The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.24.07


Yogurt demystified

Last column I promised a convenient way to choose healthy versus unhealthy yogurt from the hundreds of types available in the grocery case. This should help you choose the very best for your smoothies, sauces, or snacks on the go.

How to buy the healthiest yogurt

As when you purchase any food, read the label, both the "Nutritional Facts" panel and the list of ingredients. Look specifically at the following:

The best nutritional deal is plain yogurt, which has only two ingredients: live cultures and milk (whole milk, low-fat, or skim). The longer the ingredients list, the more calories you get and the less yogurt nutrition.

In some highly sweetened containers of yogurt, you're getting more calories in the sweetener than you are in the yogurt. Be sure to read the protein and sugar values on the nutrition panel.

The higher the protein and the lower the sugar content, the more actual yogurt you're getting in the container.

Best Yogurt -- Contains only live and active cultures and milk.

Okay yogurt -- Contains live and active cultures, milk, and some filler ingredients.

Don't-even-buy- yogurt -- It might as well be pudding if it says "heat treated" on the label, and it may contain added sugar and stabilizers - and more…

The calcium content- the best yogurts provide 35 to 40 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for calcium in an 8-ounce container. Once the calcium gets below 30 percent of the daily value, it's a good bet that the container is filled with a lot of less-nutritious filler.

Organic Yogurts -- contains the highest level of live and active cultures.

Yogurt-based salad dressings and yogurt-covered raisins, pretzels, and candy typically do not contain live and active cultures.

This weeks recipe puts yogurt to good use and provides a healthy comfort food dinner for four.

Beef Stroganoff

This hearty dish has been made healthier by using yogurt in place of sour cream in the finished sauce. If you would like to omit the wine, use 1 cup of beef broth instead. Serve over rice or egg noodles and enjoy.

1 lb beef tenderloin, sliced into 1-inch strips
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thin sliced
1/2-cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2-teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2-cup beef broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-cup plain yogurt


Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced beef tenderloin, onion and mushrooms, sauté until meat begins to brown. Add flour to the mixture, and continue to cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Add tarragon, paprika, wine and beef broth, reduce the heat to medium, and allow to simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Dijon mustard and yogurt.

Serve over egg noodles.

Yields 4 servings.