Wendyl Wants to Know: Fresh n Fruity Vanilla Bean Yoghurt

Long Lunch 16/07/2018

Wendyl Wants to Know by Wendyl Nissen:

Fresh n Fruity Vanilla Bean Yoghurt. $5.50 for a 1 kg pot.

I was talking to a mum of twins this, week who asked me to look into yoghurt. There is so much choice available in the supermarkets, and no one has the time to read all the labels.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):

  • Skim Milk

Good that in a yoghurt the first ingredient is milk. Yoghurt, in its most primitive state, is basically sour milk full of beneficial bacteria.

  • Sugar

This is high in sugar at 19.5g per 150g serving. That’s nearly five teaspoons, making this more of a dessert/treat food than an everyday offering.

  • Cream

This will be in here for taste and for thickness. Not a lot of fat in this yoghurt at 3.8g per 150g serve.

  • Thickeners (1422, 1442)

It may interest you to know that Greek yoghurt does not need thickeners to be creamy. These thickeners are acetylated distarch adipate (1422) and hydroxyl propyl distarch phosphate (1442), which are both treated starches.

  • Halal gelatine

Gelatine is used in food as a gelling agent and it is usually made from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones, most commonly pork. Halal means lawful in Arabic and is a food code by which Muslims live. It bans the eating of pork and says that cattle should be slaughtered according to certain rituals. This gelatine can be consumed by Muslims. Some people are opposed to Halal slaughter which involves slitting the throat of the animal.

  • Mineral (Calcium)

This will have been added for extra nutrition.

  • Vanilla Bean Extract (0.05%)

Nice to see a bit of real vanilla in here, but at this low percentage there is only a very small amount of 0.075g per 150g serving which is negligible.

  • Acidity Regulator (270)

This is lactic acid, which comes from milk.

  • Flavour

No mention of natural flavouring here so I have to assume it is artificial.

  • Preservative (202)

This is potassium sorbate.

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin D

These will be added in here for extra nutrition.

  • Live Cultures (Acidophilus, Bifidus)

Acidophilus is a strain of bacteria which has many good health effects, such as encouraging good bacteria in the gut which is particularly useful after a course of anti-biotics which may have killed off that bacteria.

However much depends on which strain of acidophilus you ingest. Bifidus is a probiotic which can relieve and treat many intestinal disorders.

However, there is some doubt that these two bacteria can be alive in a commercially prepared yoghurt which can be heated at very high temperatures to increase the product’s shelf life and reduce the tart flavour.

If this is done after the addition of the cultures, then they will not have survived.

Fortunately, since I last looked at this yoghurt brand, they have added the word “live” on the ingredients label to assure us that the cultures are alive and well inside the yoghurt.

My recommendations:

We all regard yoghurt as a health food, but it can easily slip over into the treat food category when there is this much sugar.

Instead get some Greek unsweetened yoghurt, such as the Yoplait brand which has just four ingredients: Milk Solids, Skim Milk, Cream, Live Yoghurt Cultures (S.Thermophilus, L.bulgaricus).

For my grand-daughters I simply stir a teaspoon of jam into their yoghurt, which is equivalent to just under a teaspoon of sugar.

This way you are getting all the fruity flavour without the extra four and a bit teaspoons of sugar.

Also why not try making your own yoghurt following my recipe below:

Highlights:

  1. Nearly five teaspoons of sugar per 150g serve.
  2. Uses artificial flavour.
  3. Contains live cultures.

DIY Yoghurt

It is very important you use a good milk for this. Use organic, full fat milk without added permeates if you can.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp live culture yoghurt — check it has live cultures, such as acidophilus, and is not sweetened. It should be tart tasting and might have lots of lumps in it
  • 900ml warm milk
  • 2 tbsp whole milk powder — this is optional but it does make the yoghurt a bit
  • thicker.

Method:

  1. Heat the milk to scalding to kill off unwanted bacteria and then allow to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Mix in the yoghurt and the milk powder.
  3. Place in your yoghurt maker or wrap in blankets immediately.
  4. In six hours, you should have some lovely, healthy, live culture yoghurt.
  5. When you begin to run out, save 4 tablespoons of the yoghurt to use as the starter for your next batch.