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Drinkable yogurt is a dairy beverage produced in a very similar fashion to traditional yogurt. Several varieties are commonly produced and range in thickness from very thin to quite viscous and drinkable only with a good deal of patience. This beverage is often flavored, but many varieties, especially the more traditional ones, are sold and served plain. Most varieties of drinkable yogurt are made with the same sorts of active cultures that are found in other sorts of yogurt and confer the same health benefits.
All true yogurt products are produced by allowing certain desirable populations of bacteria to grow in milk, typically, but not always, cow’s milk. These organisms digest the sugars in the milk, and produce a thicker and somewhat sour tasting substance. This basic yogurt ranges in consistency from very viscous to quite fluid. The bacteria used to create yogurt are generally allowed to remain in the finished product, although some few commercial varieties do use processing techniques that kill these bacteria.
A typical drinkable yogurt is simply a thinner sort of yogurt. These products have long been traditional in Asia, Russia, and India, and have recently begun to gain popularity in the West because of their flavor and convenience. The varieties of drinkable yogurt popular in the west are most often flavored, typically with fruits, but occasionally with chocolate or vanilla, to enable them to serve as yogurt desserts.
Kefir is a typical example of a drinkable yogurt. This product is generally quite viscous, and although it can be poured and consumed as a beverage, it remains very thick and creamy. Kefir is a very common sight at breakfast tables in Eastern Europe and has gained popularity elsewhere for its flavor and health benefits. Other varieties of drinkable yogurt may be thicker or thinner but all tend to have a rich flavor and be high in protein.
Other commercially-produced varieties of yogurt are designed to be especially convenient for people with very little time. Small single-serving packs of relatively thin drinkable yogurt are widely available. These can keep for hours and offer a very convenient way to add healthy and relatively low-calorie yogurt snacks to a busy schedule.
There are many reasons to sample drinkable yogurt. Apart from the satisfying flavor and high level of protein, yogurt also confers a number of other health benefits. The active cultures in drinkable yogurt settle into the human digestive tract. These helpful microbes ensure good digestive health and may confer other health benefits as well.