty of other places where you can fit yogurt into your diet. If the bacteria is important, just make sure that you add the yogurt after any cooking or warming is already finished.
posted by syzygy at 1:15 AM on July 26, 2007

I love yogurt pie. It's one of those 50s style old school desserts but so good

You need:
2.5 6 oz containers Dannon fruit on the bottom strawberry yogurt
1 tub Cool Whip
1 Keebler's Graham Cracker crust

Mix the yogurt and the Cool Whip, throw it in the crust, leave in fridge to set up for an hour or two

It's heaven.
posted by chickaboo at 7:30 AM on July 26, 2007

First, choose the full fat type of yoghurt over the weird 2% kinds. The full fat variety tastes a lot better. [I hated yoghurt for 10 years but started enjoying it again when I tried this]

I praticularly enjoy Brown Cow Vanilla with a cream top. It doesn't have the yoghurt smell or disgusting taste as far as I can tell. I like the unflavored, as well.

Also, have you tried goat yoghurt? You could mix goat yoghurt with salt and garlic and other spices and put it on top of a stirfry as a nice sauce.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 8:45 AM on July 26, 2007

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