Veggies among you will know that a lot of the fat free yoghurts on the market tend to contain gelatine. I'm not sure why they need to contain the bones and skin of dead animals to make them fat free, but each to their own I guess. Yeo Valley fat free yoghurts are not only vegetarian, they are also gluten free, and contain probiotic live cultures. They are organic too. Which means no genetically modified anything, no artificial sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives. Basically, no junk. I'm tempted to go into the probiotic nature as a positive, but I don't know too much about this area, and I'm sure there are others who can eulogise about this more than me, so I'll leave it to them. Instead I'll stick to the other things that are good about these yoghurts. The four pack we get from Tesco contains raspberry, strawberry, plum and rhubarb. There may be others available, but they are the only ones I've seen, and so they are what I'll refer to. I adore the rhubarb and plum (mainly because they are pretty unique flavours as far as yoghurts are concerned), and the strawberry one is really nice too. I'm not soo keen on the raspberry (although oddly, that's the flavour I have in front of me on my desk - and the reason I was inspired to write this positive review!). I find the yoghurts are perfect as a healthy lunchtime dessert, or as an energy boost after the gym. I'll stop this review now, as I need to go and lick the pot....... yum! All of the flavours are nice and creamy, without being sweet, and without being too thick - just the right amount of thickness to stay on your spoon without falling off. Just the way yoghurt should be, with real pieces of fruit that you can see and really taste.
These are absolutely WONDERFUL. I cannot rate these highly enough. I'm very fussy when it comes to yoghurts I don't like crap and additives and gelatine. I like a thick creamy and tasty and preferably organic yoghurt and these little yoghurts tick all the boxes. And whats more the fat free ones are only 1 1/2 weight watcher points (which is important to some). The company are ethical they do good things with their packaging and try to educate people about farming, the world of organics and the environment. They started from a little compay with some good ideals, not a money grabbing business. organic is important as you know the milk comes from happy cows and happy workers. I like all the flavours, my only negative comment would be they could do more flavours, especially in the fat free range as it is limited. These are a staple in my house and worth every penny.
Occasionally my husband decides he is going to do the food shop, on his last trip I asked him if he could get me some yoghurt. After he had gone I was worried, as there would be such a large selection to choose from, I wasn't sure what I was going to receive on his return. Being a man! (Sorry Boys:- )) I didn't expect him to remember. If he did remember! (Because he left the list at home) it would probably be something cheap and nasty. Wow! My husband came back with everything we needed, (admittedly it was only about 5 or 6 things) and there in the back was 2 pots of this Yeo Valley Organic fat free strawberry probiotic yoghurt. He had bought 2 pots as they are currently on offer - £1.48 each or 2 for £2.50 in Tesco. I was so excited about his success, I couldn't wait until after dinner, when I could open up a pot and sample it. The pot ~ packaging ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The pot itself is the shape of a standard yoghurt pot, but stands 5inches (13cms) high. It contains 450g so not something you would eat in one go. The main pot is made of plastic, with a cardboard outer sleeve, which can be removed once the pot is empty for recycling. The lid is made up of a plastic replaceable cover and a plastic film which can be peeled back and removed. If you take this off and discard, you will also take off the best before date, and a reminder to keep the product refrigerated. Information ~ Cardboard sleeve ~ outside ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The main part of the packaging is cream at the top, and blue on the bottom, the blue bit looks like hills. On the front is a picture of a strawberry, and in the background there are some cows, which show that this is made from Cows milk. As well as the ingredients and nutritional information which has to be included you can also find: Logos ~ Recycling ~ OMSCO (Organic Milk Cooperative) ~ Soil Association, Organic Standard Contact information Statements about the product, including: "This is how our yoghurt should be - thick, creamy and alive with flavour. Our yoghurt is made with Organic milk from cows that graze on clover-rich organic grass. The fresh mild taste comes from using friendly bacteria and the juiciest fruit, the smoothness is a result of time, patience and our know-how. Yeo Valley is family-owned, independent