Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pinkberry Rolls out Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt seems to have become a recent rage for the health and taste conscious alike.  To be sure, many of the traditional yogurts sold in the US no longer have that tart taste it had when I was a kid due to excessive sugars and fillers added to them.  Additionally many frozen yogurts got so heavily sugared and filled up that they were indistinguishable from DQ soft serve and had many of their health benefits stripped away.  In recent years Red Mango and Pinkberry have charged into the US market, selling frozen yogurt that tastes like it did back in 1984 before too many people griped about the tartness and it turned into basic soft serve.  However the public has embraced the tartness and now TCBY yogurt tastes like it did back in 1984, tartness and all!  And then there's Greek Yogurt...

Pinkberry Greek with Cocoa, Chocolate Chips,
Raspberry & Caramel
I consume Greek on a regular basis.  It is the base ingredient in Tzatziki sauce in Greek foods, such as Gyro sandwiches.  Chobani has both fruit blended and fruit on the bottom varieties.  My daughter Helena loves it with strawberries and honey, or granola.  And now Pinkberry has created its own Greek style yogurt which it is serving in sweet as well as savoury to But first, a little background:

Yogurt, also spelled yoghurt or yoghourt, is a thick, custard- or pudding-like food, made by the natural bacterial fermentation of milk. Many people enjoy it plain or flavored with breakfast, lunch, or as a snack, and it's also an ingredient in a number of other dishes. The process of making yogurt involves fermenting cream or milk with live and active bacterial cultures; this is accomplished by adding bacteria directly to the dairy product. Commercial varieties are usually made with a culture of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus thermophilis, although some manufacturers use Lactobacillus bulgaricus rather than L. acidophilus. These are supposed to be good for the immune and digestive systems.

Savoury Topped Greek Yogurt at Pinkberry
Greek Yogurt is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency.  Greek yogurt has roughly the same amount of calories as standard yogurt, but can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half.  This sits very well with dietitians, doctors and those who are health conscious.   Those all sit well with me--I especially like the taste and texture of the Greek better than the standard yogurt.

Pinkberry has rolled out it's own Greek yogurt with the tagline "It's not frozen, It's Greek!"  And I cannot emphasize enough this is NOT frozen yogurt.  A group of media folks got together one afternoon over at Pinkberry in Highland Village and tried several tastings of how they serve it, which included both sweet and savoury toppings.

Meredith Emory, the owner of Houston's Pinkberry Highland Village, first served versions that had
chocolate, cocoa, raspberry and caramel--this was the sweetest of the bunch.  It's one I figured I could sneak past my son, no worries.  The second had strawberry, mango, toasted almonds, coconut and strawberry puree.  It was like a great parfait!  The third was a bit cooler tasting--strawberry, kiwi, honey granola, mango and organic vanilla agave nectar.  I was most surprised and pleased with the two savoury versions:  one had tomato, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt--this one could have been mixed with Shawarma Beef or Chicken and stuffed in a pita for lunch.  Loved it!!!  The other savoury offering had cucumber, crunchy sunflower seed nuggets, olive oil and chili powder.  It started off cool, finished a little spicy and sweet.  Again, stuffed in a pita it might pass for a falafel sammy, sort of.  Not to let that sit, our hosts also served us a key lime pie flavoured dishing of the Greek Yogurt as well--and that was REALLY YUMMY. Key Lime Pie is one of my favourite desserts and this version had the right taste.  The tartness and sweetness worked so well together.

Cucumber Sunflower Seed crunch!!!
Meredith also gave us small samples of their Pinkberry smoothies made with their Greek Yogurt.  This is a high protein smoothie with a nice texture--coming in mixed berry, strawberry banana and pineapple coconut.  Even though these were just tasting portions, all of us were completely satisfied and ready to take on the rest of our days with a charge of Greek Yogurt powered protein.

Pinkberry has locations in Highland Village, The Woodlands Mall and Baybrook Passage near Baybrook Mall.

Highland Village Location address:
3838 Westheimer Road

Strawberry Banana
Greek Smoothie
Houston, TX 77027

Sun-Thur 11pm - 10pm
Fri+Sat 11pm - 11pm

And remember to Eat Happy Y'all!!!


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