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I've recently taken a liking to greek yogurt. So far, I've been buying the Chobani low-fat and non-fat yogurts, which all have flavoring added. I've recently bought a container of plain greek yogurt, and I was surprised at how bitter and flavorless it tasted in comparison.

So, my question is, how can I "manually" flavor and/or sweeten plain greek yogurt? This is for someone who doesn't cook much, so instead of saying "add banana", how would I do that? Puree it? Mash with a fork? I assume simply sticking a banana in the yogurt and calling it a day isn't the right approach. Thanks!


EDIT: To provide some more detail, in my head, there's a difference between "fruit-flavored yogurt" and "yogurt with a piece of fruit in it". This question is an attempt to figure out how to achieve the former and not the latter.

Regarding flavoring, I'm specifically interested in the following fruit: banana, strawberry, pineapple. I'm not sure how different the process would be to incorporate the different fruits in, but that's what I'm looking for.

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Asking generally about flavors is not terribly constructive - we don't know what you're trying to achieve. "How do I add passion fruit flavor" is an answerable question, as is how do I sweeten. You might want to edit your question to get better answers. –  Jefromi Mar 19 '12 at 20:49
    
@Jefromi - thanks, I was trying to keep it general, but if that's too difficult to answer I can edit it to seek out specific flavorings. I'm new to this :) –  eykanal Mar 19 '12 at 20:51
    
The one bad question is the implicit "what flavors taste good in yogurt" - poll-style questions inviting people to voice opinions and make lists aren't really a good fit for stackexchange sites. Most of the rest is okay, if vague. –  Jefromi Mar 19 '12 at 20:54
    
@Jefromi - Ah, I see. I'm definitely not trying to ask that. I hope the update gives some context for what I'm trying to ask (and achieve). Thanks for helping me formulate this question. –  eykanal Mar 19 '12 at 20:59
    
Despite the discussion, we are still getting answers which assume that you are asking what to add to yogurt. I edited the title to avoid this. \ –  rumtscho Jul 12 at 11:56

9 Answers 9

up vote 6 down vote accepted

To sweeten it, add your favorite sweetener: sugar, honey, agave... whatever you prefer. This is important, because sweetness will help bring out the flavor of the fruit.

General advice:

If you have a fruit you want in your yogurt, pick the form (chunks, pureed, mashed, juice) that you want and mix it in. The Chobani yogurts appear have a variety of these forms, always along with some sugar. If you want banana flavor, sure, mash up a banana and mix it in. Or if you want chunks of fruit, chop it up. Assuming the fruit is soft enough, for this purpose, mashing with a fork is probably a good substitute for pureeing; you'll get some small chunks and some juice.

In response to the updates:

if you want actually fruit-flavored yogurt, then you need juice and/or puree. If you don't have any other tools, mash it as best as you can. If you have a small food processor or blender that will work with small enough quantities (or are making big batches), blend things up and stir them in. Juice and puree will disperse quite well through the yogurt.

Bananas mash easily, especially ripe ones, so just do that with a fork. Strawberries aren't as soft, but you should get enough juice to flavor with if you mash them. Pineapple is tougher. If it's juicy enough, you can probably get some juice out by mashing it; otherwise you might be better off with a food processor or blender. (If it's from a can, you can use the liquid from the can, too - that might also have sugar in it.) Depending on how thorough you are, you may want to use the juice and discard the fibrous parts that are left over.

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I guess, in my head, there's a difference between "fruit-flavored yogurt" and "yogurt with a piece of fruit in it", and I was hoping someone would explain how to achieve the first and not the second. –  eykanal Mar 19 '12 at 20:55
    
There's a difference if you use banana flavor (from a bottle, whether artificial or real). That obviously can only get you banana-flavored yogurt. But if you use real bananas, it's just a matter of how fine you puree them, and how well you mix the yogurt and the puree. –  MSalters Mar 20 '12 at 13:57
    
My experience tells me that honey and yogurt don't mix well. I usually have a lot better experience with a solid sweetener. –  Flimzy Mar 21 '12 at 4:10
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@Flimzy: My experience tells me that they can mix just fine, unless the yogurt is very cold. –  Jefromi Mar 21 '12 at 4:33
    
@Jefromi: Maybe that was my problem... –  Flimzy Mar 21 '12 at 5:04

I eat plain greek yogurt one of two ways:

1- Stir in a teaspoon or two of honey and enjoy.
2- Stir in a couple of tablespoons of sweetened granola and a couple of tablespoons of dried cranberries.

Both are delicious.

My wife prefers to stir in a fruit jam. A tablespoon of strawberry jam would sweeten and flavor.

For other additives, I would simply mash up your preferred fresh fruit with a fork and stir it in. Banana, Strawberry, Peach, Cherry and Plum are all quite good and should be sweet enough to overcome the bitterness.

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I've tried jam, but it didn't homogenize very well; it remained as clumps of jelly mixed in with the yogurt. I was using somewhat cold jam (only out of the fridge for a little bit), so that may have been the problem. Should I be able to mix with just a spoon? –  eykanal Mar 19 '12 at 20:54
    
You should be able to mix the jam in with a spoon, but you should stir vigorously to disperse it throughout. You're not going to get the same result as a "strawberry yogurt" that you purchase, but I think it gets dispersed throughout enough for it to be tasty. –  Jacob G Mar 19 '12 at 21:22

For flavor, you could also try fruit extracts. You might want to toss in some food coloring, as white yogurt that tastes like raspberries can be less "raspberryish" than pink yogurt that tastes like raspberry.

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You can get Torani syrups through Amazon and they are amazing... I like passion fruit, peach, raspberry and so forth.... just mix some in to taste...

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I was facing the same problem. An easy and healthy fix I found was to stir in a container of fruit baby food!

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i enjoy putting frozen fruits (usually berries) in the food processor or blender and blending them up and then mixing them into my greek yogurt or putting the plain greek yogurt in the blender with a cup of almond or coconut milk, a banana, the frozen berries and enjoy it as a smoothie!

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I make homemade jam using Sure-Jell (Pink Box - Less Sugar). This jam has a softer set whick makes it great for stirring into plain yogurt. I usually make strawberry jam, but also do blueberry, raspberry, and mango. I was going through way too much jam doing it this way, so I have since perfected making large batches of homemade yogurt flavored with sugar and vanilla.

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One wouldn't have to make it at home, but adding some type of preserves is a great way to get both the fruit flavor and sweetness of a fruit yogurt. –  sourd'oh Jan 8 at 3:31

You could use a squirt of the "Mio" type water flavorings. Adds flavor, sweetness and color without adding any extra calories.

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I use Sweet'N Low, 12 packs to 1qt strained greek style yogurt. I also add LorAnn or Flavor Apprentice food flavorings and Wilton cake decorating colors. Then I add well-drained canned or frozen fruit.

Here is a winner: Mandarin blossom yogurt! 1qt well drained yogurt, 12 packs sweet&low, 8 drops LorAnn citrus blossom flavor, 6 drops Flavor Apprentice honeysuckle flavor, 1/8 tsp wilton yellow color and a small amount of Wilton red color. Use a whisk and mix well but try to leave it kind of "tight". Add 1 well drained 15oz can of mandarin orange segments. Fold in and chill for several hours.

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so, the gist of this answer is: you suggest adding ready-bought flavoring instead of fruit? –  rumtscho Jul 22 '13 at 8:48

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