and proud of our traditional British farming roots and strong organic values. We hope you enjoy our products" Contains friendly bacteria: "Each spoonful of this Yeo Valley Organic yoghurt contains millions of live bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium) that help you maintain the balance of natural flora in your body. This may aid digestion and general well being." Information ~ Cardboard sleeve ~ inside ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Down one side of the pot is a perforated strip 'zip' which enables you to remove the cardboard. Before you send it to be recycled you can learn more about the company of Yeo Valley, including the animals they look after, what their staff are doing to help wildlife and how they are reducing their carbon footprint. One other thing I learnt from reading inside is how Yeo Valley has renovated a 250 year old and very derelict sheep drovers' barn, which over looks the Yeo Valley. It provides schools who visit, with hands-on experience of organic food and farming techniques. It is powered completely 'off-grid' by solar panels, and contains some very novel green energy features to make it entirely carbon-neutral. The Yoghurt ~ The important bit :-} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you have removed the plastic lid and film, you see a light pink creamy substance inside which is speckled with pink/red pieces, which I'm hoping are strawberries! It is not filled completely to the top, but maybe this is a good thing, you wouldn't want yoghurt splashing you when you open the film. A mild yet fruity strawberry smell drifts up your nostrils, getting your taste buds going. It's not a pure strawberry smell, you also get a yoghurty aroma too, considering the whole thing is made up of 84% Organic Fat free yoghurt, this is not really surprising. I don't suggest you eat it straight from the pot as you would be quite sick if you ate it all, so pour or scoop a few spoonfuls into a bowl. Looking more closely at the yoghurt, the little bits inside are tiny pieces of strawberry, and I mean tiny. It's almost as if a strawberry has been completely pureed and mixed in, as it also contains some of the seeds too. The yoghurt is thick and sits nicely on your spoon. It tastes creamy and smooth, the strawberry flavour is very mild, not at all overpowering. The yoghurt flavour actually comes through more than the strawberry, but in a nice way. It slides down nicely and leaves a nice aftertaste which doesn't linger for too long. If it did, you would probably need a drink to wash it down. My thoughts ~~~~~~~~~~ I was pleasantly surprised by this yoghurt, the taste was not overpowering and I enjoyed eating a small bowl of this, which probably equated to ¼ of the pot. The strawberry taste was 'real' it didn't taste artificial, sometimes when you eat a fruit flavoured item you can taste how fake it is, but you will not find that with this yoghurt. I have eaten it several times on its own, but also a couple of times with fruit added to it for some texture. As this is strawberry yoghurt I added a few chopped up strawberries, and love the taste of the two together, they complimented each other very well. Last night I added a few blueberries, and again enjoyed the mix of flavours and textures. You could probably make a fruit salad and use a spoonful or two of the yoghurt as a healthy alternative to cream or ice-cream. I do try to eat some organic produce, but often find the cost too much, but with this on offer at the moment, it's a great buy. If you were to compare the price with 4 or 6 small pots then £1.48 works out to be a good price too. Although I do occasionally like to have a few treats, I do like to watch my weight, so am keen to eat low fat/fat free products. I've found though that if you do have a low fat/fat free product then the sugar content tends to be higher, whilst in Tescos myself yesterday, I saw that the full fat yoghurt contains only 11.8g carbs, of which 11.3g is sugar, so not much difference there in comparison. The fat content in the full fat is 3.6g and contains 96kcal per 100g. As I have enjoyed this yoghurt, I'm keen to try out some of their other flavours and products, so took a peek at the website. Other products they sell include: ~Natural yoghurts large and small pots. ~Desserts ~ lemon mousse, chocolate mousse. ~Prune later pots ~Yeo's! ~ children yoghurt tubes ~Jumbles & Tumbles ~ children's smooth fruit pots. ~Full Fat, Whole milk yoghurt 450g ~Strawberry, raspberry, apricot, plum, blackcurrant, ~Fat Free 450g ~ Vanilla, pineapple & mango, strawberry, rhubarb. ~Low Fat 125g ~ Toffee, rhubarb, cherry, strawberry, peach. ~Greek style ~ plain, fruit or honey. ~Crème fraiche. ~Milk. ~Butter. ~Creams. ~Fruit compotes. ~Cheeses. ~Frozen ~ vanilla ice cream, frozen yoghurt. I couldn't believe how much they actually produce. As they are a British company who produce products in this country, they are therefore keeping their carbon footprint low. They do what ever they can to create packaging which can be recycled, and have even come up with the 'zip' which separates the card from the plastic to make it easier for us to do our bit. I have spent ages looking around their site, learning about how they started, and when the first Organic yoghurt was made. What they are doing now, the products, you can play games, enter competitions and find out some tasty recipes. In summary, I would like to say that I am very happy with the fat free strawberry yoghurt, and will not hesitate in trying some of the other flavours, and even the other products available. If it means spending a little more, then so be it. I will be doing my bit for the environment, as well as eating something healthy. As this is a 'live' product I know that the friendly bacteria are doing good things too! As for my husband doing the shopping again, definitely!!! If he comes back with products like this, that I enjoy, then he can go shopping anytime. Extra information ~ In case you want to know more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nutritional Information ~ Per 100g Energy ~ 313Kj ~ 74kcal Protein ~ 5.1g Carbohydrate ~ 13.1g of which sugars ~ 12.7g Fat ~ 0.1g of which saturates ~ Trace Fibre ~ 0.2g Sodium ~ 0.08g Calcium* ~ 180mg *23% of the recommended daily allowance Ingredients Organic Fat Free Yoghurt (84%), Organic Strawberries (8%), Organic Sugar, Organic Tapioca Starch, Natural flavouring, Organic concentrated Lemon Juice. (Contains Organic Milk) Contains ~ Probiotic Live Cultures Gluten Free Suitable for vegetarians Website ~ www.yeovalley.co.uk Email ~ email@example.com Snail mail ~ Yeo Valley Organic, The Mendip Centre, Blagdon, North Somerset, BS40 7YE Thank you for reading Nicola x 09/03/08
We get through quite a bit of yoghurt, and I've recently become hooked on homemade, but I wanted to tell you what I like (and don't like) about this shop-bought version. THE TECHNICAL BIT Anyone who's ever read a woman's magazine probably knows by now that certain yoghurts contain live bacteria that are good for the digestive system. The yoghurts in question are usually called "bio" or "live" yoghurts. The bacteria they contain (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria) are very good at outcompeting certain nasties in the digestive system, the main nasty being a yeast called "Candida albicans". Now Candida albicans is a normal organism that is present in everyone's gut, but in some people under some circumstances it can cause symptoms commonly referred to as thrush. The yeast grows very well in the guts of people that eat a lot of sugar, or are taking antibiotics. Eating some live yoghurt every day helps because the bugs in the yoghurt outcompete the Candida albicans in the gut, so it can't grow as well. All Yeo Valley's yoghurts are live yoghurts. ORGANIC Yeo-Valley yoghurts are produced to the highest organic standard (that is, they are approved by the Soil Association). Products produced to Soil Association standard have the Soil Association logo, or are labelled UK5. VEGETARIANS All Yeo-Valley yoghurts (like most yoghurts) are suitable for vegetarians. YEO-VALLEY & FOOD MILES I try wherever I can to buy local produce. We buy quite a few vegetables from local garden growers, but when in the supermarket the best we can do usually is to buy British. Even if the produce on sale is produced locally, the chances are it has been shipped off to a main warehouse and then back to the local store. To me this is still better than buying from abroad because at least there are no air miles involved, and the chances are the food will be produced to a higher standard. If I can't get local, I try to buy organic (and check for the Soil Association mark - UK5, which is the highest organic standard). This isn't always possible because we are obviously on a limited budget. Yeo Valley is great because their products are both British and organic, and the prices are often no higher than non-organic alternatives. PACKAGING All Yeo Valley yoghurts come in a three-part packaging. The foil lid can be peeled off whole, washed and recycled. You are then left with a two-part pot consisting of a very thin plastic container surrounded by a cardboard stiffener. The cardboard stiffener has a "zip" (a perforated strip), that you can pull to remove it from the plastic inner part. This enables you to recycle the cardboard bit. Theoretically, you should also be able to recycle the plastic, but there are no facilities where I live for recycling plastic, so this bit has to go in the bin. Yeo Valley undertook extensive research to come up with this packaging, and believe it is the most environment-friendly design. They needed a waterproof liner, and separated it from the cardboard so that at least part of their pot is recyclable. Most other yoghurt pots are of a thicker all-plastic design which is less easy to recycle. An added benefit of Yeo Valley's design is that it has given them a new surface for information. Removing the cardboard on the larger pots reveals all sorts of extra information, which is frequently changing. Occasionally they even have money-off coupons! The large (450g) pots have a resealable plastic lid over the foil lid, which is very handy if you don't want to use it all at once. The multi-packs have a recyclable cardboard outer wrapper to keep the four pots together. YEO VALLEY NATURAL YOGHURT VS FAT-FREE The fat-free yoghurt is not entirely fat-free, but only contains 0.1% fat compared to about 4% fat for the full-fat natural yoghurt . **EATING FROM THE POT - LOOK & TASTE** Now, I am a big fan of Yeo Valley's standard Natural Yoghurt. It is thick and creamy and quite delicious to eat straight out of the pot. As a child, if you wanted yoghurt all you could get was a very sour natural yoghurt that we used to flavour with marmalade or jam. The full fat Yeo Valley yoghurt is nothing like that. It does have a slightly sour yoghurt taste, but it also tastes very creamy. I have tried supermarket own brands and Rachel's Dairy, and much prefer the Yeo Valley yoghurt over all of them. However, the Yeo Valley Fat-Free yoghurt is something of a disappointment to me. It is much runnier than the full fat version, and tastes much more sour. There really is little difference between the Yeo Valley Fat Free Yoghurt and any of the low fat yoghurts I have listed for price comparisons. In fact, the Sainsbury's own brand is creamier and thicker (although it does contain more fat). **SMELL** Both Yeo valley's natural yoghurts have a smell of slightly sour cream. I find my mouth starts to water as soon as I take the lide off :-). The flavoured yoghurts have the sour cream smell overlaid with fruit flavour (for example, the raspberry yoghurt really does smell of fresh raspberries). The vanilla and toffee yoghurts are a bit sickly sweet smelling for me. **COOKING** There is less difference between the natural yoghurts when it comes to cooking. I still prefer the Yeo Valley full fat version to the fat-free version, but there is less difference in the taste when other ingredients are added. However, The fat-free version makes much runnier sauces. It seems to lose any last remnants of creaminess as soon as you try and mix it with anything else. If you are cooking (such as in my lasagna topping recipe below) this doesn't matter too much, but cold uncooked sauces (like the seafood dressing recipe below) turn out much thicker and more luxurious using a yoghurt with so me fat in it! FLAVOURED YOGHURTS Personally, I prefer the Yeo Valley kiddies yoghurts to the adult versions! I wondered whether this was anything to do with the sugar content, but was shocked to discover that the sugar content is fairly high in all of them (for example, 12.3% for the children's version). Then I noticed that Yeo Valley make a point of not using artificial sweeteners, so this probably accounts for the sugar content. One saving grace however is that since the yoghurts are all organic, they all use real fruit purees and no fruit flavourings. And at least the sugar is organic too! Personally, I don't notice much difference between the full fat and fat-free flavoured yoghurts, apart from the fat-free yoghurts being runnier. The fat-free yoghurt comes in the following flavours: strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, plum, pineapple & mango, guava & orange, peach & papaya, apricot & passionfruit, vanilla and toffee. The fruit flavours all contain real fruit, and all taste of real fruit (unlike many flavoured yoghurts which taste of artificial flavourings and chemicals). I'm not so keen on the vanilla and toffee flavours; they are too sweet for me. ADDITIVES None of Yeo Valley's yoghurts contain any added colours or preservatives, and added flavourings are natural ones (such as organic fruit concentrates or lemon juice). As stated above, there are no artificial sweeteners. PRICE COMPARISON A minor quibble - I'm not sure why the fat-free yeo Valley flavoured yoghurts should be more expensive than the full-fat ones. After all, skimmed milk is cheaper than full-fat milk. **Organic Low Fat Natural Yoghurt** Yeo Valley Organic Fat Free Natural Yogurt 500g £0.97 Tesco Rachel's Dairy Natural Organic Low Fat 500g £0.99 Sainsbury's Sainsbury's Natural Organic Low Fat 500g £0.95 Sainsbury's Sainsbury's Natural Organic Low Fat 150g £0.36 Sainsbury's Sainsb ury's Natural Organic Low Fat 1kg £1.85 Sainsbury's **Organic Natural Yoghurt** Yeo Valley Organic Natural Yogurt 500g £0.97 Tesco Yeo Valley Organic Natural Yogurt 500g £0.99 Sainsbury's Rachel's Dairy Natural Organic Yogurt 500g £0.98 Tesco Yeo Valley Organic Natural Yogurt 150g £0.35 Tesco Yeo Valley Organic Natural Yogurt 1kg £1.95 Tesco **Organic Low Fat Flavoured Yoghurts** (all Tesco prices) Yeo Valley Organic Fat Free Sweet & Smooth 4 x 125g £1.49 Yeo Valley Organic Fat Free Summer Selection 4 x 125g £1.49 Yeo Valley Organic Fat Free Yoghurt (various flavours) 165g £0.49 Yeo Valley Organic Fat Free Yoghurt (various flavours) 450g £1.13 Rachel's Dairy Organic Low Fat Yoghurt Vanilla 450g £1.35 **Organic Flavoured Yoghurts** (all Tesco prices) Yeo Valley Organic Bio Live Blackcurrant Yogurt 450g £1.13 Yeo Valley Organic Yoghurt (various flavours) 150g £0.39 Yeo Valley Organic Yoghurt (various flavours) 450g £1.11 MY FAVOURITE YOGHURT RECIPES **A fabulous low-fat seafood dressing** (adapted from "Light, Lean & Low" by Anne Sheasby and Christine McFadden ISBN: 1-85833-873-5) 150ml (1/4 pint) Natural Yogurt 1 teaspoon (5ml) runny honey 1 tablespoon (15ml) Heinz tomato ketchup 2 tablespoons (30ml) chopped, fresh coriander (you can use frozen but it's not as nice - don't use dried) 2 or 3 drops of tabasco sauce freshly ground black pepper Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon (I use a pint-size Pyrex measuring jug to measure the yoghurt, and mix all the other ingredients into this to save making too much washing-up). That's it! **A very easy and tasty topping for lasagna** 200ml or 7 fluid ounces (1/3 pint) Natural yoghurt 3 large eggs 50g (2 oz) grated mature cheddar Mix the yoghurt and eggs together until the yoghurt turns a nice even yellow colour. St ir in the grated cheese. Pour over your lasagna and bake in a fan oven at 165 C for thirty minutes. Use with your own lasagna recipe, or try my vegetarian version below. **A recipe for vegetarian lasagna**: Ingredients: 2 tablespoons (30ml) Extra Virgin olive oil (I use Carapelli - reviewed elsewhere :-) 3 carrots, cut into 4 quarters lengthwise, then chopped 2 small or medium onions or 1 large onion, sliced 3 or 4 sticks of celery, peeled and sliced 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 4 oz (100g) chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters 3/4 pint vegetable stock (made with 1 and a half teaspoons vegetable bouillon and 1 teaspoon tamari) 4 oz (100g) red lentils 1 tin chopped tomatoes (you can use plum tomatoes and chop them in the pan with your stirring spoon, you can also replace with a pound (500g) of fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped) 2 tablespoons (30ml) tomato puree (I often use one of those small tins from Asda or Tesco) 2 tablespoons Heinz tomato ketchup (my secret ingredient!) 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh basil, pulled apart into small pieces 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh oregano, chopped 1/2 teaspoon (a large pinch) sugar (this helps reduce the acidity of tinned tomatoes, but you can leave it out if you are cooking for a diabetic) freshly ground black pepper fresh or dried lasagna sheets 150g mozzarella, torn into small pieces (or buy two packs and add 300g if you want it to be more luxurious) 1 quantity of yoghurt lasagna topping from above recipe Method: 1. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions gently for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Stir frequently. If you're feeling generous with your diet, add a knob of butter to the pan at the start of frying. 2. Add the garlic and stir. 3. Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently (and with no lid on the pan) for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are beg inning to soften. (Not too hot or the onions will burn). 4. Add the stock, lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato ketchup, basil, oregano and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer gently without a lid for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. 5. Place a thin layer of vegetable sauce in a lasagna dish. Cover with lasagna sheets. Sprinkle half the mozzarella pieces over the lasagna. Cover with half the remaining vegetable sauce, then add another layer of lasagna sheets and the rest of the mozzarella. Cover with the last of the vegetable sauce, then add the yoghurt lasagna topping and bake in a fan oven at 165C for 30 minutes. (For a normal electric oven, use 180C for 35 minutes). 6. Serve with garlic bread and salad (there is a garlic butter recipe in my Country Life butter review and a salad dressing recipe in my Carapelli Olive Oil review). OFFICIAL YEO-VALLEY WEBSITE http://www.yeo-valley.co.uk has lots of information about the company and other Yeo-valley products. There is a children's page which has details of a colouring competition, downloadable puzzles and fact sheets about yoghurt and ice-cream making. There is also a click-on email link for asking questions (top right of the page where it says "Talk to Us"). SUMMARY If you're on a diet, then you could do worse than Yeo Valley Organic Fat-free yoghurt (although watch out for the sugar content in the flavoured yoghurts). Otherwise, go for the full fat version. It's thicker, creamier, tastier and thoroughly recommended.